The hurlers of Newbridge and Ballygar were defeated by four points, 1-10 to 0-17, last Sunday in Nenagh in the All-Ireland junior hurling semi-final.
They hurled well enough in the second half, but they left the game behind them in the first half, and were behind by 0-11 to 0-3 at the break.
Inspired by wing-forward Eric Walsh, who shot 1-3 in succession, the Ballygar men staged a good revival and came to within two of the Kilkenny champions.
Kilkenny’s Ballyragget responded to the challenge and closed out the game with points from Joe Brennan and an impressive contribution from Brian Phelan.
Ballygar had late chances too and both Stephen Lohan and Eric Walsh were unfortunate not to score another goal or two which would have given oxygen to their cause.
Ballygar team manager Paddy Flynn was proud of his players, but he felt it was an opportunity missed for the club.
“We lost the game in the first half. We made too many errors in that half and perhaps we were over-anxious. Ballyragget is a very good team and we needed to be at our best to beat them. We wish them well in the final. We had great support and the lads put in a supreme effort in the second half. I am very proud of them, but it just did not happen for us on the day.”
Ballygar had good displays from Eric Walsh (1-5, 5fs ), Derek Nolan (0-2 ), Stephen Lohan (0-2, 1f ) and DJ Nolan.