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Ballyhale complete three-in-a-row with victory over Dicksboro in Kilkenny SHC final

TJ Reid was on form once again as Ballyhale Shamrocks battered Dicksboro in the Kilkenny county final to secure three-in-a-row

Shamrocks Ballyhale 5-19 Dicksboro 1-10

Ballyhale have completed the three in a row in Kilkenny with a 21-point win over Dickboro.

The Shamrocks proved far too strong for a Boro side that never got going in today’s final, as TJ Reid led from the front with 0-8.

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This is Ballyhale’s 18th county senior hurling title and they are now just two behind Tullaroan’s record of 20.

The Shamrocks mixed their pool of talented hurlers with ferocious intensity and work rate leaving Dicksboro with little chance.

The Boro knew they would need a quick start began well with Bill Sheehan scoring the first point of the game after a threatening run through the Ballyhale defence.

However, that was to be Dicksboro’s last point from play until the 33rd minute of the first half.

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The next 15 minutes until the water break was dominated by Ballyhale. Their work rate gave the Dicksboro men no time on the ball and forced them into mistakes.

TJ Reid opened the scoring for the Shamrocks in the 5th minute before Patrick Mullen pointed a long range effort two minutes later.

Ballyhale’s game plan was clear to see in the opening minutes. Colin Fennelly was isolated on the edge of the square and ball was being played long into the danger man.

Fennelly was causing serious problems for the opposition full back line and it opened up the space for Eoin Reid and Eoin Cody to pop over two more points.

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Ballyhale’s ferocious work rate all over the field paid dividends in the 13th minute. Following a long scrappy sequence in the Dicksboro half forward line, Richie Reid broke out with the ball and won a free that would have a full stadium on their feet.

The resulting free dropped into the square and Tom Kenny of Dicksboro was pressured heavily by the Ballyhale forwards leading the ball to come loose to Brain Cody, who blasted it into the back of the net from close range.

Shane Stapleton opened his scoring with a pointed free but his side were behind 1-6 to 0-2 points at the water break.

Thereafter, the Ballyhale siege continued. Colin Fennelly scored the game’s second goal in typical Colin Fennelly fashion, controlling a long ball, taking on his marker and batting the ball past the goalkeeper to make it 2-07 to 0-2 points.

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Dicksboro tried to answer back but their attempted attacks were easily dealt with by the Ballyhale backs who saw two consecutive long balls in from the Boro dribble out wide.

Scores were much easy to come by for the Shamrocks as Eoin Cody and Ronan Corocoran popped over two points before Stapleton scored another free, and substitute Andrew Gaffney got Dicksboro’s second point from play in the third minute of injury time.

That left the score at half time Ballyhale 2-9 Dicksboro 0-7.

Dicksboro had not posed much threat to the defending champions in the first half but would’ve still believed a comeback was possible if they could get on top early in the second half.

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However, points from Eoin Reid, TJ Reid and Joe Cuddihy extended the Shamrocks’ lead.

It was one-way traffic for the second half and any feint hope of a comeback was put to bed in the 50th minute when Eoin Reid let fly on the ball following a ruck in the square.

Reid was ruthless once again just three minutes later when an Eoin Cody shot was saved by Darragh Holohan, but ‘Rio’ Reid was there to score the rebound.

Eoin Cody wouldn’t be denied just a minute later as another long ball into the full forward line caused Dicksboro trouble — and the foeward was able to strike the ball-one handed into the net from close range.

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Andrew Gaffney was able to answer back for Dicksboro with a goal but the game was long gone at this stage.

Shamrocks Ballyhale: D Mason, D Mullen, J Holden, B Butler, D Corcoran, R Reid (C), P Mullen, E Shefflin, R Corcoran, B Cody, TJ Reid, J Cuddihy, E Reid, C Fennelly, E Cody

Scorers: Eoin Reid (2-2), TJ Reid (0-08 0-05f), B Cody (1-1), E Cody (1-1), R Corocoran  (0-03), C Fennelly (1-00), D Corcoran, P Mullen, J Cuddihy and C Walsh a point each.

Substitutes used: K Mullen, C Walsh, E Kenneally, G Butler, M Aylward

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Dicksboro: D Holohan, C Fitzpatrick, E Cody, E Carroll, O Walsh, C Buckley, T Kenny, C Doheny

(C), R Fitzpatrick, L Moore, S Stapleton, C Kavanagh, B Sheehan, E Gough, M Nolan

Scorers: S Stapleton (0-07, 6f) A Gaffney (1-1) E Carroll and B Sheehan a point each.

Substitutes used: O Gough, A Gaffney, A Nolan, M Gaffney, M Fagan

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Referee: Ray Byrne (Glenmore)

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