The Ballyhale Shamrocks dream of becoming the first Kilkenny team to win the intermediate club All-Ireland title ended in heartache in Clonmel.
In the replayed final on Sunday, in the mood Lismore (Waterford) produced a class performance to score a comprehensive win over the Kilkenny champions.
Whereas the drawn tie was a thriller and went right down to the wire, the replay was a one-sided affair and Lismore looked winners from a long way out.
Ballyhale opened the scoring through lone scorer, Kellyanne Cottrell after a foul on Keeva Fennelly. Cottrell doubled the lead after being foul on a run to goal.
Aoife Hannon got Lismore off the mark in the sixth minute after a good pass from Shona Curran. Aoife Hannon then converted a free to level it at 0-2 each.
Kellyanne Cottrell put the good moving Shamrocks back in front in the 11th minute when she was fouled 35 metres from goal. She scored the free with ease.
She doubled Ballyhale’s advantage a minute later after she scored a free from 45 metres to put Ballyhale 0-4 to o-2 ahead. Aoife Hannon stepped up to the mark for Lismore when she scored a free.
Ballyhale were using the wind advantage well. However, Lismore began to dominate as the half drew to a close. They gained a strong hold in midfield.
This spell of good possession produced good returns for the winners. Johanna Houlihan gained possession from a Ballyhale puck out 40 metres out. She cut through the defence, played the ball into Caithriona McGlone, who tapped it into the Ballyhale net, 1-3 to 0-5.
This goal proved to be the turning point in the game. Instead of Ballyhale going in two points up after battling well, they were behind. Ballyhale’s over reliance on Kellyanne Cottrell for scores was a concern, but they had to drive on.
The hope was Ballyhale would do what they done in the drawn tie and come out with all guns blazing in the new half. This was not the case. Lismore completely dominated the play. They never allowed Ballyhale gain a foothold in the game.
A goal in it
The Suirsiders opened their second half account when Aoife Hannon put over a free. There was a goal in it when she added another point from a free from 45 metres.
Things went from bad to worse for Ballyhale when Hannon tore through the defence to shoot a goal, 2-5 to 0o-5, after 38 minutes.
Cottrell tried to inject life into the Shamrocks when scored a free from after Keeva Fennelly was fouled. Shona Curran replied, pushing Lismore six points ahead again when she scored a free after Ruth Geoghegan was fouled. Aoife Hannon converted in the 46th minute.
Try as they might Ballyhale could not breach the confident Lismore defence. They did everything to win a say in midfield, but they couldn’t.
Aoife Hannon showed it was Lismore’s day when she scored a massive point from play from 50 metres to push them seven clear, 2-8 to 0-6.
The icing was added to the cake came in the 54th minute for Lismore awhen Caithriona McGlone completed a hat trick after she gained possession just outside the small square before tapping the ball to the back of the Shamrocks net.
Kellyanne Cottrell hit back for a point for the losers, but they were struggling, badly. Cottrell converted a free shot from 45 yards minute too keep things ticking over. Cottrell was doing her best, but too many of her colleagues just couldn’t get into the game.
Shona Curran lifted Lismore spirits again when she proved the pass for Caithriona McGlon to score to edged Lismore into a command 2-7 to 0-6 lead. Lismore ran out comrotable winners in the end.
The win was well deserved and the finishing scoreline was a fair reflection of their second half dominance.
It was a sad end to the journey for the Shamrocks women. They can be very proud of their achievements during the season. The highs out-numbered the lows, and the whole experience of the club championship had to be a massive learning exercise for them.
SCORERS: Lismore - A. Hannon (0-6, four frees); C. McGlone (3-0); S. Curran (0-2, frees). Ballyhale Shamrocks - Kellyanne Cottrell (0-7, six frees).
Ballyhale Shamrocks - Ciara Fennelly, Brena Fennelly, Roisin Fennelly, Orna Fennelly, Emily O’Dwyer, Jacqui Frisby, Clodagh Corcoran, Catherine Connolly, Edel Frisby, Eimear Fitzpatrick, Kellyanne Cottrell, Keeva Fennelly, Lucy Elvidge, Margaret Mary Fennelly, Emilie Darmody.
Subs - Helen Dermody, Lorna Fennelly, Jenny O’ Brien, Jilllian O’ Dwyer, Deborah Walsh, Grace Fennelly, Tara Cody, M. Butler, Leona Kinahan, Emma Nolan.
Lismore - A. O’Brien, S. Coughlan, S. Prendergast, M. Russell, A. Houlihan, S. Kiernan, S. Fenton, N. Morrissey, S. Curran, L. Buckley, G. Kenneally, A. Hannon, C. McGlone, J. Hannon, R. Geoghegan.
Subs - B. O’Keeffe, J. Kingston, S. Prendergast, S. Walsh, S. Geoghegan, S. Fennessy, S. Russell, R. Knowles, N. Molumphy, S. Bennett.
Referee - John Dolan (Clare)