Shefflin forced off as Oulart snatch it at the death


Oulart-the-Ballagh 1-11 B’hale Shamrocks 1-10: Henry Shefflin was forced to retire injured just 20 minutes into Ballyhale Shamrocks’ single point Leinster Club senior hurling semi-final defeat to Oulart-the-Ballagh at Wexford Park on Saturday afternoon.

Shefflin went down on his ankle as he contested a ground ball. Having received treatment for several minutes he tried to battle on before being forced to retire two minutes later. The loss of Shefflin proved too much for the Kilkenny champions, as they lost out to an injury-time point.

Henry’s brother and club manager, Tommy said: “It’s an ankle injury. The bone may be fractured or broken we’ll just have to wait on scans. It was a huge loss but those things happen in games.”

Eoin Moore had the last word in this titanic tussle as his 80- metre point deep into additional time earned Oulart a dramatic victory .

The Wexford champions surged back in the second half having been outhurled by the Kilkenny side through the opening 30 minutes. Ballyhale, however, could only manage a single second-half point .

Despite their lack of second-half scores the Kilkenny champions looked like holding on as the game was two minutes into additional time before Moore gained possession some 80 metres from goal. He duly fired over a huge point to give his side the lead for the first time in the game.

Ballyhale got off to a blistering start as a superb goal from Colin Fennelly helped put them 1-3 to no 0-0 at after five minutes. Oulart came back and points from Rory Jacob, Conor O’Leary, David Redmond, and Jacob, for his second, reduced the deficit to 1-3 to 0-4 after 12 amazing minutes of hurling.

The Kilkenny champions responded with four quick points through Cha Fitzpatrick, Henry Shefflin (free), Fitzpatrick and a fine Fennelly effort, as they stormed back to lead 1-7 to 0-4 after 20 minutes.

Oulart got the crucial break a minute before the break when Garrett Sinnott cut in along the endline to crash home a superb goal from an acute angle, and when David Redmond lofted over a huge point, they had reduced the deficit to three points, 1-9 to 1-6, at the interval.

Points from Darren Nolan and sub Frank Cullen left the minimum separating the sides.

After 40 minutes Cha Fitzpatrick shot a superb point from out on the wing, but this proved to be his side’s final score. Darren Nolan rowed in with a fine individual point for the home side, while ten minutes from the end a Kirwan 65 had the sides level.

Extra time was beckoning as the game went into the second minute of additional time before Moore’s late intervention.

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