Henry Shefflin guided Ballyhale Shamrocks to a 16th outright Kilkenny SHC victory at Nowlan Park today.
Shefflin’s charges withstood a spirited second-half rally from Bennettsbridge to claim the silverware on a scoreline of 2-20 to 2-17.
The winners led by 10 points (2-12 to 0-8) at the change of ends with TJ Reid helping himself to 1-8 in the opening period.
Eoin Cody also raised a green flag for the team in white and green and they looked to be home and hosed at the break.
To their credit, Bennettsbridge – who were seeking a first county senior title since 1971 - refused to throw in the towel and they outscored the winners by 2-9 to 0-8 after the resumption.
Full-forward Brian Lannon netted their two goals but they were left to rue their below-par first-half performance at the final whistle.
Ballyhale Shamrocks - D Mason; C Walsh, J Holden, B Butler; E Shefflin (0-1), M Fennelly, R Reid; R Corcoran (0-1), D Mullen (0-1); A Mullen (0-1), TJ Reid (1-10, 0-8f), B Cody (0-2); E Reid (0-1), E Cody (1-1), C Fennelly (0-1). Subs: M Aylward (0-1) for E Reid, P Mullen for D Mullen, J Cuddihy for E Cody, G Butler for E Shefflin, B Aylward for B Cody.
Bennettsbridge - E Cleere; C Murphy, R Lennon (0-1), C Wafer; D Wafer, J Cleere (0-2), E Morrissey (0-2); K Blanchfield (0-1), D Blanchfield; A Cleere (0-1), L Blanchfield (0-1), N Cleere (0-7f); D Walsh, B Lannon (2-1), S Morrissey (0-1). Sub: D Coyne for D Walsh.
Referee - P Cahill.