Ten points from club captain TJ Reid ensured a 15th Kilkenny Senior Hurling title would be heading back to Ballyhale as Shamrocks overcame defending champions Clara at Nowlan Park today by seven points on a 1-20 to 1-13 scoreline – the perfect way for Reid to mark his 27th birthday.
It was Clara who got the better of the starts and with only 4 minutes on the clock already had a four point lead acquired up 1-02 to 0-01 thanks to a goal from Chris Bolger but Ballyhale found the back of the net soon after through Mark Aylward to cut the deficit to a single point.
Leading midway through the first half, Clara’s initial burst seemed to fizzle out scoring-wise, Ballyhale putting up seven unanswered points to go into the break 1-11 to 1-06, Reid picking up five points for his efforts.
Clara trailed for the second half, Shamrocks adding nine points to their first half tally but Lester Ryan’s men couldn’t find the go-ahead scores and surrendered their 2013 crown to a deserving Ballyhale side.
As 2014 champions, Ballyhale will have it all to do again next Sunday in Parnell Park when they take on Kilmacud Crokes in the AIB Leinster Club Senior Hurling Semi-Final.
Photos: Ballyhale Shamrocks v Clara at Nowlan Park
Photos by Ken McGuire for So Kilkenny.