Ballyragget earn coveted final place
By Sam Matthews
St Patrick’s Ballyragget have earned themselves a place in next month’s All-Ireland club final, after a hard-fought victory over Galway’s Ballygar last Sunday at Nenagh.
The Kilkenny and Leinster champions will now do battle with Cork side Charleville for the junior title on February 11.
It is just desserts after a long campaign by the Ballyragget men. They were never tested as much this season as last Sunday, where a fiercely-contested game saw them emerge victors by a four-point margin in the end.
St Patrick’s got off to a racing start, with points from Bill Staunton, Kevin Kelly, Michael Brennan, and Brian Phelan. The Kilkenny side went into the break 0-10 to 0-3 ahead.
Following the resumption of play, Ballygar redoubled their efforts and came back with three frees and a 43rd minute goal from Eric Walsh to close the distance between the two.
However Ballyragget managed to hold off the late rally from the westerners, with Joe Brennan, Geoffrey Brennan, and Brian Phelan all pointing. The team was without injured captain Kieran Delaney, who it is hoped will be fit for next month’s final.
St Patrick’s Ballyragget team: M Gannon; J Mooney, S Staunton, P Cahill; R Healy, G Brennan, S Roberts; B Phelan, J Gannon; J Phelan (capt), S Kenny, K Kelly; M Brennan, B Staunton, J Brennan.