KILKENNY CLUB SHC FINAL
O'Loughlin Gaels 0-19 Ballyhale Shamrocks 1-12
O'Loughlin Gaels bounced back after suffering defeat in the final last year to win their fourth Kilkenny senior hurling title at Nowlan Park.
The winners turned in a terrific second half, particularly their defence, to defeat Ballyhale Shamrocks, who were held scoreless during the closing 10 minutes.
Indeed, but for the fact they shot five wides in-a-row in the closing minutes O'Loughlin's would have won by more.
Now they face the Wexford champions (Oulart-the-Ballagh) or St Rynagh's, Offaly in the Leinster Club Championship on November 20.
After the teams traded early points through T.J. Reid and Mark Bergin, Ballyhale hit the front in the third minute when T.J. Reid wriggled his way through the Geals defence before shooting to the net from close range.
That score was the difference between the teams for a long stretch, but with Bergin deadly on frees, O'Loughlin's constantly nibbled away at the deficit. At half-time Gaels were well in touch, 0-8 to 1-7 behind.
Two minutes into the second-half and O'Loughlin's were level thanks to points from Martin Comerford and Bergin, a free following a foul on Huw Lawlor.
Shamrocks regained the lead through T.J. Reid, and they inched 1-10 to 0-10 ahead by the 38th minute.
However, O'Loughlin's were growing stronger and stronger. A hat trick of frees from Bergin drew them level at 1-10 to 0-13 in the 42nd minute.
Twice subsequently the scores were level, but when sub Sean Bolger edged the winners 0-17 to 1-12 in front with a point in the 51st minute, they proceeded to produce their best hurling which earned them a wonderful victory.
O'Loughlin Gaels: S. Murphy; A. Forristal, A. Kearns, E. Kearns; A. O'Brien, B. Hogan, H. Lawlor; P. Butler (0-01), P. Deegan (0-01); A. Geoghegan, M. Kelly, D. Loughnane (0-02); S. Johnston, M. Bergin (0-11), M. Comerford (0-02). Subs - S. Bolger (0-1) for Johnston (0-01) 47th min.
Ballyhale Shamrocks: J. Connolly; K. Mullen, P. Holden, D. Mullen; R. Reid, J. Holden, B. Aylward (0-01); M. Aylward (0-01), H. Shefflin (0-01); C. Fennelly (0-01), E. Reid (0-01), T.J. Reid (1-05); R. Corcoran , P. Reid (0-01), P. Mullen (0-01). Subs - J. Cuddihy for R. Corcoran 45th min; D. Hoyne for P. Reid 58th min.
Referee: R. Dowling (Kilmacow).