Clough-Ballacolla 2-17 Borris-Kilcotton 1-16 Laois Shopping Centre SHC Round 2
Two early goals from Stephen Bergin helped Clough-Ballacolla to an impressive win over Borris-Kilcotton in the Laois SHC in O’Moore Park this evening, a result that ensures their place in the knockout stages and in pole position for the semi-finals.
Bergin, who scored a goal for Laois in this year’s Joe McDonagh final, hit the back of the net twice in the opening five minutes here and Clough-Ballacolla never looked back after that.
It was a man of the match performance from Bergin who finished with 2-3 to his name in a fine display.
It meant they were seven points up early on and though Borris-Kilcotton settled and were competitive thereafter it was a head-start that could never make up.
Having lost heavily to Borris-Kilcotton in each of the last two championships, this was a welcome upturn in fortunes and it represented their best display since the 2017 county final loss to Camross.
Even without Willie Hyland, who was serving the second game of a two-match suspension, Ballacolla caused plenty of problems for a Borris-Kilcotton defence that had impressively kept tabs on Camross the last day.
PJ Scully hit 1-2 and Daire Quinlan and Joe Campion pointed from play to bring the deficit back to a point midway through the half – but Ballacolla then hit six points in a row, three from Picky Maher, two from Robbie Phelan and one from Aidan Corby to lead 2-8 to 1-4 coming up to half time.
Paddy Whelan and PJ Scully pointed either side of Jordan Walshe but at half time, Clough-Ballacolla led 2-9 to 1-6.
Joe Campion was Borris-Kilcotton’s best player on the evening and he pointed straight from the re-start.
PJ Scully added a free (and would eventually finish with 1-10) but Willie Dunphy and Stephen Bergin hit back with points and Borris-Kilcotton could never put more than two back to back as Aidan Corby, Jordan Walshe and Bergin found the range to keep Ballacolla a safe distance clear.
Ballacolla now top the group on four points after two games and play Camross in their final outing in three weeks time.
Borris-Kilcotton will play Abbeyleix in their final group game where they need to win to go through.
SCORERS – Clough-Ballacolla: Stephen Bergin 2-3, Stephen Maher 0-5 (three frees), Aidan Corby 0-3, Jordan Walshe, Willie Dunphy and Robbie Phelan 0-2 each. Borris-Kilcotton: PJ Scully 1-10 (0-10 frees), Joe Campion 0-4, Daire Quinlan 0-1 and Paddy Whelan 0-1
BORRIS-KILCOTTON: Eoin Fleming; Jim Fitzpatrick, Brian Stapleton, Stephen Finan; Danny Fitzpatrick, Matthew Whelan, Paddy Whelan; Colm Stapleton, Conor Kilbane; Neil Foyle, Joe Campion, Daire Quinlan; PJ Scully, Aaron Dunphy, Stephen Dunphy. Subs: Noel Delaney for B Stapleton (45), Dean Carey for S Dunphy (53), Stephen Phelan for Quinlan (55)
CLOUGH-BALLACOLLA: Danny Hanlon; Eoin Doyle, Lee Cleere, Darren Maher; Diarmuid Conway, John A Delaney, Michael McEvoy; Brian Corby, Aidan Corby; Willie Dunphy, Stephen Bergin, Jordan Walsh; Stephen Maher, Robbie Phelan, Mark Hennessy. Subs: Sean Corby for Dunphy (53), Tom Delaney for B Corby
Referee: Anthony Stapleton (Rathdowney-Errill)
SEE ALSO – Check out all our Laois SHC coverage here