Laois Shopping Centre Intermediate Hurling Championship Relegation Final
By Gavin Cooper
IT WILL be Ballypickas who will be playing Junior hurling next year after Clonad romped to an impressive victory over them in Mountmellick on Saturday evening. Fionn Holland and Ray Killeen both played superbly with both notching 1-3 in the match.
The game started with both sides looking a bit nervy. An MJ Lalor free was matched by a point from PJ Daly. Lalor got his second of the game before Fionn Holland and Ray Killeen pointed for their side. Daire McWey got a point from play and Lalor got his third of the game with a superb long-range effort.
Sean Egan left two defenders in his wake before unleashing a shot into the net to settle his side down. The goal gave Clonad a lift and John Noonan and Killeen fired over to give them a four point lead. MJ Lalor replied with a free before Holland got his third of the game.
Good hassling from Paul Ging allowed him to win possession and raise a white flag as Clonad went into the break with a five-point lead.
Liam Lalor and MJ Lalor both scored from play as Ballypickas started the second half just like the first.
However, Clonad’s forwards were on their game and Fionn Holland rattled the ball beyond Sean O’Dea in the Ballypickas goal. Killeen and MJ Lalor traded points before Clonad got in for their third goal. After a scrappy piece of play, John Burke was on hand to drive the ball along the ground to raise the third green flag.
MJ Lalor tapped over another free but there was no stopping Clonad’s momentum as Daly and Adam Holland tacked more points on to the scoreboard. Paddy Boggin fired over for Ballypickas before Clonad got in for their fourth goal of the game, Killeen taking his tally to 1-3 after a fine run was capped off with a goal.
Ballypickas ended the game with 14 men as Ciaran Bowe received his marching orders for an off the ball incident. PJ Daly and Adam Dunne ended the game’s scoring and secured Clonad’s intermediate status for next year.
For Ballypickas, it’s a drop down to junior hurling which they’ll be disappointed with after such fine performances in the earlier rounds of the championship.
CLONAD: Colin Delaney; Denis Sheehan, Gary Hogan, Gareth O’Brien; Sean Cahill, James Ging, Dean Delaney; John Noonan (0-1), Fionn Holland (1-3, 0-1f); John Burke (1-0), Paul Ging (0-1), Sean Ging (1-0); Ray Killeen (1-3), PJ Daly (0-3), Adam Dunne (0-2).
Subs: Joe Fahey for Burke (55m)
BALLYPICKAS: Sean O’Dea; William McDonald, Ciaran Bowe, Eoin McEvoy; Ger Whelan, Paddy Gorman, Declan Hannon; Paddy Boggin (0-1), Tim Cass; MJ Lalor (0-8, 0-4fs), Daire McWey (0-1), Liam Lalor (0-1); Jim Leech, Colin Kinsella, Noel Leech.
Subs: Michael Downey for Hannon (18m), Jamie O’Dea for N Leech (58m), Micheal Walsh for McEvoy (58m), Brian Lalor for Cass (62m)
Referee: Eoin Scully (Camross)