Club SHC semi-final: Henry steers Ballyhale into another final

February 07, 2015

Gort's Albert Mullins and Conor Walsh of Ballyhale Shamrocks.
©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan.

Ballyhale Shamrocks (Kilkenny) 2-17
Gort (Galway) 1-15

Henry Shefflin scored 0-5 from play in a man of the match performance as Ballyhale Shamrocks comfortably saw off Gort at O'Connor Park to qualify for another All-Ireland club SHC final.

The Reid brothers, TJ and Eoin, also raised green flags as the Kilkenny and Leinster champions set up a Croke Park showdown with Kilmallock on St. Patrick's Day. It will be Ballyhale's first final since 2010 and one which offers them the opportunity to extend their record number of All-Ireland titles to seven.

Gort, who were seeking revenge for their All-Ireland final replay defeat to the Shamrocks 31 years ago, got off to the best possible start when Richie Cummins goaled in the fourth minute after Paul Killilea's initial shot had been half blocked. But Ballyhale hit back with points from Shefflin and Patrick Reid before TJ Reid finished a well-worked move to the net in the 11th minute.

Patrick Reid added a point before Eoin Reid netted from close range on the quarter-hour mark to put the favourites in the driving seat.

Experienced midfielder Bob Aylward also chipped in with three points from play and Shefflin got another one before three Gort points, including two Gerard Quinn frees, left the Galway men trailing by 1-8 to 2-9 at the break.

When Gort registered the first two scores of the second half, it made things very interesting, but Ballyhale stepped it up again with a series of points from Colin Fennelly, Conor Walsh (two) and Shefflin (three), and there was no way back for the Westerners after that.

Ballyhale Shamrocks - R Reid; K Nolan, J Holden, A Cuddihy; P Shefflin (0-1), M Fennelly, A Cummins; B Alyward (0-3), C Walsh (0-3); J Fitzpatrick, H Shefflin (0-5), TJ Reid (1-2, 0-1f); P Reid (0-2), C Fennelly (0-1), E Reid (1-0). Subs: R Corcoran for A Cummins, B Cody for E Reid, M Dermody for P Shefflin, G Butler for J Fitzpatrick.

Gort - G Lally (0-2, 1'65); M McMahon, T Linnane, M Cummins; A Harte, G Lally, S Linnane; S Forde, Jason Grealish (0-1); A Mullins, G Quinn (0-2f), P Killilea (0-1); R Cummins (1-3), M Mullins (0-2, 1f), G O'Donoghue (0-2). Subs: Jack Grealish for P Killilea, W Walsh (0-2) for Jason Grealish, C Helebert for G Quinn, N Forde for S Forde, K Higgins for G O'Donoghue.

Referee - J Ryan.

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