Corcoran's class inspires Ballyhale
SCOIL Aireagail Ballyhale were crowned champions at Dr Cullen Park, where they gained late control to defeat holders St Fergal's of Rathdowney.
Ronan Corcoran, the Scoil Aireagal full-forward, proved a match-winner. The Ballyhale Shamrocks clubman scored 0-10, 0-3 from play, and his overall display in attack was the main difference between the sides.
In their first significant attack, Aireagail's corner-forward Kevin Farrell cut in along the right wing to send the ball to the Fergal's net.
By half-time it was 1-6 to 0-7 in favour of the challengers – the scoring highlight of the half being a beautiful point from a sideline cut by St Fergal's No 13 Mark Kavanagh.
Corcoran edged the Ballyhale side in front again from a free and then added another from play before again finding the mark. Fergal's fought back to level (1-7 to 0-10), but the game swung dramatically in Aireagail's favour on 47 minutes when Fergal's midfielder Colm Stapleton was shown a second yellow card.
From there, there was no comeback for the Laois side as Scoil Airegail piled on the scores to run out seven-point winners.
Scorers –Scoil Aireagail: R Corcoran 0-10 (7f), K Farrell
1-0, R Coffey 0-2, E Power, R Coady 0-1 each. St Fergal's: D Quinlan 0-6 (5f, 1 '65'), M Kavanagh 0-2 (1 s-l), S Bergin, L
O'Connell 0-1 each.
Scoil Aireagal – A Roche; J Kenneally, E Aylward, D Halligan; P Kirwan, J Grace, A Doherty; P Delaney, B Phelan; M Jones, E Power, C Phelan; K Farrell, R Corcoran, A Fitpatrick. Subs: R Coffey for Power (42); R Coady for Farrell (45); D Waters for B Phelan (58).
St Fergal's – D Brennan; C Quinlan, E Doyle, C Kilbane; R Phelan, G Dunne, B Meade; C Stapletown, L O'Connell; L Cleere, P Whelan, S Bergin; M Kavanagh, D Quinlan, A Corby.
Subs: D Hogan for Whelan (38); E Fitzpatrick for Cleere (51).
Ref – B Deering (Carlow)