Ballyhale Shamrocks advance to All Ireland final

Ballyhale Shamrocks advance to All Ireland final

Ballyhale Shamrocks 2-17

Gort 1-15

Henry Shefflin scored five points as Ballyhale Shamrocks defeated Gort to advance to the All Ireland Club final following a lively encounter at O'Connor Park, Tullamore.

Galway champions Gort contributed handsomely to a fine first half, but Ballyhale didn't encounter too much trouble after the restart as Shefflin was instrumental.

A fourth minute Richie Cummins goal gave Gort a dream start, but Ballyhale responded with two majors of their own before the break.

TJ Reid and Eoin Reid rattled the Gort net as an efficient Ballyhale outfit went in at the interval armed with a 2-9 to 1-8 advantage.

Gerard O'Donoghue and Cummins trimmed the deficit with Gort points, but Ballyhale then struck five points in a row to seize control in the third quarter.

Gort battled until the end, but Ballyhale were deserving victors and the five times All Ireland winners will face Kilmallock at Croke Park on St Patrick's Day.

Paddy O'Loughlin and Graeme Mulcahy bagged goals as Kilmallock cruised to a convincing 2-19 to 0-12 success over Portaferry in Mullingar.

Ballyhale Shamrocks: R Reid; K Nolan, J Holden, A Cuddihy; P Shefflin (0-1), M Fennelly, A Cummins; B Alyward (0-3), C Walsh (0-3); J Fitzpatrick, H Shefflin (0-5), TJ Reid (1-2, 1f); P Reid (0-2), C Fennelly (0-1), E Reid (1-0).  Subs: R Corcoran for Cummins (37mins), B Cody for E Reid (56mins), M Dermody for P Shefflin (56mins), G Butler for Fitzpatrick (58 mins).

Gort: G Lally; M McMahon, T Linnane, M Cummins; A Harte, G Lally (0-2, 1 ‘65), S Linnane; S Forde, J Grealish (0-1); M Mullins (0-2, 1f), A Mullins; P Killilea (0-1); G O’Donoghue (0-2), R Cummins (1-3), G Quinn (0-2, 2fs).  Subs: J Grealish for Killilea (42mins), W Walsh (0-2) for Grealish (43mins), C Helebert for Quinn (51mins), N Forde for S Forde (55mins), K Higgins for O’Donoghue (59mins).

Referee: J Ryan (Tipperary).