O’Loughlin Gaels 2-13 to 1-18 Ballyhale Shamrocks
Saturday Sept 17th 2016 – Thomastown 5pm – referee Owen kenny
O’Loughlin Gaels met Ballyhale Shamrocks in the final round of the Senior hurling league on Saturday with both teams knowing they were advancing to the quarter final stages of this year’s championship…the prize at stake a league final spot next weekend. Both defences got a handle on the game making it difficult for forwards to get clear shots at goal. O’Loughlins had the better of the early exchanges with Mark Kelly showing early signs of his form when he hit the post in the 3rd minute..an opportunity that would have put a different perspective on the game had it being converted. Mark went on to score 2-4 from play showing his ability to take scores in tight situations. Ballyhale worked hard off the ball making it difficult to track players and opened up spaces to take their scores and hedaded to the break 0-10 to 0-7 up.
Ballyhale pressed on in the second half with points from Henry Sheflin and Eoin Reid who was a handful at centre forward before Mark Kelly returned a point. And although Mark Bergin pointed a free on the 13th minute Eoin Reid broke in for a Ballyhale goal that put them seven points clear with only a quarter of the game remaining. Immediately O’Loughlin Gaels returned two points through a Mark Bergin free and a fine Danny Lenihan strike before Kelly struck for the first of his two goals on the 18th minute. The lead reduced to two but the Shamrocks didn’t flinch and added five points to O’Loughlins one over the next ten minutes requiring O’Loughlins to get goals. Danny Loughnane pointed a free in the dying moments and a good play by Danny Lenihan in the corner sent a low ball to the front of the opposition goal that Mark Kelly was at hand to net in the last play of the game finishing two points adrift when the whistle sounded.
An entertaining finish to the game and the lads will now face Dicksboro in the League Shield Final next weekend before the real business of Championship begins in two weeks time. We’re looking forward to it!
Team: S. Murphy, A Forristal, A. Kearns, E. Kearns, S. Mahony, B. Hogan, P. Deegan, E. Grant, H. Lawlor, D. Burke, M. Kelly (2-4), D. Loughnane (0-2, 1f), S. Johnston, M. Bergin(0-5, f) , S. Bolger (0-1). D. Lenihan (0-1), P. Cantwell