All Ireland Club SHC final: Shamrocks ease to title #6

March 17, 2015

Ballyhale Shamrocks' Henry Shefflin is tackled by Kevin O'Donnell of Kilmallock

Ballyhale Shamrocks are All-Ireland club hurling champions for the sixth time after a routine 1-18 to 1-6 win over Kilmallock at Croke Park.

The greater quality and experience of this seasoned outfit was evident throughout the hour as they produced a dominant display that left their hapless opponents floundering in their slipstream. After the final whistle, the honour of collecting the Tommy Moore Cup from new GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghail fell to top scorer TJ Reid (0-6), who enjoyed an outstanding second half.

Meanwhile, Kilkenny captain Joey Holden was named as Man of the Match after producing another masterclass at full back.

The Kilkenny and Leinster champions led by 1-7 to 0-4 at the end of the opening half, with Colin Fennelly firing the sliothar to the top corner three minutes from the break to leave daylight between the teams.

Kilmallock were still very much in the contest after 18 minutes when Eoin Ryan's pointed free left them within the minimum of their illustrious opponents, 0-4 to 0-3. But Fennelly and Eoin Reid points made it double scores before Graeme Mulcahy landed the Limerick club's final score of the half.

Paudie O'Brien has struck first for the underdogs but Bob Aylward, TJ Reid (free) and Eoin Reid replied to make it 0-3 to 0-1 after twelve minutes. Henry Shefflin chipped in with a fourth Shamrocks score before Robbie Egan supplied a great Kilmallock solo point, gathering directly from the puck-out and drilling the ball over the bar.

After Fennelly rattled the onion bag, TJ Reid's free closed the first-half scoring.

By the three-quarters stage, the gap was out to nine points, 1-11 to 0-5. The winners hit the first three points of the second half through Shefflin, half-time substitute Mark Aylward and Eoin Reid before Ryan and TJ Reid twice traded frees.

A brilliant TJ Reid point from play stretched the margin to ten with as many minutes left to play, 1-13 to 0-6; Fennelly and Alan Cuddihy then added another couple of quickfire Shamrocks points to leave Ger O'Loughlin's wilting charges praying for the final whistle.

The victors led by 14 when Fennelly and TJ Reid tagged on further points. Five minutes from time, Robbie Hanley collected a pass from Ryan and drilled the ball to the back of the net for a consolation Kilmallock goal on what was otherwise a day to forget for the Munster champions.

Mark Aylward closed the scoring as the most successful club in the history of the competition effortlessly added to their previous All-Ireland successes of 1981, 1984, 1990, 2007 and 2010. Paddy's Day is all about Shamrocks again!

Ballyhale Shamrocks - R Reid; K Nolan, J Holden, A Cuddihy (0-1); P Shefflin, M Fennelly, A Cummins; C Walsh, B Aylward (0-1); J Fitzpatrick, H Shefflin (0-2), TJ Reid (0-6, 4f); P Reid, C Fennelly (1-3), E Reid (0-3). Subs: M Aylward (0-2) for P Reid, T Coogan for K Nolan, D Hoyne for C Walsh, M Dermody for P Shefflin.

Kilmallock - B Hennessy; L Hurley, M O'Loughlin, A Costello; L Walsh, Philip O'Loughlin, K O'Donnell; B O'Sullivan, P O'Brien (0-1); J Mulcahy, G O'Mahony, R Egan (0-1); G Mulcahy (0-1), K Kenneally, E Ryan (0-3f). Subs: Paddy O'Loughlin for K Kenneally, R Hanley (1-0) for R Egan, C Barry for B O'Sullivan.

Referee - J Owens.

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