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Ballygunner Negotiate Eight-Week Break To Hammer Ballyea

Ballygunner Negotiate Eight-Week Break To Hammer Ballyea

Despite it being 58 days since their last competitive game, Ballygunner did not look off the pace in their Munster Senior Club Hurling Championship quarter-final against Clare champions Ballyea on Sunday.

In fact, it was the eight-in-a-row Waterford champions who set the pace as they won 3-20 to 2-6.

"There was a long break since our last game, and the worry would have been that we wouldn't have been able to get the intensity levels up," Ballygunner manager Darragh O'Sullivan told RTÉ Radio 1.

"The lads weren't found wanting in any shape today with the intensity level they brought to it.

"We gave the lads two weeks off [after the Waterford final], and went and played three or four challenge games. The first challenge game we played against Sarsfields of Cork, Sarsfields went right through us to be honest.

"The intensity levels did grow since then. You could see it in the last couple of games, the intensity levels coming back to where they needed to be."

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28 November 2021; Ballygunner manager Darragh O'Sullivan before the AIB Munster Senior Club Hurling Championship quarter-final against Ballyea at Cusack Park in Ennis, Clare. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

O'Sullivan said that several Ballygunner players have benefited from the extended break.

"The last few weeks have gone well for us from a rehab perspective," he said.

"You saw Phillip Mahony play today, he played 10 minutes in the [Waterford] championship against Abbeyside. Pauric Mahony was running a lot more freely today than he would have been in the championship. They were another couple of lads who played with injections in that county final that played without injections today."

In their run of eight consecutive Waterford title wins, Ballygunner have managed just one Munster final victory. That was in 2018.

"They're like brothers," O'Sullivan said about his players.

"They live together. They live in each other's company the whole time. You see them at Grow HQ and these places having breakfast. There will be 10, 12, 16 of them there on a Saturday morning, having their breakfast together. That's the bond that's in this group. Any successful club team does have that bond."

Ballygunner will face Tipperary champions Loughmore-Castleiney in a fortnight.

Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

See Also: Clough/Ballacolla Get 'Huge' Win On 'Miserable Night For Hurling'

darragh o'sullivan ballygunner ballyea munster hurling quarter-final

PJ Browne
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