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Ballygunner Snatch All-Ireland Title At The Death With Spectacular Last-Gasp Goal

Ballygunner Snatch All-Ireland Title At The Death With Spectacular Last-Gasp Goal
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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Croke Park has seldom seen a conclusion as dramatic as that which won Ballygunner the senior club hurling championship on Saturday afternoon.

The Waterford club claimed their first ever (and their county's first ever) All-Ireland club hurling title with an incredible goal from Harry Ruddle in the dying seconds of the game.

Last-gasp goal seals maiden club title for Ballygunner

When it comes to the All-Ireland hurling championship, it's a case of "been there, done that" for Ballyhale Shamrocks. The most successful club in the competition's history, Ballyhale have won the championship eight times and, though they needed some last-minute heroics themselves in the semi-finals, they were on course for a ninth title on Saturday.

With just five minutes to go, Ballygunner trailed by four points, and it seemed as though it would be yet more heartbreak for the Waterford side. They managed to cut the gap down to two but, when the ball was shepherded out for a puck-out in the last minute of added time, it appeared that their dream was over.

The winning score was the definition of a "hail Mary" - but Harry Ruddle absolutely nailed it. Picking up the ball just inside the 45, Ruddle carried and then put the head down and aimed for the bottom corner. With virtually the final puck of the game, he buried the sliotar in the corner from distance and what followed were scenes of pandemonium.


Sit back and enjoy this.

The final whistle followed soon after, and Ballygunner snatched victory from the jaws of defeat by just one point, with disbelief among the 'Gunner and Ballyhale fans and players alike.


It was an astonishing end to a remarkable campaign for Ballygunner and, if the first title for a Waterford club wasn't historic enough, the manner in which it was won will make this one of the most memorable hurling finals for years to come.

The Ballygunner captain summed it up in his speech after accepting the trophy: "Fair play to ya Harry!"

The brave decision to take a chance on a goal paid off in spectacular style, in one of the most dramatic conclusions Croke Park has ever seen.


SEE ALSO: 'With Waterford, Your Time Was 100% Hurling And Not Much Else'

stephen o'keeffe hurling ballygunner waterford



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