Wednesday 22 May 2019

Winning feeling: Corofin and Ballyhale Shamrocks reign supreme in club finals

Celebrations: Corofin players toast their victory in Croke Park. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Celebrations: Corofin players toast their victory in Croke Park. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

Ballyhale Shamrocks and Corofin made it a St Patrick's Day to remember for their communities as they claimed All-Ireland club titles at Croke Park.

Galway's Corofin defended their All-Ireland football title, dominating Kerry's Dr Crokes in a 2-16 to 0-10 win, and reaffirmed their crown as the top club team in the country.

Meanwhile, Kilkenny club Ballyhale Shamrocks 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's by 2-28 to 2-11.

A crowd of 17,819 turned out at Croke Park yesterday afternoon to watch Colin Fennelly give a man-of-the-match performance on a day which also marked Henry Shefflin's first All-Ireland hurling title as manager.

His superbly drilled Ballyhale Shamrocks 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.

Group hug: Ballyhale Shamrocks players, from left, Patrick Mullen, Conor Walsh and TJ Reid. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Group hug: Ballyhale Shamrocks players, from left, Patrick Mullen, Conor Walsh and TJ Reid. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

In the later fixture, Corofin made it back-to-back titles after racking up a 12-point win with more scintillating football.

Crokes were handicapped by the dismissal on 26 minutes of defender John Payne when his boot made contact with Dylan Wall's face in a collision.

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It looked accidental but referee Barry Cassidy produced a red card and the Killarney kingpins' faint hope of salvaging something, even at that stage, was gone.

The second half was a procession, with Corofin picking and choosing their moments as they liked.

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