Ballyhale Shamrocks 1-24
It may not overly concern Ballyhale Shamrocks once the championship enters full swing, but the nature of this one-point defeat to Clara will frustrate the favourites to retain their crown until they next to take to the pitch as they let a six-point lead slip in Thomastown to hand Clara an opening round victory in the St Canice’s Credit Union Senior Hurling League.
It was a game of point taking for the majority of the first half as Ballyhale Shamrocks raced into a 0-07 to 0-02 lead with Kilkenny stars Eoin Cody and Adrian Mullen leading the charge for the county champions.
See also: Bennettsbridge overpower disappointing Dicksboro to claim opening round Kilkenny SHL victory
Clara responded with talented forwards Chris Bolger and Liam Ryan coming to the fore as they managed to get four consecutive points before the Shamrocks regained the ascendancy and moved into a 0-12 to 0-08 lead.
A goal from Clara prior to half-time was fundamental in keeping them in the tie at the interval, Ballyhale Shamrocks 0-15 to 1-10 Clara.
See also: Lisdowney ease past sloppy Mullinavat in St Canice’s Credit Union Senior Hurling League
Shamrocks found the back of the net themselves and continued to take their scores when afforded the opportunity as they took a deserved 1-23 to 1-17 lead midway through the second half.
A Clara victory seemed highly unlikely at that stage but their refusal to wilt was both admirable and rewarding.
See also: Tullaroan get the better of Erin’s Own to seal opening round victory
Two points in-a-row followed by another goal left a single point between the sides with five minutes remaining and they took full advantage of the shift in momentum to score three more points and shock Pat Hoban’s men.
Ballyhale Shamrocks come up against Mullinavat on Saturday as both teams go in search of a first win of the campaign while Clara face Tullaroan later that evening.