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20th Jan 2018

Ballyragget reach Croke Park after one of the shortest half-time chats in recent history

In. Out. Winners.

Patrick McCarry

St. Patrick’s Ballyragget are off to the Intermediate hurling championship final in Croke Park.

The Leinster champions picked Mayo’s Tooreen apart to reach the final with 11 points to spare and they rarely looked in danger of missing out.

The Kilkenny side raced into a 0-5 to 0-0 lead in the first half before Tooreen finally got their side of the scoreboard moving. Michael and Joe Brennan then tagged on a couple of late scores in the half to leave it 0-8 to 0-2.

Ballyragget then emerged from their changing rooms and were back out on the pitch for the second half after only seven minutes. The players were clearly keyed up for battle and there were some clear mind games at work.

Tooreen refused to be rushed and play eventually resumed after the Ballyragget boys had been waiting on the pitch for two minutes.

Interestingly, the tactic looked like it could have backfired as the Mayo lads rattled off three unanswered points. That made it 0-8 to 0-5 but it was as close as the game would get. Eoin Bergin walloped in a goal for the Kilkenny club side and they never looked back.

Joe Brennan grabbed himself a goal while Michael Brennan was proving adept at landing scored from placed balls. Joe Brennan’s second goal was also the final score of the game, as Ballyragget ran out 3-14 to 0-12 victors.

Following the match, Geoffrey Brennan spoke to Killian Whelan about the short turnaround at half-time.

“No [we didn’t stay there too long]. It’s always fairly calm in the dressing room. It was the same in the county final and the same all the way through the club championship.

“Jim says a few words and Davy keeps us nice and calm, and resorts back to the game-plan all the time. Just quick ball in, that was all we had to do.”

No need to stay in any longer than they had to. They got out, kept limber and got the job done.

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