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5 Things We Learned From The Club GAA Weekend

5 Things We Learned From The Club GAA Weekend
By Maurice Brosnan Updated

It's November, daylight hours are diminishing and pitches are soaking but it is the height of an action-packed GAA club season. A sensational weekend of games has produced finalists in Ulster and Leinster as well as hurling champions in Munster. The business of the Championship is well underway.

Here are the five things we learned from last weekend's proceeding.

Rory Beggan Delivers 

In their Ulster quarter-final clash, Scotstown won by 0-3 with goalkeeper Rory Beggan kicking 0-2 including a point from play.

In their Ulster semi-final clash, Scotstown won by 0-1 with goalkeeper Rory Beggan kicking 0-3 including a last-gasp winner.

The Monaghan All-star is in sensational form for his club and can eagerly anticipate a final match-up against Donegal champions Gaoth Dobhair. Scotstown found Sunday's tie against Coleraine significantly more difficult than anticipated but can rest easy knowing any foul within the '65 is a guaranteed score thanks to Beggan's placed ball prowess.

Hurling in November can still be awesome 

Look, the annual criticism of the GAA calendar and playing conditions afforded to club players is apt and justified but it is worth remembering that despite it all, hurling in November can still be awesome. Take the case of Offaly legend Brian Carroll, who hit 2-16 for Coolderry against Ballyboden St. Endas in the Leinster club semi-final.

Carroll is a stalwart of his club and was determined to do everything in his power to orchestrate an upset. He ended up being sent-off in extra-time but as a spectacle, the game was everything that is great about the sport. It ended 5-28 t0 5-25.

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Ballygunner end the heartache 

Na Piarsaigh's undefended record in Munster is over. Ballygunner's prolonged quest has triumphed. The Waterford club had lost their last four finals but finally got over the line on Sunday with a 2-14 to 2-08 win. They had lost to the Limerick outfit twice in the last three years but inter-county star Pauric Mahony's 1-6 proved crucial. A tilt for All-Ireland glory looms on the horizon.

Brotherly dynasty prevails 

2017 Galway champions Liam Mellows were unable to defend that honour as they were halted by St. Thomas in the Galway hurling final. The performance was driven by four Burke brothers, with Galway captain David starring in midfield. His younger brother Darragh hit 1-7 to win Man of the Match while Cathal and Eanna both helped their club set up an All-Ireland semi-final against Cushendall.

Class is permanent 

Colin Fennelly gave one of his best ever hurling performances for Ballyhale Shamrocks to ensure they progressed to a Leinster final. The Kilkenny star hit 4-4, all from play. Add in 0-6 from TJ Reid and the frightening array of talent within their team becomes apparent. It wasn't a vintage year for the Kilkenny hurlers but class is permanent and under the astute stewardship of manager Henry Shefflin, Ballyhale look set to have a big say in this year's All-Ireland championship.

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