Limerick intermediate hurling champions Ballybrowne have booked a Munster semi-final spot following their 3-10 to 2-7 win over Cork’s Ballinhassig.
Extra-time failed to divide the teams in Pairc Ui Rinn on Bank Holiday Monday last but on this occasion, Ballybrown were clearly the better team.
They now advance to next Saturday’s provincial semi-final against Kerry senior champions; Ballyduff.
That game will again take place in Kilmallock with a 2.00 start.
Ballyduff (managed by Patrickswell’s PJ O’Grady) were beaten in last year’s Munster IHC final by Effin. That Effin victory saw Limerick win the competition for the second time in three years.
The Munster IHC is only 10 years old and Ballybrown now find themselves bidding to become the first club to win both the provincial senior and intermediate championships.
The foundation for this quarter-final win was set in the first half. Despite playing against the tricky cross-field wind they led 2-7 to 0-5 at half time.
While they only added 1-3 in the second half they restricted Ballinhassig to scores from frees.
Indeed the Cork champions only remained in touch thanks to two second half goals from frees from goalkeeper Martin Coleman.
In the first half Ballybrown had goals from Bryan Griffin and Alan O’Connor.
SCORERS – Ballybrown Alan O’Connor 1-7 (1-0pen, 0-5frees 0-1 ’65), Bryan Griffin, David Hall 1-0 each, Kyle Loftus, Lee Doolan, James Hall 0-1 each. Ballinhassig: Martin Coleman 2-0 (2frees), Fintan O’Leary 0-4 (1free), Darren Dineen 0-3 (2frees).
BALLYBROWN – David Lyons; Roddy Burke, James Kennedy, Stevie O’Reilly; Ian Burke, Richie Kenny, Des Kenny; Adrain Roberts, James Hall; Kyle Loftus, Shane Kenny, Alan O’Connor; Mikey Kiely, Bryan Griffin, Lee Doolan. Subs: Stephen Foster for Roberts (44mins), David Hall for Doolan (51mins), Evan Loftus for Kyle Loftus (55mins).
BALLINHASSIG – Martin Coleman; Brian O’Sullivan, Edward Finn, Michael Desmond; Mike Sheehan, Michael Ahern, Brendan Lombard; Brendan Coleman, Shane McCarthy; Darren Dineen, Paul Coomey, Stephen Dineen; Paul O’Sullivan, Diarmuid Duggan, Fintan O’Leary. Subs: Michael Collins for Duggan (42mins), Donnacha O’Donvan for Darren Dineen (42mins), Brendan Holland for O’Sullivan (56mins).
REFEREE – Johnny Ryan (Tipperary).
See full report and reaction in the weekend print edition of the Limerick Leader.