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2022 AIB All-Ireland Club SHC Semi-Final – Ballyhale Shamrocks (Kilkenny) 1-16 Ballygunner (Waterford) 0-16

December 18, 2022 @ 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Ballyhale Shamrocks (Kilkenny) defeated Ballygunner (Waterford) by 1-16 to 0-16 in the AIB All-Ireland Club Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final on Sunday December 18th at Croke Park.

Steely Ballyhale Shamrocks gain revenge on Ballygunner

All-Ireland Club SHC semi-final: Ballyhale Shamrocks 1-16 Ballygunner 0-16

Report by John Fogarty for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Despite the best efforts of Stephen O’Keeffe, Ballyhale Shamrocks finished off their bittersweet 50th year with a resounding All-Ireland semi-final win to dethrone Ballygunner.

Avenging last February’s final defeat to the same opposition, their stout defence was at the heart of this slightly surprising victory in Croke Park this afternoon as they held the Waterford men to just three second-half points from play.

After twice keeping out goals in the first half, Ballygunner goalkeeper O’Keeffe prevented an Evan Shefflin chance in the 45th minute and T.J. Reid’s first penalty strike two minutes later when Philip Mahony brought down Colin Fennelly.

However, Reid’s second bite of the cherry in the 49th minute was too hot for him. Reid himself had been tripped by Shane O’Sullivan just as he was about to unload from close distance.

Reid later stretched the gap to five points and while Ballygunner twice came within three of them, Shamrocks held out, Dean Mason making a vital save himself from Dessie Hutchinson in the 50th minute.

Even if Ballygunner had the better of the first half in general play, O’Keeffe had to pull off two top-drawer saves. The first denial came in the 10th minute as Adrian Mullen angled in from the left wing and O’Keeffe’s parry was sent over the bar by Colin Fennelly. In the 28th minute, O’Keeffe was again level to a Mullen effort after a slick move involving Darragh Corcoran and substitute Niall Shortall.

Shamrocks were forced to make two injury-enforced changes in the opening half, Brian Butler coming on for Darren Mullen and Shortall for Cuddihy seven minutes later. For a side that made no alterations during their nervy Leinster final win over Kilmacud Crokes, it was awkward but they went into the break on equal terms with the Munster champions, 11 points apiece.

Shamrocks had run up a three-point lead after two minutes but Ballygunner had cancelled it out by the 10th minute and went ahead for the first time in the 16th minute. O’Keeffe’s puck-outs were even more exemplary than his shot-stopping and he was key to a couple of scores midway through the half.

On three occasions, Ballygunner opened two-point leads in the opening period, the last of them when Mike Mahony sent over a 27th minute score. Shamrocks finished out the half with scores from Ronan Corcoran and Eoin Kenneally.

Scorers for Ballyhale Shamrocks: T.J. Reid (1-8, 1-0 pen, 7 frees, 1 65); E. Cody (0-2); J. Cuddihy, C. Fennelly, A. Mullen, P. Mullen, R. Corcoran, E. Kenneally (0-1 each).

Scorers for Ballygunner: Pauric Mahony (0-6, 4 frees); D. Hutchinson (0-4); P. Fitzgerald (0-2); C. Sheahan, R. Power, M. Mahony, K. Mahony (0-1 each).

BALLYHALE SHAMROCKS: D. Mason; D. Mullen, J. Holden, K. Corcoran; E. Shefflin, R. Reid, D. Corcoran; R. Corcoran (c), P. Mullen; A. Mullen, T.J. Reid, J. Cuddihy; E. Kenneally, C. Fennelly, E. Cody.
Subs for Ballyhale Shamrocks: B. Butler for D. Mullen (inj 7); N. Shortall for J. Cuddihy (inj 13); C. Walsh for E. Kenneally (60+3).

BALLYGUNNER: S. O’Keeffe; I. Kenny (j-c), B. Coughlan, T. Foley; S. O’Sullivan, Philip Mahony, R. Power; C. Sheahan, P. Leavey; P. Hogan, Pauric Mahony, M. Mahony; P. Fitzgerald, D. Hutchinson (j-c), K. Mahony.
Subs for Ballygunner: B. O’Keeffe for M. Mahony (49); H. Ruddle for P. Fitzgerald (55).

Referee: L. Gordon (Galway).


December 18, 2022
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm


Croke Park

GAA Units