Kilkenny intermediate champions Glenmore made a winning start to their Leinster campaign
The feel-good factor continues for Glenmore after they overcame the elements, and a strong challenge from Ballinakill, to book their place in the Leinster intermediate club championship semi-finals.
A strong finish helped the Kilkenny champions get the better of their Laois opponents at a bitterly cold Abbeyleix, but they had a fight on their hands before getting the result.
Led by the sure shooting of Alan Murphy (0-3) the South Kilkennymen were quick to take a solid lead against their Laois opponents, but a number of wides meant their half-time advantage wasn't as great as it should have been (0-9 to 0-6).
The missed chances looked like costing them when Ballinakill took the lead early in the second half, Cian O'Shaughnessy pouncing to flick a loose sliotar home four minutes after the restart (1-7 to 0-9).
The goal was the wake-up call Glenmore needed. They hit five unanswered points through Murphy (0-3),captain Ger Aylward and Philip Roche to go back in front, then copperfastened their lead when sub David Burke rammed the sliotar home just before the second water break after Mark Aylward's shot had been saved (1-14 to 1-7).
Ballinakill, who were without Laois senior star Charles Dwyer, hit back on the resumption of play, cutting the deficit with some good points from Ian Shanahan and TJ Lalor (0-2), but Glenmore weren't about to let their rivals back into the game. Alan Murphy steadied their nerves with a free from an acute angle, before Ger Aylward sealed their semi-final spot against Naas on December 11 when he rifled a ground strike to the net.
SCORERS: Glenmore - Alan Murphy (0-8, 0-7 frees, 0-1 6); Ger Aylward (1-3); David Burke (1-0); Philip Roche (0-2); Billy Reid, Eoin Murphy, Mark Aylward, Ethan Phelan (0-1 each).
Ballinakill - TJ Lalor (0-5, frees); Cian O'Shaughnessy (1-1); Sean Downey (0-2, 0-1 free); Ian Shanahan, Jamie Drury, Lir McDonald, Noel Duggan (0-1 each).
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