Midleton eventually outgunned in Waterford
Ballygunner reach semi-finals after seeing off Cork side by two points
Ballygunner’s JJ Hutchinson celebrates at the end of the game. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho
Ballygunner 1-18 Midleton 2-13
Waterford champions Ballygunner overcame the spirited challenge of beaten Cork finalists Midleton by two points in this Munster hurling club quarter-final at Walsh Park.
Ballygunner looked well in command early on and led 0-6 to 0-2 after 12 minutes with county star Pauric Mahony securing all his sides opening scores from frees.
However, first half goals from former All-Star Conor Lehane and Cormac Beausang helped the Cork men into a 2-8 to 0-10 half-time lead. Lehane netted direct from a 20 metre free on 21 minutes while Beausang blasted his goal in first half injury-time following a searing run from Tommy O’Connell.
Ballygunner had early second half points from Peter Hogan and Tim O’Sullivan to narrow the margin to the minimum and the momentum swung firmly in the direction of the home side when Conor Power was allowed shoot to the net from almost the end-line after 48 minutes to put Ballygunner ahead, 1-14 to 2-10.
Mahony’s accuracy from placed balls kept Ballygunner in the ascendancy and despite late points from Nagle and Beasuang, Ballygunner just about held on for victory.
Ballygunner will now play Clare champions Ballyhea next Sunday in Munster semi-finals, also at Walsh Park.
Ballygunner: S O’Keeffe, E Hayden, B Coughlan, I Kenny, W Hutchinson, Philip Mahony, H Barnes, S O’Sullivan, M Mahony, B O’Keeffe (0-1), Pauric Mahony (0-12, 0-11 frees, 0-1’65, Barry O’Sullivan, T O’Sullivan (0-2), Brian O’Sullivan, C Power (1-1). Subs: P Hogan (0-1) for W Hutchinson (h-t), JJ Hutchinson (0-1) for Barry O’Sullivan (44 mins).
Midleton: T Wallace, E Moloney, S Smyth, F O’Mahoney, J Nagle (0-1), L Dineen (0-1), S O’Leary-Hayes, P Haughney, S O’Farrell, C Walsh (0-3), L O’Farrell (0-1), C Beausang (1-2, 0-1 sl), T O’Connell, C Lehane (1-4, 1-3 frees), P White (0-1). Subs: R O’Regan for L Dineen (55 mins), G Manley for P White (58), A Ryan for P Haughey (61).
Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick).