Shefflin’s first year over Ballyhale ends with Kilkenny title after TJ Reid masterclass

Ballyhale Shamrocks 2-20
Bennettsbridge 2-17

Trevor Spillane reports from Nowlan Park

A STRONG SHOW from T.J. Reid helped Ballyhale Shamrocks get their hands on the Kilkenny senior hurling crown for the 16th time.

Reid hit 1-10 as the Shamrocks ended Henry Shefflin’s first year in charge with the silverware as they held off a strong finishing Bennettsbridge in Nowlan Park.

The Shamrocks wasted little time taking control of the game, Reid stamping their authority on the game when he broke through the Bridge defence to rattle the net after just four minutes (1-2 to 0-0).

He bagged the next three points, the last one a free from his own 65m line, to push the favourites eight points in front after as many minutes (1-5 to 0-0). A stunned Bennettsbridge had to work hard to claw their way back into the game.

With Nicky Cleere in good scoring form they narrowed the gap to five (1-7 to 0-5) but the Shamrocks raced away again, Eoin Cody gathering a breaking puck-out and blasting it to the net (2-7 to 0-5).

Henry Shefflin during the game.

Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

The Shamrocks pressed on from there, shooting more points through Reid and half-backs Evan Shefflin and Darren Mullen, to go in at half-time with a commanding lead (2-12 to 0-8).

Ballyhale looked comfortable in the early stages of the second half, but Bennettsbridge found another gear to force their way back into the game.

Two Brian Lannon goals, coupled with a pair of fine long range points from Enda Morrissey, saw them close up to within three points of the leaders (2-15 to 2-12) by the 45th minute.

However the Shamrocks stayed cool – Ronan Corcoran, Eoin Reid, Mark Aylward and Colin Fennelly picked off a point each in a run that led Ballyhale back to the title.

Ballyhale Shamrocks

1 Dean Mason

2 Conor Walsh
3 Joey Holden
4 Brian Butler

5 Evan Shefflin (0-1)
6 Michael Fennelly (captain)
7 Darren Mullen (0-1)

8 Ronan Corcoran (0-1)
9 Richie Reid

10 Brian Cody (0-2)
11 T.J. Reid (1-10, 0-8 frees)
23 Adrian Mullen (0-1)

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12 Eoin Cody (1-1)
14 Colin Fennelly (0-1)
13 Eoin Reid (0-1)


24 Mark Aylward (0-1) for E. Reid
22 Paddy Mullen for D. Mullen
15 Joey Cuddihy for E. Cody
17 Bob Aylward for B.Cody
21 Gavin Butler for Shefflin


1 Enda Cleere

2 Conor Murphy
3 Robert Lennon (0-1)
4 Cormac Wafer

5 Enda Morrissey (0-2)
6 Jason Cleere (0-2)
7 Darragh Wafer

8 Kevin Blanchfield (0-1)
9 David Blanchfield

10 Aidan Cleere (0-1)
14 Brian Lannon (2-1)
12 Nicky Cleere (0-7, frees)

13 Dylan Walsh
11 Liam Blanchfield (0-1)
15 Sean Morrissey (0-1)


22 Danny Coyne for Walsh

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