Gunners in Cruise Control

Eastern Intermediate Hurling Championship Group Two

Ballygunner 5-15
St Saviours 1-09

Brian Flannery Reports

Ballygunner had little difficulty in their opening game of the East Waterford Intermediate Hurling Championship and was much too good for understrength St Saviours side.
The Ballygunner second string side have an embarrassment of riches with multiple Senior, Under-21 and minor winning players from recent years in their starting line-up.
Added to this young panel were the experienced Paddy Cooke, JJ Hutchinson and Stephen Power with all three playing significant parts in this comfortable win.
Stephen Power and already had a point on the board when he bustled his way through the ‘Saviours defence to rifle a shot to the net following a cut back from Tom Mullally with just six minutes on the clock.

JJ Hutchinson landed two points for Ballygunner in their IHC win over St Saviours at Walsh Park. 									| Photo: Noel Browne

JJ Hutchinson landed two points for Ballygunner in their IHC win over St Saviours at Walsh Park. | Photo: Noel Browne

The accurate David Walsh added a pair of white flaggers before Billy O’Sullivan had his first of three goals in the 21st minute following good work by JJ Hutchinson (2-4 to 0-1). Peter Crowley who was St Savours’ most impressive player replied with a pointed free with the lively Daragh Corcoran adding a second to bring the Ballybeg based club back into the game. David Walsh had a routine minor for the Gunners moments later and was beginning to find space around centre-field.
Then, after 28 minutes, Peter Crowley sent a long delivery in the direction of the Ballygunner goal with full-forward Derek Murphy cleverly flicking the ball to the net (2-05 to 1-03). Stephen Power closed out the half with another pointed free to leave Waterford’s hurling standard bearers leading 2-06 to 1-03 at the break.
Within two minutes of the restart Stephen Power had his second and Ballygunner’s third goal to nudge the Patrick Harran managed side further ahead. Four further points in succession from David Walsh, JJ Hutchinson (2) and Stephen Power and the two points was safely secured (3-10 to 1-03) after just 38 minutes.
Daragh Corcoran and Derek Murphy both pointed for Saviours but the relentless Ballygunner pressure continued. Billy O’Sullivan easily finished to the net for goal number in the 44th minute after s great catch and assist from Stephen Power, 4-10 to 1-05.

The rout continued with Billy O’Sullivan completing his hat-trick after 55 minutes this time benefiting from a complete mix-up in the Saviours defence which saw two defenders colliding with each other with the Ballygunner youngster on hand to finish to the net unopposed.
For the winners Paddy Cooke had an armchair ride behind the impressive Barry Power, Connor O’Sullivan and Tadhg Foley.
In attack, Balygunner had genuine score getters in Stephen Power, David Walsh, Billy O’Sullivan and JJ Hutchinson.
St Saviours despite being outplayed throughout battled to the end and no fault can be attached to the likes of Peter Crowley, Keylan Cassidy, Dan Connors and Daragh Corcoran all who contributed significantly despite the scoreline.
* In the same competition, Clonea saw off Butlerstown by 4-15 to 3-8.

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