Clough-Ballacolla 2-9 Ballinakill 0-6
2004 Laois U-21 HC Final
Not for the first time, an U-21 championship went overtime and into the following year.
On St Patrick’s Day in 2005 in O’Moore Park, Clough-Ballacolla and Ballinakill met in the 2004 Laois U-21 hurling final – with Ballacolla building on their minor success of 2002 and 2003 by adding another title to their collection.
Clough-Ballacolla led 0-5 to 0-3 at half time, and a kicked goal from Shane Hanlon was a crucial score early in the second half as it put some distance between the sides for the first time.
Ballinakill, with James and John Walsh to the fore, battled away but Clough-Ballacolla weren’t to be denied and a second goal from Hanlon late on coupled with a sideline cut from Ray Cummins and the reliable free-taking of John T Delaney made sure of the win.
A number of that Clough-Ballacolla team were part of the club’s historic senior breakthrough in 2009 while players from both sides went on to play for Laois at senior level.
Alf Harvey’s photos from this time 14 years ago will no doubt bring back memories for both sets of players.
Clough-Ballacolla: John T. Delaney 0-7 (five frees), Shane Hanlon 2-0, Ray Cummins 0-1, Willie Hyland 0-1. Ballinakill: John Walsh 0-4 (all frees), James Walsh 0-2 (one free),
CLOUGH-BALLACOLLA: Oliver Hally; Tomas Phelan, Mark Kirwan, John Kavanagh; Pat McEvoy, John A Delaney, Brendan McEvoy; Ray Cummins, John Dowling; Willie Hyland, Kevin Keyes, Michael McEvoy; John T. Delaney, Shane Hanlon, Damien Bergin. Subs: Darren Maher for Damien Bergin (44)
BALLINAKILL: Colm Barry; Enda Walsh, Pat Dwyer, Brian Walsh; Donal Delaney, Barry Dunne, Michael Malone; James Walsh, David Phelan; Edward Dwyer, Damien Carter, Ger McDonald, Paul Phelan, John Walsh, Michael Jackman.