Brilliant Ballyhale Win Their Seventh Title with Colm Fennelly Brace in Croke Park Rout

Ballyhale Shamrocks: 2-28 St Thomas’: 2-11

Ballyhale Shamrocks won their seventh All-Ireland title after hammering St. Thomas in the St. Patrick’s Day decider, with Colm Fennelly scoring 2-4 from play. Manager Henry Shefflin added to his already large trophy cabinet.

The first half was an entertaining affair with Ballyhale Shamrocks’ Colm Fennelly netting two goals on the 5th minute and 22nd minute, proving to be too much for the St. Thomas’ defence. He took the ball and burned Sean Skehill and he smacked it from a tight angle with St. Thomas’ goalkeeper Gerald Murray saving it but the rebound came back to him and he dispatched it.

Fennelly’s second goal was an astonishing piece of skill. Adrian Mullen hit a ball into the square and falling backwards, Fennelly raised his hurl and it hit the middle part of it going into the right bottom corner.

Sandwiched in between Fennelly’s goals St. Thomas’ were awarded a dubious penalty when Brendan Farrell was fouled in the box and skipper Conor Cooney stepped up and buried it.

The Kilkenny side led by the five point going in at half-time.

But in the second half, Ballyhale completely took over. TJ Reid would finish with 0-9, four of which came from play. It was Adrian Mullen, who was the surprise package of the day, hitting 0-5 all from play with a wide range of scores.

The tie became a bit of dead rubber, but St. Thomas’ made a late rally in injury time tagging on one or two points and getting a consolation goal through David Burke, which took the bad look off the score-line.

Ballyhale Shamrocks put in one of the all-time displays in Croke Park on Sunday. Colm Fennelly, TJ Reid, Michael Fennelly all used their vast experience to get the job done. St. Thomas’ will be disappointed today, but they can hold their heads up high, even in the end they did not give up.

Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)

Ballyhale Shamrocks: Dean Mason; Darren Mullen, Joey Holden, Brian Butler; Evan Shefflin, Michael Fennelly (c), Patrick Mullen; Ronan Corcoran, Richie Reid; Brian Cody, TJ Reid, Adrian Mullen; Eoin Reid, Colin Fennelly, Eoin Cody.

Subs: Mark Aylward for Eoin Reid (42’), Conor Walsh for Corcoran (54’), Kevin Mullen for Darren Mullen (58’), Joseph Cuddihy for Eoin Cody (58’) Gavin Butler for Michael Fennelly (60’).

Ballyhale Shamrocks’ Scorers: Colin Fennelly 2-4, TJ Reid 0-9 (0-5f), Adrian Mullen 0-5, Eoin Cody 0-2, Patrick Mullen 0-2, Brian Cody, Mark Aylward 0-1, Evan Shefflin 0-1, Ronan Corcoran 0-1, Richie Reid 0-1.

St. Thomas: Gerald Murray; Cian Mahoney, Cathal Burke, Sean Skehill; Donal Cooney, Shane Cooney, Fintan Burke; James Regan, David Burke; David Sherry, Darragh Burke, Bernard Burke; Brendan Farrell, Conor Cooney (c), Eanna Burke.

Subs: Mark Caulfield for Fintan Burke (inj.) (49’), Colin Fallon for Regan (52’), Cian Kelly for Sherry (57’), Damien Finnerty for McGlynn (59’).

St. Thomas’ Scorers: Darragh Burke 0-7 (0-5f, 0-1 ’65), David Burke 1-0, Conor Cooney 1-0 (Pen), James Regan 0-1, Bernard Burke 0-1, Brendan Farrell 0-1, Damien McGlynn 0-1.

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