Provincial Champions are crowned

Provincial Champions. A dream for many but achieved by few. This dream was made a reality for another bunch of players this weekend. Ballyhale Shamrock’s rose to victory, Nemo Rangers triumphed over Clonmel Commercials and it was third time lucky for Kilcoo.


Ballyhale Title Triumph

Firm favourites, Ballyhale, succeeded in their quest for the Leinster senior hurling championship title after a nine-point win over Carlow’s St Mullins. Although St Mullins were leading at one point in the first half, thanks to Marty Kavanagh and Jason O'Neill, the Shamrock’s did not lie down. The skilful shooting of Ballyhale’s forward line added 1-18 to the scoreboard with 1-10 from play.

It was no surprise that TJ Reid emerged as a key player for the Kilkenny champions, scoring an impressive nine points. Scores from Brian Cody and Eoin Reid, along with a goal from Colin Fennelly helped to secure the Shamrock’s lead. James Doyle was denied the elusive goal to bring the Carlow hurlers back into contention by Ballyhale’s strong defence.

Ballyhale now go on to face Ulster’s Slaughtneil in the All Ireland semi-final which will be played in January. The Derry men have had a clear run at the hurling this autumn, but will their undoubted physical fitness and skill level be enough to trouble TJ and co? Slaughtneil had Na Piarsaigh reeling with a deadly first half two years ago in the All Ireland semi-final, but they couldn’t make it over the line. Anyone who has watched Slaughtneil knows these men can hurl, and Gerald Bradley’s clinker of a point in the Ulster Final underlined their hurling. An interesting game awaits. 


Third Time Lucky for Moran’s Magpies

It was a long time coming for a Down club to be crowned Ulster football champions, but after 31 years, Kilcoo triumphed. Burren were the last Down team to win the Ulster club championship back in 1988, so when joint captains, Conor Laverty and Aidan Branagan, lifted the silverware in Omagh, cheers from supporters were heard from afar. 

A first-half goal by full-back Aidan Branagan pushed Kilcoo ahead with a score of 1-8 to 0-4. It looked like Naomh Conaill’s epic journey had come to the end of the road, but the Glenties men weren’t ready to give up. The Donegal side responded with goals from Charlie McGuinness and Jeaic McKelvey narrowing the gap. But a goal from Daryl Branagan put Kilcoo six points ahead with twenty minutes left. The Glenties men chipped away until the last minute narrowing the gap, with a final score of 2-11 to 2-9. 

The Down champions now face the winners of the Leinster Championship, but can they bring the Andy Merrigan back to the Mournes?


Return of Nemo Rangers

A strong rivalry had brewed between Nemo Rangers and Clonmel Commercials after the Cork side lost to a last-minute goal back in 2015. They left nothing to chance this time, finishing a strong nine points ahead to collect their 17th Munster title. 

Although Commercials took an early lead, Nemo Rangers led for the duration of the game, with scores from Luke Connolly, the O’Donovans and Kerrigan securing a four-point lead at half-time. A final score of 0-15 to 0-6 saw Nemo Rangers lift the silverware. Notably, the final marked Nemo Rangers veteran, Paul Kerrigan’s, 100th championship game for the Cork side, but can he make his 102nd appearance in an All Ireland final?

Nemo Rangers now go on to face Corofin in the All Ireland football semi-final, but who will come out on top?


With just one more provincial championship to be decided, all eyes are now firmly on the battle for an All Ireland title. But who will make it to Croker?