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Hat-trick hero Shelly inspires Lockes

Kilkenny and Leinster champions John Lockes eased their way through to the final after they proved too strong for the Monaghan and Ulster champions Inniskeen in what was a well-contested game in Mullingar.

John Lockes led 1-6 to 0-6 at half-time, with hat-trick hero Ger Shelly scoring the first of his three goals in the 11th minute.

The Kilkenny side effectively won this game in the opening minutes of the second half, when they hit Inniskeen with a goal and four points in a blistering five-minute spell after which the Ulster champs were on a damage limitation mission.

And while Michael Lennon pulled back a late consolation goal for Inniskeen with seven minutes of normal time left, John Lockes' spot in the final was never in any doubt.

Scorers -- John Lockes: G Shelly 3-0, S Bourke 0-4, O McGrath 0-3 (1f), R Jackman 0-2, JP Corcoran, P Kennedy, S Bergin 0-1 each. Inniskeen: M Lennon 1-4 (0-2f), M Murphy 0-3, TJ Byrne, R Meegan 0-1 each.

John Lockes -- P Morrissey; M Gordon, M Roche, J Power; A O'Sullivan, J O'Neill, M Hartley; JP Corcoran, M Holohan; R Jackman, P Kennedy, O McGrath; G Shelly, S Bourke, J Corcoran. Subs: S Bergin for M Holohan, D Roche for S Bourke, PJ Cody for G Shelly.

Inniskeen -- G Ruddy; P Dooley, P Brooks, B McArdle; PJ Boyle, S Loftus, P Meegan; T Hilliard, G Dooley; M Murphy, D McGahon, K Boylan; TJ Byrne, M Lennon, R Meegan. Subs: P Dowdall for D McGahon, G Boylan for TJ Byrne.

REF -- G Duffy (Antrim).

Irish Independent