Colin Fennelly inspires Ballyhale to All Ireland glory as Henry Shefflin reaches another milestone
Ballyhale Shamrocks 2-28 St Thomas 2-11
Ballyhale Shamrocks have extended their lead at the top of the All-Ireland club hurling roll of honour, taking their total to seven with the easiest of wins over St Thomas.
It was all too easy for Ballyhale in the second half as they ran the Galway champions ragged, out-scoring them by 0-18 to 1-3.
Colin Fennelly gave a man-of-the-match performance on a day which marked Henry Shefflin's first All-Ireland title as manager. His superbly drilled side had all the answers against opposition that never did themselves justice.
Fennelly finished on 2-4 and was also involved in several other scores in an attack where TJ Reid scored 0-9 and Adrian Mullen 0-5.
Ballyhale led by 2-10 to 1-8 after a lively first half where the Kilkenny champions got off to a great start. They led by 1-4 to 0-1 after five minutes, the goal coming from Fennelly who was already causing major problems in front of the St Thomas goal.
St Thomas needed a quick response and it came in the 10th minute when Damien McGlynn, a pre-match replacement for Eanna Burke, was fouled in the square by Darren Mullen. Conor Cooney fired his penalty shot to the net, providing the Galway champions with a real boost.
It was level after 20 minute before Fennelly edged Ballyhale ahead with a point and followed up with a spectacular goal. His delicate flick changed the direction of he ball, angling it into the corner of the goal past keeper, Gerald Murray.
TJ Reid, who had been relatively quiet up to then, began to assert himself and Ballyhale finished the half strongly to lead by five points.
Scorers: Ballyhale: C Fennelly 2-4, TJ Reid 0-9 (5f), A Mullin 0-5, E Cody, B Cody, P Mullin 0-2 each, E Shefflin, R Reid, R Corcoran, M Aylward 0-1 each.
St. Thomas: Darragh Burke 0-7 (5f, 1’65’), C Cooney (pen), David Burke 1-0 each, B Burke, D McGlynn, J Regan, B Farrell 0-1 each.
Ballyhale Shamrocks: D Mason; D Mullen, J Holden, B Butler; E Shefflin, M Fennelly, R Reid; ; R Corcoran, P Mullen; B Cody, TJ Reid, A Mullen; E Reid, C Fennelly, E Cody.
Subs: M Aylward for E Reid (41), C Walsh for Corcoran (54), J Cuddihy for E Cody (57),K Mullen for D Mullen (57), G Butler for M Fennelly (59).
St. Thomas: G Murray; C Mahoney, C Burke, S Skehill; D Cooney, S Cooney, F Burke; J Regan, David Burke; D Sherry, Darragh Burke, B Burke; B Farrell, C Cooney, D McGlynn.
Subs: M Caulfield for F Burke (49), C Fallon for Regan (52), C Kelly for Sherry (56), D Finnerty for McGlynn (59).
Ref - F Horgan (Tipperary)