Champions Ballygunner got the defence of their title off to a winning start when they accounted for Fourmilewater in Dungarvan last Sunday. However, this is not a game that will live long in the memory and this was more a workmanlike than a spectacular performance from the Gunners.
Both sides were very evenly matched in the first half as Fourmilewater really put it up to the new-look Ballygunner who for the first time in many years fielded without Fergal Hartley, Paul Flynn, Andy Moloney and Colin Kehoe. They were also without the injured Brian O’Sullivan and Tommy Power.
Fourmilewater looked impressive in the first half and scored some fine points through Alan Lawlor, Tomás Walsh and Shane Walsh. Ballygunner, despite playing against a stiff breeze in the first half kept in touch with the challengers with some excellent points from Michael Kearney, JJ Hutchinson while Stephen Power fired over a few frees. At half-time, Fourmilewater led the champions on a scoreline of 0-7 to 0-6.
Fourmilewater extended their lead at the start of the second half with a Richie Fenton free but then Ballygunner took command. With the wind at their backs, Pauric Mahony and Michael Kearney were able to find their range and they were soon back on level terms.
In the 39th minute, with Ballygunner leading by a point, substitute Naoise Waldron fielded a high ball and found the back of the net with his close range strike. Ballygunner never looked back from there and frees from Shane O’Sullivan and Stephen Power.
See The Munster Express newspaper for full match report.