Walsh inspires Stradbally to kick on
Stradbally 0-8 Ballinacourty 0-6
Michael Walsh and Robert Ahearne slotted late points as Stradbally collected an 18th title at Fraher Field last night.
A fiercely contested game was tied at six points each before captain Walsh powered forward and sent them in front. Ahearne tacked on another to made victory secure. Stradbally's No 6 Shane Lannon received the man of the match award for a hard shift throughout and two first-half points. Patrick Hurney hit four points for Ballinacourty, who regretted 13 wides on the night.
Shane Ahearne opened for Stradbally after three minutes from an acute angle before Hurney profited from a swiftly taken free at the opposite end. On 14 minutes, Hurney found older brother Gary and he was hauled to the ground by Kevin Coffey for a penalty. Michael O'Halloran dragged his shot wide.
Shane Ahearne (free) and Shane Lannon restored Stradbally's lead as Ballinacourty wides mounted and they led 0-4 to 0-2 at the break.
Both teams rung the changes for the second half and 'Courty quickly levelled the contest at five points apiece. A scoreless spell of 20 minutes followed before Walsh and Ahearne seized the day.
The newly crowned champions must park the celebrations and quickly switch their attention to tonight's Munster club quarter-final against Nemo Rangers.
Scorers - Stradbally: S Lannon, S Ahearne (1f) 0-2 each; T Connors, M Sweeney (f), M Walsh, R Ahearne 0-1 each. Ballinacourty: P Hurney 0-4 (2fs); M Fives, G Hurney (f) 0-1.
Stradbally - E Cunningham; K Lawlor, K Coffey, L Casey; T Grey, S Lannon, T Connors; J Mullaney, M Walsh; J Hearne, R Ahearne, D Weldon; M Sweeney, S Ahearne, G Power. Subs: P Kiely for Weldon (h-t); J Coffey for Power (h-t); E O'Brien for Sweeney (56); S Cunningham for Hearne (59).
Ballinacourty - S Enright; S Briggs, S O'Hare, B Looby; E Bergin, R Foley, D Collins; J Hurney, C Prunty; M O'Halloran, M Ferncombe, E Collins; S O'Donovan, G Hurney, P Hurney. Subs: M Fives for O'Halloran (h-t); C McCarthy for Looby (BC, 39); M Maher for Ferncombe (49).
Ref - A Kissane