Ballyhale Shamrocks secured their twelfth Leinster title at the weekend after besting Kilmacud Crokes.
Pat Hoban’s men stormed ahead in the first half, and at one point held a fourteen-point lead, however, the Dublin champions fought valiantly to bring the game to just one point.
Well done to the lads on winning 4 @gaaleinster championships in a row. Hard luck to @KCrokesGAAClub, your players are a credit to your club 👏. Thanks to all our supporters who travelled up in horrible cold conditions. Next up All- Ireland Semi Final in 2 weeks time #clubpic.twitter.com/x9h2PaFnb1
Ultimately Shamrocks won on a scoreline of 2-12 to 2-19 with goals from Colin Fennelly and Eoin Kennealy, however, speaking to Scoreline manager Hoban admits the performance won’t be good enough to beat their All Ireland Semi-final opponents Ballygunnar;
“It is a testament to Leinster club hurling and the great work that is going on. You do not win anything easy. It was an unbelievable test, last week (against Naas) was a very physically tough game. We are delighted to get through, we came up with one job and that was to win.”
“There is always work to do, and the reality is if we were to continue on and win the game by ten or fifteen points, the expectations would be right up. I think it would not be good enough against Ballygunnar, we know that the players know that, so we have a lot of work to get it right.”
The Shamrocks didn’t make one substitution during the match as they struggled to stop Kilmacud’s second-half ascendency. Hoban partially eluded to the difficulties that Croke Park as a venue brings when trying to affect a game;
“It is so hard here in Croke Park, to influence what is happening on the field from the line. They cannot hear you, the officials are all over you. So you are trying to make switches, make changes, and get that shape back. The reality is, it has to happen on the pitch, that is the reality of Croke Park.”