A late goal from TJ Reid gave Ballyhale Shamrocks a dramatic win
A last-gasp goal from TJ Reid saw Ballyhale Shamrocks escape to victory in the last round of the Kilkenny senior hurling league – but it wasn’t enough to get them out of relegation bother.
Trailing Bennettsbridge by a point (1-17 to 1-16), the Kilkenny senior hurling captain latched on to a booming Dean Mason puck-out and made enough room to rattle the net five minutes into injury-time.
The goal put the seal on what was a topsy-turvy game in John Locke Park. Bennettsbridge looked sharp in the opening half and, helped by Nicky Cleere, fought their way into a three-point lead by the 21st minute. They surged even further in front a few minutes later, Jason Cleere coming up from defence to rifle home a penalty after Liam Blanchfield was hauled down in the square.
The Bridge held that advantage into the second half (they led at the break by 1-10 to 0-9), but the Shamrocks fought back. Eoin Cody gave them hope with a close-range goal before three Reid points levelled the tie with six minutes to go.
Bennettsbridge broke the deadlock in injury-time, Cleere converting a free, but their hopes were sunk when Reid hit the net in the dying seconds.
SCORERS: Ballyhale Shamrocks – TJ Reid (1-10, 0-8 frees); Eoin Cody (1-1); Eoin Reid, Adrian Mullen, Paddy Mullen, Richie Reid, Evan Shefflin (0-1 each). Bennettsbridge – Nicky Cleere (0-9, 0-8 frees); Jason Cleere (1-0, pen); Ciaran Brennan, Brian Lannon (0-2 each); Sean Morrissey, Enda Morrissey, Kevin Brennan, Kevin Blanchfield (0-1 each).