Kilkenny SHC: Champions Clara overcome Ballyhale Shamrocks

Clara made a winning start to the defence of their Kilkenny senior hurling league and championship crowns when they overcame the tough test of Ballyhale Shamrocks.

Inspired by Chris Bolger, who helped himself to 11 points, the men in maroon saw off the Shamrocks 0-19 to 0-15.

Bennettsbridge marked their return to the senior scene with a hard-fought draw against James Stephens. Boosted by the return of Eoin Larkin — he had been on peace-keeping duty in Syria — the Village were in fine form, plundering two first-half goals through Matthew Ruth and David Walton as led at the break 2-8 to 0-7.

A third goal from Niall Mullins seemed to edge James Stephens closer to victory but Cleere landed five of the last six points, including a pressure free two minutes into added time, to rescue a 1-19 to 3-13 draw for the ’Bridge.

Rower-Inistioge got their campaign going in the right direction when they saw off Fenians, 1-16 to 1-10.

Helped by the in-form Michael Grace (0-4) and a Richie Leahy goal, the Rower led by eight points at half-time (1-8 to 0-3). Late scores from Grace (2) and Leahy sent the Rower on their way to the points.

St Martin’s nabbed the spoils when a last-minute goal saw them pip Dicksboro by 1-11 to 0-13. The Muckalee side had been in control at half-time, 0-9 to 0-3, but 10 second-half points put the city side in front before they were sunk by that last-gasp goal.

Elsewhere, Mullinavat opened their senior account with a good 3-14 to 1-11 win over Danesfort, the goals coming from Liam and Jamie Fennelly, and Ian Duggan.

The last game of the weekend saw O’Loughlin Gaels edge Erin’s Own (Castlecomer) by 1-10 to 1-9.


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