Stradbally 2-8; Ballyduff Lower 2-6
Stradbally will play senior hurling again in 2011 after they edged out Ballyduff Lower in the relegation play-off in Walsh Park last Saturday.
Featuring another outstanding display at midfield by All-Star centre-back Michael Walsh, a fortunate goal by substitute David Grey proved to be this game’s critical score.
Stradbally looked the better team in the opening stages but in what was to be a feature of the game, finishing was a huge problem for the county football-winning club.
Several good scoring opportunities were wasted including a gilt edged chance of a goal which fell to Robert Aherne after 10 minutes.
At that stage, the sides were level at 0-2 apiece with Shane Aherne and Michael Walsh on target for Stradbally while frees from Jack Kennedy and Derek Van Veen kept Ballyduff in the game.
The first major score of the game came in the 12th minute and was a significant move for the westerners.
A long free from Michael Walsh was fielded brilliantly by Shane Aherne and with the hard part done, the Waterford Under-21 player fired past James Cuddihy with relative ease.
The goal seemed to frighten Ballyduff into action and led by John O’Leary at full-back they began to take the game to Stradbally.
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