Munster hurling: Power’s goals help Ballygunner complete four-in-a-row
Imokilly beat Blackrock to take Cork title; Sixmilebridge win Clare replay
Ballygunner 2-18 De La Salle 0-16
Ballygunner secured their first four-in-a-row of Waterford Senior Hurling titles at Walsh Park as their greater quality ultimately came to bear against a spirited De La Salle.
A brace of Conor Power goals, on top of another commanding free-taking performance from Pauric Mahony and a towering display from brother Philip at half back, ensured the News & Star Cup remains at McGinn Park.
Playing with a slight breeze to their backs, Ballygunner roared out of the blocks in a similar manner to their semi-final display against Lismore the previous Sunday.
After 12 minutes, they led by 1-5 to 0-2 but De La Salle’s doggedness kept them in touch thereafter and by the interval the challengers trailed by 0-9 to 1-10, remaining firmly in touch.
Ballygunner’s David O’Sullivan landed the first point after three minutes, with Pauric Mahony doubling their advantage three minutes later. Jack Fagan opened De La Salle’s account two minutes later before Brian O’Sullivan and Páidí Nevin exchanged points at either end.
Power’s first goal came in the 10th minute as he slid the ball into the net having ducked inside Stephen Dalton following Brian O’Sullivan’s pass. David O’Sullivan added two points in as many minutes to send the holders six points clear after 12 minutes.
But De La Salle dug deep and largely thanks to the free-taking accuracy of Shane Ryan and a sidelined point by Jack Fagan, they went in at the break only four points down.
Before an attendance of 2,709, Ballygunner kept the foot to the floor after the break, with a brace of Mahony frees and a single from co-captain Shane Walsh sending the holders seven points clear.
Shane Ryan added two points to De La Salle’s tally in the 37th and 43rd minutes (with Brian O’Sullivan scoring between those efforts) before Power scooped the ball beyond Shaun O’Brien for the Gunners’ second and decisive goal to settle the contest.
“There’s so much in these lads,” said proud Ballygunner manager Fergal Hartley afterwards. “There’s a lot made about the style they have and the type of hurling they play but the wider world doesn’t always see what’s behind all that. They’re a super bunch.”
Ballygunner will have little time to rest on their laurels as they’ll take on Tipperary champions Thurles Sarsfields in the Munster Club quarter-final at the same venue on Sunday next.
BALLYGUNNER: S O’Keeffe; E Hayden, B Coughlin, I Kenny; Philip Mahony, W Hutchinson, S Walsh (0-1); H Barnes, S O’Sullivan (0-1); P Hogan (0-1), D O’Sullivan (0-3), Pauric Mahony (0-9; seven frees), C Power (2-0), B O’Sullivan (0-2), B O’Keeffe (0-1).
Subs: M Mahony for Hogan (52 mins), JJ Hutchinson for Power (58 mins), B O’Sullivan for B O’Keeffe (59 mins) and T O’Sullivan for D O’Sullivan (63 mins).
DE LA SALLE: S O’Brien; S Dalton, D Greene, M Doherty; S McNulty, K Moran (0-1), T Moran; E Barrett, P Nevin (0-1); A Farrell (0-1), J Dillon, J Fagan (0-3, one sideline); J Mullane (0-1), S Ryan (0-8, eight frees).
Subs used: T Douglas (0-1, free) for Madigan and E Meaney for D Greene (both 52 mins), C McCann for Ryan (57 mins).
Referee: Tommy O’Sullivan (Cappoquin).
Imokilly 3-13 Blackrock 0-18
Imokilly became the first Cork SHC champions in the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh as goals proved crucial against Blackrock on Sunday.
In a game which never really came to life, a greater spread of scorers stood the East Cork division – without a title since 1998 – in good stead as well as the ability to find the net. Cian Fleming’s strike in the 20th minute helped them to lead by 1-7 to 0-8 at half-time, then captain Séamus Harnedy netted immediately after the restart.
While Blackrock managed to stay in contention throughout– frees from Michael O’Halloran key for them – they never drew level and Imokilly sub Brian Mulcahy scored the clinching goal in injury time to spark scenes of celebration.
Imokilly never trailed at any stage and were 0-6 to 0-5 ahead by the 18th minute when the impressive Ger Millerick combined with Ian Cahill to set up Fleming for a great finish from a tight angle.
John Cronin’s point left five in it, but Blackrock responded well, with two O’Halloran frees augmented by one from Alan O’Callaghan.
Within 90 seconds of the restart though, Imokilly had pushed clear again. While William Leahy’s shot was well saved by Gavin Connolly, Harnedy was following up to finish well for a 2-7 to 0-8 lead.
That five-point advantage still pertained in the 40th minute after two Leahy frees, but Blackrock responded well with points from sub Daniel Meaney, O’Callaghan, Cormack and O’Halloran, the latter unlucky to send a shot into the side-netting in the midst of that spell.
However, an equaliser remained elusive and Leahy, Brian Lawton and Harnedy were able to get vital points to keep Imokilly in front.
Another Blackrock sub, Tadhg Deasy, made it 2-13 to 0-17 on 58 and when they won a close-range free in injury time, O’Callaghan went for goal but his shot flew over. There was time for more action, but it was Imokilly who made the most of that, sub Mulcahy following in to dispossess Connolly and fire to the net.
IMOKILLY: D Dalton (Fr O’Neills); B Ó Tuama (Castlemartyr), C Barry (Castlelyons), K Histon (Cobh); C O’Brien (St Ita’s), N O’Leary (Castlelyons), J Cronin (Lisgoold) (0-1); M O’Keeffe (Fr O’Neills) (0-2), G Millerick (Fr O’Neills) (0-1); B Lawton (Castlemartyr) (0-2, one s/c), S Harnedy (St Ita’s) (1-1), W Leahy (Aghada) (0-4, four frees); P O’Sullivan (Cloyne) (0-2), I Cahill (Cloyne), C Fleming (Aghada) (1-0).
Subs: D Mangan (St Catherine’s) for Cahill (51), B Mulcahy (St Catherine’s) (1-0)for Fleming (58).
BLACKROCK: G Connolly; G Norberg, D Stokes, J Cashman; N Cashman, E Smith, A Murphy; S Murphy, D O’Farrell (0-1); S O’Keeffe (0-1), A O’Callaghan (0-3, two frees), G Regan (0-1); M O’Halloran (0-8, six frees), C Cormack (0-2), J O’Sullivan.
Subs: D Cashman for O’Sullivan (half-time), D Meaney (0-1) for Smith (35, injured), T Deasy (0-1) for Cormack (47).
Referee: C Lyons (Nemo Rangers).
Sixmilebridge 1-20 Clooney-Quin 1-14
Sixmilebridge won their first Clare Senior hurling title in 1977 and on Sunday – 40 years later – they claimed their 13th at Cusack Park in Ennis after victory over Clooney-Quin at the second time of asking.
Considered by many to have been lucky to have earned a draw a week earlier, the Bridge’s second-half performance ensured that they finished worthy winners.
Sixmilebridge led by two points at half-time (0-9 to 0-7) and Jamie Shanahan put three between them within seconds of the re-start with a pointed free.
The real damage was done on 33 minutes when Bridge corner forward Brian Corry whipped to the net to open up a six-point lead.
Shanahan added another point, this time from play, in a period of dominance from the south-east Clare outfit.
Clooney-Quin, relying on free-taker Peter Duggan, tried to rally but the Sixmilebridge forwards picked off some fine scores.
Shane Golden and Alan Mulready impressed and even though Clooney-Quin did find the net at the end through Michael Corry, the Canon Hamilton Cup was on its way back to Sixmilebridge after a two-year absence.
SIXMILEBRIDGE: D Fahy; N Purcell, P Fitzpatrick (capt), B Fitzpatrick; A Quilligan(0-1), S Morey,C Morey; J Shanahan (0-5, three frees), C Deasy (0-1); C Malone (0-1), N Gilligan (0-2), S Golden (0-5); B Corry (1-1), A Morey, A Mulready (0-3). Subs: C Lynch (0-1) for Gilligan (48 mins), G Whyte for A Morey (52 mins), B Carey for Deasy, K Lynch for C Morey (both 59 mins).
CLOONEY-QUIN: K Hogan; R McNamara, S McNamara, B McInerney; C Duggan C Harrison, P Ward; D Murphy, R Taylor (0-1); P Duggan (0-10, five frees, two 65s, 1 sc), M Corry (1-1), T Shanahan; R O’Donnell, F Lynch (capt) (0-1), J Corry (0-1). Subs: D Hannon for Shanahan (37 mins), D Kennedy for Murphy (59 mins).
Referee: R Hickey (Éire Óg)