A well contested South junior A hurling tie on Friday saw the Rower-Inistioge win out at Páirc na Seamróg.
The evening was wet and both sides were understrength. It was a strong start by the visitors that ultimately made the difference.
They had 1-2 on the scoreboard before Ballyhale Shamrocks got off the mark via a Keith Nolan free in the 6th minute.
Michael Doyle, three minutes earlier, had goaled after confusion in the opposition full back line. Shortly, goalkeeper David Dunphy came out to slot a 65 and Conor Lyng augmented.
As exchanges balanced, Doyle and Rónan Corcoran (free) traded scores. Ballyhale then improved their team by two swops: Willie Coogan and Keith Nolan at the back, Corcoran and Liam Grant up front.
Both sides were now hurling decently and the level dynamic remained until halftime, when it was 1-6 to 0-6.
The Rower-Inistioge resumed the stronger, with Cathal Bolger immediately raising a white flag. While Rónan Corcoran managed a quick reply from play, the third quarter belonged to the leaders. They put together four points on the spin ― three by John James Kenny (two frees) and a flying effort by corner back Tony Whelan ― for a convincing lead of 1-12 to 0-7 on 49 minutes.
The Shamrocks looked wrung out. But they gained momentum and shot 1-2 without reply, beginning with a Corcoran free in the 51st minute. Then Donnchadh Fitzpatrick, setting the tone as captain, clipped over in terrific style.
The goal arrived in the 55th minute, when Eóin Doyle went low from a 20 metre free. Following up, Patrick Mullen finished to the net.
Game right back on. There was plenty of excitement in the closing minutes but only two further scores, as Kenny and Corcoran exchanged.
Added time saw Doyle standing over another 20 metre free. This time, David Dunphy fetched his effort and the long whistle went before there was time to clear.
The same man was excellent between the post for the winners. At the back, they were particularly well served by Nicky Kenny, Dean Keogh and Neil Lyng.
Pádraig Tierney got through a lot of important work at midfield. Cathal Bolger, Michael Doyle (first half) and John James Kenny looked sharpest in attack.
For the home side, David Harrington was equally sound between the posts. Defensively, Keith Nolan put in a really strong performance. Brian Butler, Gavin Butler and Willie Coogan were capable colleagues.
Enda Fitzpatrick was wholehearted throughout at midfield, where Liam Grant put in a vigorous shift. Up front, Rónan Corcoran and Donnchadh Fitzpatrick led the way. Eóin Doyle deserved great credit for battling through injury for the hour.
Ballyhale Shamrocks - David Harrington, Eugene Aylward, Willie Coogan, Brian Butler, Keith Nolan (0-1, free), Gavin Butler, Dylan Doran, Rónan Corcoran (0-7, five frees), Enda Fitzpatrick, Darren Mason, Donnchadh Fitzpatrick, capt (0-2), Liam Grant, Conor Phelan, Patrick Mullen (1-0), Eóin Doyle. Subs - Mark Phelan for Conor Phelan 39 min.
Rower-Inistsioge - David Dunphy (0-1, free), Tony Whelan (0-1), Nicky Kenny, Dean Keogh, Luke Tennyson, David Tennyson, capt, Neil Lyng, Seán Grace, Pádraig Tierney, Cathal Bolger (0-2), John James Kenny (0-7, five frees), Pádraig Ryan, Michael Doyle (1-1), Conor Lyng (0-1), Michael Cody. Subs - James Roche for P. Ryan 41 min; Danny Cotterell for S. Grace 53min; David Lester for M. Cody 53 min.
Referee - Gavin Quilty (Slieverue).