Champs March On As Expected

Waterford Senior Hurling Championship Group A

Ballygunner 0-27
An Rinn 1-08

Tony Ryan Reports

Champions Ballygunner, showed little sign of easing off in the motivation stakes when they put in a very workmanlike performance in defeating An Rinn in a Fraher Field mud bath last Sunday evening.A very low gate of under €500 was collected at the turnstiles here, perhaps because the result was predictable and also the condition of the field was not going to enhance the occasion.Ballygunner have yet to field with the O Sullivans Brian and David this year with rumours rife that they are going to avail of the inter county transfer system to play in Dublin.

The underfoot conditions at Fraher Field on Sunday night had to be seen - and walked upon - to be believed.

The underfoot conditions at Fraher Field on Sunday night had to be seen - and walked upon - to be believed.

In addition, Shane Walsh is away travelling but none of this threesome were missed on this occasion as the Gunners dominated proceedings from start to finish.
In fairness to An Rinn, they played some fine hurling and battled away to the final whistle, coming up against a superior force to all comers across the county.
The Gunners also had a total of 16 subs in their entourage reminding us all of the present day force of this powerhouse of Deise club hurling.
The club wasn’t obviously too keen on using any of them perhaps because of intermediate status as Billy O Keeffe who was replaced in the 47th minute came back on in the 60th minute. A lesson here no doubt to many clubs who use lower grade players in the Senior grade preventing them from playing either Intermediate or Junior for the rest of the year.

Ballygunner led at the end of the first quarter by 0-9 to 0-0 with their first wide coming in the 17th minute.
An Rinn had a number of first half scoring opportunities but they shot seven wides and trailed at the break by 0-14 to 0-4.
Pauric Mahony was the scorer in chief from play and from placed balls as all six forwards and midfielder Shane O’Sullivan found the target in the first half.
An Rinn’s efforts were rewarded with a brace of scores by Donie Breathnach (2f) and points as good as any scored by the winners by Fearghal O Ceallaigh and centre-back Shane O’Cuirrin. It’s not often that Stephen O’Keeffe is outshone by his opposite number in a club game but on this occasion the best keeper on view was An Rinn’s Donie O Murchadha who saved brilliantly on three occasions, including a point blank rasper from Pauric Mahony in the first minute of added time, a fine individual performance by any standards.

Ballygunner started the second half as they finished the first, rattling off another four unanswered points before Padraig O Murchadha opened An Rinn’s second half account from play. Aodhan Mac Gearailt was introduced in the 41st minute and nine minutes later he struck for the only green flag of the hour when close to the right post in the town end, he turned quickly under pressure and rifled the sliothar into the roof of the net with an unstoppable shot. He followed up with the final score of the game in the second minute of added time just after Donie Breathnach had also scored from play. Ballygunner’s final group game is against Ballyduff Upper while An Rinn will play Abbeyside in a cross bay local derby.

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