THE Allianz Cumann na mBunscol hurling action is really hotting up at the moment as this year’s competition reaches the knockout stages.
In another cracking encounter Ballyhale took on Urlingford in the semi-final of the Corn de Bhaldraithe in St John’s Park. Played in glorious weather, a feast of hurling was served up by two spirited teams.
It was a bad start for Ballyhale when Urlingford full-forward Johnny Doyle went through on goal and hit a powerful shot past Stephen Barron. Ballyhale recovered with a point from an Eoin Cody free, but right from the puck-out Urlingford scored a point through Gearoid Troy.
Play swung back to the other end when Jason Devereux won a puck-out from Dean Mason and sent the ball into Eoin Cody who scored a point. However, Urlingford hit back with 1-1 from Gearoid Troy. Ballyhale weren’t down for long, as Cody scored a point from a free and then followed that up with a goal, but at half-time they trailed Urlingford by 2-2 to 1-3.
Ballyhale began the second half in determined fashion. Eoin Kenneally won the ball from the throw-in and teed up Eoin Cody for a point. The Urlingford puck-out was won by John Shortall, before Jason Devereux played a low ball into Eoin Cody to score his second goal and give his side the lead.
Urlingford bounced back with two points through Liam Grant and Ollie Kenny to level the game. Within minutes Ballyhale were ahead again, Eoin Cody scoring a point from play and Eoin Kenneally converting a 65. Eoin Cody then won a ball on the 21 and soloed through for a goal. Urlingford’s centre back and captain Liam Grant scored two points from two 30 yard frees, but it wasn’t enough to stop Ballyhale from winning an epic match in which Conor Doyle was Man of the Match.
Ballyhale will now play Thomastown in the Country Cup final in Nowlan Park.
Ballyhale - Stephen Barron, Cian Cullen, Dean Mason, James Reid, Casey Corcoran, Patrick Hearne, John Shortall, Eoin Walsh, Eoin Kenneally (0-1, 65), Conor Doyle, Darragh Corcoran, Jason Devereux, Billy Moran, Eoin Cody (3-5), Christopher Coady.
Urlingford - Harry Kavanagh, Jack Hickey, David Butler, Gerard Kavanagh, Sam Atkinson-Lynch, Liam Grant (0-3), Darren Quinlan, Kieran Norton, Gearóid Troy (1-2), Ollie Kenny (0-1), Calvin Ryan, Luca Lacovara, Martin Burke, Johnny Doyle (1-0), Daniel Toombs. Subs: Keelan Martin, John Dunphy.
Report by Eoin Cody and Dean Mason, Scoil Phádraig, Ballyhale