Today at a freezing cold UPMC Nowlan Park the first of this years AIB Leinster Senior Club Hurling Semi Finals took place.
Shamrocks Ballyhale looked to continue their fine run of form while St Martins were arriving off the benefit of a bye in the Quarter Final stages. The Kilkenny side wasted no time in laying down a marker as straight from the throw in Evan Shefflin bursted up field to set up Brain Cody for an opening goal. As if this wasn’t enough to rock the slaney siders Shamrocks bagged a point from the resulting puck though Eoin Cody. This left the Kilkenny side 4 points up with less than 60 seconds on the clock. 2 more points in quick succession signalled the start of what would be a long day for the visiting side as Shamrocks went onto dominate the remainder of the affair.
TJ Reid and brother Richie bagged another 2 before St Martins eventually got off the mark. Shamrocks tacked on some more scores before Martins found their feet and began to rally points from Jack O’Connor and Joe Coleman began to steady the visitors as the trailed 1-11 to 0-06. However then the decisive blow came in the 25th minute as Colin Fennelly was fouled for a penalty with Reid stepping up to slot home. Things could have been worse for St Martins at the breakout but for Reid striking his second penalty in as many minutes wide of the post. The half time score read 2-12 to 0-07.
From here on out the game petered out with Shamrocks looking every bit the All Ireland Champions from last season. Reids TJ and Eoin bagged another 2 goals before Colin Fennelly eventually got a 3 pointer of his own. A late goal from Michale Codd will prove scant conciliation to St Martins who were on the back foot from the off. Shamrocks had leaders all over the pitch and no more so than TJ Reid again as the former hurler of the year finished up with a personal tally of 2-14. The Ballyhale men can now await the winners of tomorrow’s clash between St Mullins and Rathdowney Errill.
Ballyhale Shamrocks: Dean Mason; Darragh Corcoran, Joey Holden, Darren Mullen; Evan Shefflin, Michael Fennelly, Conor Phelan; Ronan Corcoran, Richie Reid (0-02); Adrian Mullen (0-01), TJ Reid (2-14, 1-00 pen, 0-11f, 0-01 s/l), Brian Cody (1-00); Eoin Reid (1-00), Eoin Cody (0-02), Colin Fennelly (1-00).
Subs: Joey Cuddihy for Adrian Mullen (37), Conor Walsh for Ronan Corcoran (46), Gavin Butler for Richie Reid (50), Eoin Kenneally for Eoin Reid (51), Mark Aylward for Eoin Cody (53).
St Martin’s: Luke White; Joe O’Connor, Conor Firman, Eoin O’Leary; Daithi Waters, Aaron Maddock, Patrick O’Connor; Harry O’Connor (0-02), Michael Codd (1-00); Jake Firman (0-01), Jack O’Connor (0-02), Joe Coleman (0-09, 0-09f); Ciaran Lyng, Rory O’Connor (0-01), Mikey Coleman.
Subs: Darren Codd (0-01) for Mikey Coleman (36), Mark Moloney for Jake Firman (46), Jack Devereux for Patrick O’Connor (58).