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Watch: Joyous Scenes As Ballygunner Land First Munster Title In 17 Years

Watch: Joyous Scenes As Ballygunner Land First Munster Title In 17 Years
By Arthur James O'Dea

Putting an end to their unenviable record in the Munster club hurling championship, Ballygunner overcame Na Piarsaigh in Thurles this afternoon.

A stellar second-half performance from the Waterford champions ensured an impressive 2-14 to 2-8 win that will now see Ballygunner progress into what will only be their second All-Ireland semi-final.

For Na Piarsaigh, it brings an end to the Limerick club's hugely impressive provincial run. A relatively recent addition to the county's top table, they had yet to lose a provincial fixture before today's defeat.

All attention will go toward Ballygunner, however, and when the final whistle blew in Semple Stadium this afternoon, it was impossible to miss just what this breakthrough meant for all involved.

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After a hotly-contested first-half, Ballygunner managed to reach the 30-minute mark with a slim winning-margin; 1-7 to 1-6 meaning they could take virtually nothing for granted.

However, where most commentators would have expected last year's beaten All-Ireland finalists Na Piarsaigh to kick on in the second-half, it was Ballygunner who took the decisive steps to victory.

Although it was by no means pretty, this long-range free from Pauric Mahony managed to find its way beyond the Na Piarsaigh 'keeper.

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Speaking after this momentous win, man-of-the-match Peter Hogan attempted to put into context what they had just done.

"To be honest, it's absolutely indescribable," Hogan breathlessly relayed.

"The last four years we've had heartaches, and two against Na Piarsaigh, so we felt it was our time this time, so thank God we got over the line."

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Trying to rationalise so much pain at this stage in recent years, Hogan identified the importance of the Ballygunner manager, Fergal Hartley.

Instilling the belief that they "were going to do it whatever it took," Hogan was quick to praise the "unbelievable" Na Piarsaigh before concluding that Ballygunner's time is now.

Taking some time to enjoy today's success, 2019 will commence with Ballygunner looking to go a few steps further.

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See Also: Legendary Kerry Broadcaster Weeshie Fogarty Dies Aged 7

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