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Sunday, 17 March, 2002, 17:54 GMT
Ballinderry are champions
Ballinderry Shamrocks celebrate their All-Ireland Club win in Thurles on Sunday
Ballinderry Shamrocks celebrate their All-Ireland win
Ballinderry 2-10 0-9 Nemo Rangers

Ballinderry lifted the All Ireland Club Championship for the first time in their history amidst emotional scenes at Semple Park, Thurles on Sunday.

It might have been a long way to Tipperary for the Derry Champions put they made it all worthwhile with a brilliant all-action St Patrick's Day performance.

However, the Ulster kingpins had to hold off a storming second half comeback by the six-time champions before taking the trophy back to the shores of Lough Neagh.

Brian McIver's boys had taken a 1-3 0-5 half-time lead and then stretched out a five-point lead early in the second half.

But true to form, the Cork champions showed great character in storming back to within a point with 10 minutes remaining.

Ger Cassidy scored 1-4 in Sunday's final
Top points scorer Ger Cassidy in happy mood

But a Ger Cassidy goal gave the Derry Shamrocks the boost they needed eight minutes from the end and from there it was all up for Nemo.

Cassidy was top scorer of the day adding four points to his goal, including a free, the only one Ballinderry required on the day.

It was their open play that finally buried Nemo who have now lost the last two finals.

Apart from being all at sea in the middle of the second period, Ballinderry's defence was watertight.

Enda Muldoon had a roving role and spent most of his time cleaning up at the back.

Conlith Gilligan, who had been Ballinderry's star throughout the campaign was fairly muted.

But Niall McCusker and Kevin McGuckin were trojans in defence while Declan Bateson, who scored the Derrymen's first goal, was always on hand to help out in attack.

Nemo started in their flowing style and after Muldoon had opening the scoring with a typically laid-back opener, Nemo turned it on with two Colin Corkery points.

Bateson goal

But the game turned on a sixpence in the 20th minute. Muldoon cleared up from deep before sending a long ball upfield.

It reached skipper Adrian McGuckin who made ground before feeding Darren Conway who had made himself free on the left.

His looping cross was met with great velocity and confidence by Bateson who literally beat Nemo goalkeeper Don Heaphy to the punch.

It was the first goal that Nemo had conceded in this season's campaign.

After that it was all Ballinderry who travelled with the whole support of the town on their bumper.

Gilligan finally got his name on the scoresheet with Cassidy getting his first and then Conway another.

Points from Kevin Cahill, Joe Kavanagh and Corkery again, saw Nemo keep Ballinderry to a point advantage at the change over.

But on the restart, Ballinderry just took off.

Barry McOscar, Cassidy and Bateson all rattled over points as Nemo were still having their tea in half-time change over.

Then out of the blue, Nemo turned on the power to reduce the five-point deficit.

A happy Shamrocks coach Brian McIver
A happy Shamrocks coach Brian McIver

The revitalised Cork side started with a point from Gary Murphy in the 42nd minute after Gilligan became one of four players yellow-carded by referee Seamus McCormack.

Points then came thick and fast as Ballinderry started to panic in defence.

Points from John P O'Neill, Corkery and then substitute Stephen Callahan brought the score to within a point again in the 48th minute.

But the game was turned on its head again in the 52nd minute when Cassidy took advantage of a Nemo mix-up in the box to fire home the ball into an empty net.

From then on in, there was only one team in it.

Further points from Cassidy and Conway saw Ballinderry pull away before the big left-corner forward rifled over his fourth point in injury-time to end Nemo's agony.

Ballinderrry: M Conlan, K McGuckin, N McCusker, S Mullan, R Wilson, R McGuckin, D Crozier, S Donnelly, E Muldoon (0-1), B McCusker (0-1), C Gilligan (0-1), D Conway (0-2), D Bateson (1-1), A McGuckin, G Cassidy (1-4).

Nemo Rangers: D Heaphy, K Kavangh, N Geary, S O'Brien, G Murphy (0-1), S O'Brien, M Cronin, M Cahill, D Kavanagh (0-1), D Meighan, J P O'Neill (0-1), M McCarthy, J Kavanagh (0-1), C Corkery (0-4), A Cronin. Replacement: S Callahan (0-1)

Referee: Seamus McCormack (Meath).

Birr 2-10 1-5 Clarinbridge

Birr lifted their third All-Ireland Hurling Club title thanks to a spirited second-half performance against the Galwaymen in Thurles.

After playing against Birr were trailing 1-2 to 1-4 at the break, but stormed back on the resumption with Johnny Pilkington's goal putting them well in control.

The men from Offaly outscored Clarinbridge 1-8 to 0-1 in that second period to claim the honours.

BBC's Owen McConnon reports from Thurles
Ballinderry's greatest day
Ballinderry's top scorer Ger Cassidy
''It's days like this you dream of''
See also:

15 Mar 02 |  Northern Ireland
Ballinderry face huge test
24 Feb 02 |  Northern Ireland
Ballinderry charge to final
09 Dec 01 |  Northern Ireland
Ballinderry breeze past Gaels
25 Nov 01 |  Northern Ireland
Ballinderry bridge 20-year gap
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