10 Aug 2022

Kilkenny SHL- First half blitz gives O'Loughlin's opening round win

O'Loughlin Gaels 4-19 Graigue Ballycallan 3-13

Kilkenny SHL- First half blitz gives O'Loughlin's opening round win

O'Loughlin Gaels midfielder Matthew Russel in action against Graigue Ballycallan in the Kilkenny SHL on Saturday afternoon. Pic: Willie Dempsey

O’Loughlin Gaels were never threatened as they eased to victory over Graigue Ballycallan in Round 1 of the Senior Hurling League on Saturday afternoon.

The 2021 county finalists showcased their superiority when three first half goals within 10 minutes of each other essentially settled the result in their favour.

Robbie Buckley, Luke Hogan and Conor Kelly all found the net for the city side during that devastating period.

Andy Comerford’s men eventually led 3-14 to 1-6 at the break with Billy Ryan getting the Graigue Ballycallan goal.

Eoin O’Shea finished with a tally of 1-5 for O’Loughlins and he added a fourth goal in the second half before Graigue Ballycallan got two consolation efforts late on.

Graigue Ballycallan were without a number of injured players for the league opener and they looked in big trouble from the start after an opening minute Eoin O’Shea free was followed up by a goal from Robbie Buckley.

Ballycallan got their first point in the 8th minute when Bob Murphy pointed but by the time they scored again 10 minutes later, O’Loughlin’s had already got 3-8 on the scoreboard.

Quickfire goals from Luke Hogan and Conor Kelly followed points from Oisin Murphy, Paddy Deegan, Robbie Buckley and Jack Nolan and the tie looked as good as over with just over a quarter of the game played.

Kilkenny star Billy Ryan gave Graigue Balycallan hope with a well taken goal before Sean Ryan converted a number of frees.

Through O’Shea, Luke Hogan, Conor Kelly, Jack Nolan and Paddy Butler, the winners kept the scoreboard ticking over as they led 3-14 to 1-6 at the break.

Eoin O’Shea scored O’Loughlin’s fourth goal a couple of minutes into the second half and from there till the end, Graigue Ballycallan did start a revival of sorts.

Sean Ryan continued to knock over the frees for John O’Neill’s side while Conor Murphy also netted past Jamie Malone after Sean O’Dwyer put the corner forward in the clear.

O’Dwyer also found the net in stoppage time when he fired the sliotar home after Murphy had a 21 yard free blocked on the line.

For Graigue Ballycallan though, it arrived much too late in the day as O’Loughlin’s ran out very convincing winners.

Teams and Scorers

O’Loughlin Gaels- Eoin O’Shea (1-5, 0-4f), Luke Hogan (1-2), Robbie Buckley, Conor Kelly (1-1 each), Paddy Deegan (0-3), Jack Nolan (0-2), Paddy Butler, Mark Bergin, Huw Lawlor, Jamie Young (0-1 each)

Graigue Ballycallan- Sean Ryan (0-11, 0-6f), Billy Ryan (1-1), Conor Murphy, Sean O’Dwyer (1-0 each), Bob Murphy (0-1)

O’Loughlin Gaels- Jamie Malone; Oisin Murphy, Mikey Butler, Jordan Molloy, Conor Heary, Huw Lawlor, Jamie Young; Matthew Russell, Jack Nolan; Paddy Butler, Luke Hogan, Paddy Deegan; Conor Kelly, Eoin O’Shea, Robbie Buckley.

Subs- Mark Bergin for Hogan 51 mins, Ben Leydon for O’Shea 51 mins.

Graigue Ballycallan- Ciaran Hoyne; Conor Walton, Conor Flynn, Eamonn Egan; Stephen Keoghan, Aaron Brennan, Billy Dowling; Tommy Ronan, Bob Murphy; Billy Ryan, Philly Cahill, Tom Dunphy; Conor Murphy, Sean O’Dwyer, Sean Ryan.

Subs- Oisin Egan for Dowling h-t, James Everard for Cahill 60 mins.

Referee- John Kennedy

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