Leinster club IHC final: Brennan sends Graigue-Ballycallan on their way

December 01, 2018

Kilkenny manager Eddie Brennan.
©INPHO/Tommy Dickson.

Graigue-Ballycallan (Kilkenny) 2-17

Portlaoise (Laois) 0-15 

Eddie Brennan scored 1-1 as Graigue-Ballycallan proved too strong for Portlaoise in the Leinster club IHC final at Nowlan Park.

In a game which pitted the Laois hurling manager against his selector Tommy Fitzgerald, the Kilkenny champions were never headed after Brennan scored the opening goal in the sixth minute. The winners went on to lead by 1-8 to 0-7 at the break and sealed victory with a second major from Aaron Brennan in the closing stages.

Laois senior 'B' winners Portlaoise led early on thanks to points from Cathal Duggan and Cormac Rigney, but found themselves chasing the game after Cats legend Brennan raised the first green flag after being set up by Sean O'Dwyer.

'The Town' narrowed the gap to two points through scores from Duggan, Rigney and David O'Mahony before a brace of Conor Murphy frees left four in it at the interval.

Graigue-Ballycallan resumed with points from Sean Ryan, Aaron Brennan, Murphy and Eddie Brennan to lead by 1-13 to 0-8 after 40 minutes. Murphy's eighth free kept the hosts firmly in the driving seat before Portlaoise rallied with points from Cian Taylor, Rigney, O'Mahony and substitute Colm Gleeson to reduce the deficit to four with eight minutes remaining.

However, they couldn't get any closer as Graigue put the result beyond doubt with a late Sean Ryan point and a goal from Aaron Brennan.

Graigue-Ballycallan - C Hoyne; D Egan, B Murphy, T Ronan; C Flynn, E Egan, K Egan; S Butler, J Roberts; B Ryan, E Brennan (1-1), C Murphy (0-9, 8f); A Brennan (1-3), S O'Dwyer, S Ryan (0-4). Subs: R Keoghan for J Roberts, W O'Connor for S O'Dwyer, V Teehan for C Murphy, T Dunphy for E Brennan.

Portlaoise - E Nealon; J Geaney, C Lynch, F Flanagan; B Mulligan, C Healy, C McEvoy; D Lynch, G Bergin; T Fitzgerald (0-3), D O'Mahony (0-2), C Rigney (0-6, 4f); K Murphy, C Taylor (0-1), C Duggan (0-2). Subs: D Feane for J Geaney, C Gleeson (0-1) for K Murphy, A Bergin for G Bergin, J Phelan for D Lynch.

Referee - G McGrath.

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