Sim­plic­ity en­dures

Irish Examiner - Sport - - GAA -

Well, it prob­a­bly didn’t re­ally. Bally­bo­den sub Niall Ryan spurned a good goal chance when tak­ing his point in the 38th minute. It seemed hasty at the time but, ul­ti­mately, likely would have changed noth­ing. There had been a the­ory in re­cent years that Bal­ly­hale were sup­posed to be com­ing back to the pack in Kilkenny. Now they are just two games away from an­other All-ire­land ti­tle and they pos­sess a daunt­ing mix of youth and ex­pe­ri­ence. A pro­vin­cial hat-trick for Kilkenny this week­end with Bal­ly­hale adding to the ju­nior and in­ter­me­di­ate ti­tles picked up the day be­fore by Dun­na­m­ag­gin and Graigue-bal­ly­callan. Wasn’t this sup­posed to be a lean time for Kilkenny hurl­ing? Bally­bo­den mixed their tac­tics up in the first half by at­tempt­ing some more con­sid­ered ball into the likes of Col­lie Basquel, but its suc­cess was only tem­po­rary, as Bal­ly­hale’s big ball win­ners re­asserted them­selves. Richie Reid at left-wing-back, es­pe­cially in the first half when he de­voured a ton of ball and sent it soar­ing back into the dan­ger area. TJ Reid hit four first-half wides, but some of his stick­work and hand pass­ing was sub­lime. A fairly straight­for­ward day for Car­low’s Patrick Mur­phy, who handed out the odd yel­low when it was called for, but there was noth­ing in the way of dirty play or con­tro­versy to dis­com­mode the of­fi­cials in this one. Bal­ly­hale Sham­rocks play Water­ford’s Bal­ly­gun­ner in the All-ire­land semi-fi­nal in the New Year.

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