Colin Fennelly netted two goals as the Shamrocks moved into the quarter-finals of the Kilkenny senior hurling championship
A goal in either half from Colin Fennelly helped the Shamrocks (Ballyhale) book their place in the senior hurling championship - but it wasn’t without a fright or two!
Graigue-Ballycallan were more than a match for the reigning champions and gave their all with a game performance at John Locke Park.
The sides were level on four occasions in the opening 20 minutes and deadlocked again at 0-8 each after 25 minutes thanks to a Sean Ryan 65, however six unanswered points from Brian Cody Joe Cuddihy, Evan Shefflin, Richie Reid, TJ Reid and Eoin Cody pushed Ballyhale into a good lead. That advantage only grew when Colin Fennelly pounced for his first goal as half-time loomed, but a like score from Sean Ryan threw Ballycallan a lifeline at the break (1-13 to 1-9).
Graigue raised their game in the second half and, with the likes of Conor Flynn, Darragh Egan and Sean Ryan driving the side on they clawed their way back into the game. A run of four points, scored around the waterbreak, saw them get back on level terms by the 54th minute (1-19 to 1-19).
However, the Shamrocks didn’t panic. No sooner had Graigue hit the equaliser the Shamrocks caught them with a counter-punch, Joe Cuddihy rifling home from a narrow angle. Ballyhale moved further ahead when Fennelly plundered his second goal a few minutes later, but Billy Ryan’s late goal meant they couldn’t ease up too much before the final whistle.
Shamrocks - Colin Fennelly (2-1); Joe Cuddihy (1-5); TJ Reid (0-5, 0-2 frees); Brian Cody, Eoin Cody (0-4 each); Evan Shefflin (0-3); Richie Reid (0-1).
Graigue-Ballycallan - Sean Ryan (1-9, 0-4 frees, 0-2 65); Billy Ryan (1-3); Shane Butler (0-3); Sean O’Dwyer, Philly Cahill (0-2 each); Colum Prendiville (0-1).
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