Goal from Adrian Mullen in 32nd minute ended the game as a contest
All-Ireland champions, Ballyhale Shamrocks hit O’Loughlin Gaels for 1-5 during the closing seven minutes of the opening half and that blast turned this Kilkenny senior hurling semi-final in UPMC Nowlan Park today.
When Shamrocks followed up with a goal from Adrian Mullen in the 32nd minute it was all over bar the shouting. The champions were on course for a meeting with James Stephens in the county final next Sunday.
The Gaels were flying early on, playing a lovely brand of fast, free flowing hurling. Thanks to a well taken goal after only 18 seconds from Danny Loughnane, and with Mark Bergin nailing every free, they looked extremely threatening when leading by 1-6 to 0-5 after 17 minutes when playing against the strong wind.
On 23 minutes Adrian Mullen snatched a point to keep the champions ticking over. However, when Eoin Cody intercepted a short pass from goalie Stephen Murphy to Paddy Deegan in the 28th minute the Shamrocks man lobbed a lovely ball into the empty net.
The score was now 1-9 to 1-8 for the winners.
The Shamrocks turned on the scoring tap. Adrian Mullen pointed. TJ Reid landed a couple more as Shamrocks turned a one time three point deficit into a 1-12 to 1-8 lead during their golden scoring spell.
The losers had the opening score of the new half, a point from Mark Bergin. However, when Adrian Mullen got goal side of the losers defence to collect a ball broken by Joey Cuddihy before finishing to the net he put a mountain in front of the losers, who were now 2-13 to 1-9 down.
O’Loughlin’s never looked like getting back into real contention after that, never mind saving the game and they were well beaten in the end.
SCORERS: Ballyhale Shamrocks - TJ Reid (0-11); Adrian Mullen (1-4); Eoin Cody (1-0); Evan Shefflin, Ronan Corcoran, Paddy Mullen, Eoin Reid, Joey Cuddihy (0-1 each). O’Loughlin Gaels - Mark Bergin (0-11); Danny Loughnane (1-0); Luke Hogan, Robbie Buckley, Martin Comerford (0-1 each).