Home GAA Ballyhale Shamrocks Create History As Most Successful Club Side Ever

Ballyhale Shamrocks Create History As Most Successful Club Side Ever

Ballyhale Shamrocks 0-18

Borris-Ileigh 0-15

Michael Corry reporting live from Croke Park

Ballyhale Shamrocks are the most successful club side in the history of Gaelic Games after collecting an unprecedented eighth senior club All-Ireland at Croke Park on Sunday. 

Borris-Ileigh provided stiff opposition in what was the first-ever Kilkenny/Tipperary final at senior club level.

In truth, the Tipperary champions performed well but Ballyhale’s experience seemed to shine through in the end. They led by four at the break and continued to build on that lead in the second half.

It got to the stage of the game where the crowd knew Borris-Ileigh needed a goal but it never came. Jerry Kelly was in scintillating form for them hitting 0-7 (0-6 from play) but TJ Reid had an answer for the Kilkenny men every time hitting 0-8 of his own.

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Back-to-back champions and more titles than any other club. A truly astonishing feat. Here are the major talking points following Ballyhale’s win in Croke Park

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Jerry Kelly’s blistering half of hurling

Borris-Ileigh knew that in order for them to win today they needed big performances, not just from their high profile stars like Brendan Maher but more importantly from the younger members of their side.

Up stepped Jerry Kelly.

The 21-year-old hit five of Borris-Ileigh’s six first-half scores. Four of them came from play while the other was a beautifully executed sideline cut.

A big man for the big occasion clearly.

Paddy Mullen ghosting all over the field

The Ballyhale midfielder hit three long-range points from play in a first-half performance where he seemed to ghost into scorable positions without being noticed.

The 24-year-old didn’t start Ballyhale’s semi-final victory over Slaughtneil yet was drafted back into the middle third for today’s clash. A mark of how effective he is and has been for this great side.

While he didn’t score in the second, he continued to mop up possession both at the back and up front while using it wisely each time.

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Ballyhale’s half-time lead

The champions lead by four at the break which felt strange as Borris-Ileigh played most of the hurling throughout the first quarter of the game.

TJ Reid quietly went about his business knocking over five efforts before the break. Borris-Ileigh were well in the game but you were left wondering psychologically how they would cope being behind at the break.

Borris-Ileigh’s rueful third quarter

Eoin Reid stretched the champions lead to five points seconds after the restart. Borris-Ileigh would have plenty of possession but they just couldn’t make it count on the scoreboard.

Between minutes 30 and 45 the Tipperary men hit a number of wides and dropped three into goalkeeper Dean Mason’s hands. Ballyhale defended well with Darren Mullen, in particular, collecting a lot of ball at corner-back.

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History is complete

No club had ever won eight senior All-Ireland titles until today. Ballyhale Shamrocks now stand out on their own as the most successful club side in Ireland.

The back-to-back champions are history makers and they don’t look like stopping.

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Ballyhale Shamrocks

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

Borris-Ileigh

James McCormack; Séamus Burke, Paddy Stapleton, Liam Ryan; Seán McCormack (jc), Brendan Maher, Ray McCormack; Tommy Ryan, Dan McCormack; Kieran Maher, Niall Kenny, Conor Kenny (jc); Kevin Maher, Jerry Kelly, James Devaney.

About Michael Corry

Sports Journalist based in Dublin. Hit me up if you have a unique story to tell. Email: michael@punditarena.com Twitter: @Corry_10 Instagram: @Corry_10