Willie Dunphy, Clough/Ballacolla, and Andrew Collier, Camross, in action during the Laois SHC Final.
Willie Dunphy, Clough/Ballacolla, and Andrew Collier, Camross, in action during the Laois SHC Final.

Laois SHC Final: Clough-Ballacolla triumph again

Laois SHC Final

Clough-Ballacolla 1-24 Camross 0-16

By Steven Miller at MW Hire O'Moore Park

Clough-Ballacolla have won the Laois senior hurling title for the third year in a row following an impressive win over old foes Camross in O’Moore Park. 

Not since 1918 had a team from the Clough-Ballacolla parish won three successive titles - but they withstood a stern Camross test in the opening half to lead 1-13 to 0-7 at the break. 

Stephen ‘Picky’ Maher and Willie Dunphy were in inspired form for the winners in the opening half, hitting 1-10 between them as they won their sixth county final since 2009.

Camross went for goals early on - but unlike the 2017 final when the sides last met at this stage - they didn’t hit the net and had to be content with points from Zane Keenan frees as well as efforts from Gearoid Burke, Tomas Keyes and Mark Dowling. 

By the 25th minute there was only one point in it, 0-8 to 0-7, but a Stephen Bergin point nudged them two ahead and then a delightful pass from Cathal Dunne set Dunphy through for a brilliantly-taken goal. 

A ferocious period of play followed but Ballacolla won that mini battle by hitting the next four points to lead by nine points at half time. 

They extended that to 11 early in the second half and though Camross staged a bit of a revival by hitting four points on the trot through Keenan, Gearoid Burke and Tomas Keyes, Clough-Ballacolla were in control throughout the second half to eventually win by 11. 

Scorers for Clough-Ballacolla: S Maher 0-11 (six frees, two 65s, one sideline), W Dunphy 1-4, S Bergin 0-3, J Walshe 0-2, Cillian Dunne 0-1, W Hyland 0-1, R Broderick 0-1, K Mulhall 0-1.

Scorers for Camross: Z Keenan 0-8 (all frees), G Burke 0-3, T Keyes 0-2, D Mortimer 0-2, D Gilmartin 0-1

CLOUGH-BALLACOLLA: Cathal Dunne; D Conway, D Maher, E Doyle; Tom Delaney, R Broderick, L Cleere; K Mulhall, A Corby; R Phelan, W Hyland, S Bergin; Cillian Dunne, S Maher, W Dunphy.

Subs: J Walshe for Mulhall (39), J O’Dwyer for Cillian Dunne (53), P Brennan for Hyland (57), B Corby for Cleere (59), M Hennessy for Bergin (59)

CAMROSS: T Doran; D Duggan, A Collier, J Phelan; E Dowling, E Gaughan, L Burke; O Phelan, D Palmer; T Keyes, Z Keenan, G Burke; D Delaney, C Collier, M Dowling.

Subs: D Mortimer for Delaney (38), L Delaney for O Phelan (45), D Gilmarting for G Burke (53), R Tyrell for J Phelan (55), M Collier for L Burke (58)

REFEREE: P Phelan (Castletown)