Ballyhale Shamrocks 0-15
Carrickshock landed their first ever senior hurling league title on Sunday, overcoming Ballyhale Shamrocks by three points at Nowlan Park on Sunday.
The Shamrocks were chasing their seventh title, but Michael Rohan’s 45th minute goal proved the difference between the two sides, as he slotted home from a goalmouth melee.
Richie Power got the edge over Cats team mate Henry Shefflin in the point-scoring stakes over the course of the afternoon’s shootout – the duo finishing on 0-9 and 0-8 respectively. It is a credit to Power how he has adapted his game to play without the talismanic Michael Rice, with whom he shares an innate tactical understanding.
Notwithstanding, Shane Power deputised very efficiently for the injured Rice alongside John Cahill in midfield, and the two were not overrun by Cha Fitzpatrick and Eamonn Walsh. John Power stepped up to the mark also, with a work rate and energy level that seem to increase as the game progressed.
Right off the bat, Richie Power fired over a point before anyone had time to blink. Ballyhale were quick to equalise through the hurl of Henry Shefflin, after John Dalton was adjudged to have fouled Colin Fennelly.
On the stroke of the sixth minute, Richie Power made a wonderful loping run, handpassing to John Power, whose effort was blocked wide. Richie Power dispatched the resulting 65, taking his second point of the day. Two minutes later, he extended the gap to two points from a free.
Following a fine Richard Reid puckout, Colin Fennelly made a greyhound-like run through the centre, handpassing to Henry Shefflin, who pointed. Moments later, it was Shefflin’s turn to pick out Fennelly, and he made no mistake in sending the sliothar over the bar (0-3, 0-3).
Carrickshock looked very strong at the back throughout. Ballyhale’s illustrious forwards enjoyed nothing like the level of ball they were able to win last week against the Fenians; both captain David Franks and John Tennyson’s fielding was particularly noteworthy.
Carrickshock’s John wCahill put his side ahead with a point, and then was straight back into the action, making an excellent last-ditch hook on a sprinting Alan Cuddihy who was about to fire over a point.
‘Shocks then won a free as Michael Rohan was fouled. Riche Power did the honours, but the advantage was cancelled out by two Henry Shefflin frees to level proceedings (0-5, 0-5).
Michael Fennelly pointed soon thereafter, but in the 24th minute, Richie Power was hauled down high, earning a point for Carrickshock from the free and a yellow card for Cha Fitzpatrick. Two minutes later, Colin Fennelly was infringed going forward, and Richie Frisby saw yellow, while Shefflin put his side in front.
Carrickshock gave away a number of frees in succession, but Ballyhale did not capitalise, Shefflin striking wide. It was Richie Power who again converted a free on the stroke of half time, sending the two sides level into the break (0-7, 0-7).
Young Patrick Mullen had been a surprise inclusion at corner forward for the Shamrocks, but he was withdrawn at half time for Mark Aylward.
The second half restarted with an almost immediate Henry Shefflin free, to send Ballyhale one point clear. Substitute Mark Aylward soon had them two points up, latching onto the end of a deft Eamonn Walsh pass.
However, Richie Power was quick to pick out team mate Michael Rohan, who pointed, before he himself added a free to equalise at (0-9, 0-9). Shefflin himself then picked up a yellow card following a fracas in the corner.
Mark Dwyer then picked out Jamie Power with a wonderfully accurate 15-yard pass, and the resulting point put ‘Shocks one ahead. Conor Walsh responded from wide on the right moments later.
John Power then won a free, which his brother duly converted, before a lofted ball from Henry Shefflin found its way to Eamonn Walsh, who pointed 0-11, 0-11.
But after a ball broke loose in the Ballyhale goal area, Michael Rohan was quickest to react, diving to ground to send the sliothar low into the net, registering the game’s first and only goal. Without pause, ‘Shocks seized on the puckout, and John Power made an incredible solo run down the right hand side, pointing from a difficult angle.
Henry Shefflin fired over another free, before Mark Dwyer surged through the Shamrocks defence to hammer over another well-crafted point (1-13, 0-12).
As the clock turned 50 minutes’ old, Shefflin reduced the deficit to three points with a free, before Richie Power cancelled out his effort with a free at the other end. Liam Grant soon added a point, but Carrickshock were equal to the Shamrocks, and it wasn’t long before substitute William Hoyne put himself on the scoreboard with a straightforward point (1-15, 0-14).
With four minutes to go, Shefflin had now adopted a full forward position, as Ballyhale went in search of goals. The final effort of the game was a point to Carrickshock’s Darren O’ Dwyer, but by then the men in green knew that the game was theirs.
Ballyhale Shamrocks – Henry Shefflin (0-8), Patrick Reid (0-1), Colin Fennelly (0-1), Conor Walsh (0-1), Eamonn Walsh (0-1), Michael Fennelly (0-1), Mark Aylward (0-1), Liam Grant (0-1).
Carrickshock – Richie Power (0-9), Michael Rohan (1-1), Mark Dwyer (0-1), John Power (0-1), Jamie Power (0-1), John Cahill (0-1), William Hoyne (0-1).
Carrickshock – Patrick Farrell, Richie Frisby, John Dalton, David Franks, John Murphy, John Tennyson, Pat Tennyson, Shane Power, John Cahill, John Power, Richie Power, Jamie Power, Mark Dwyer, Michael Rohan, Brian Donovan. Subs - William Hoyne, John Butler.
Ballyhale Shamrocks – Richard Reid, Paul Shefflin, Michael Dermody, Alan Cuddihy, Michael Fennelly, Aidan Cummin, Bob Aylward, James Fitzpatrick, Eamonn Walsh, Paddy Mullen, Henry Shefflin, Conor Walsh, Patrick Reid, Colin Fennelly. Sub – Mark Aylward, Liam Grant.