Saturday 1 October 2016

Ballygunner to plan without Mahony for Munster club decider

Published 10/11/2015 | 02:30

Pauric Mahony
Pauric Mahony

Ballygunner manager Denis Walsh admits it's likely his team will have to plan for their Munster club SHC final clash without county star Philip Mahony.

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Mahony was dismissed on a straight red card for his part in a first-half scuffle that saw almost every player in the field get involved in the Waterford champions' win over Cork champions Glen Rovers.

"What can you do? It was a straight red but to be honest it was a question of who was he going to pick out (of the row)?

"If Philip wasn't going to suffer someone else was going to suffer," said Walsh, who had a stint in charge of the Cork senior hurlers.

And Walsh admits Mahony, who had been operating as a sweeper before his dismissal, will be a significant loss to his side. However, he believes others can step up and fill the gap.

"He has kept us together all year and he is a serious operator off the field as well as on the field and it was disappointing for him," Walsh agreed.

"But there are a lot of leaders in the team. This is my first year here and I have to say there are is lot of leadership there from the players."

Ballygunner are already without Pauric Mahony after he suffered a broken leg early in the campaign, while they also have fears surrounding the fitness of rising star Peter Hogan.

Hogan had hit two points from play before he was forced off midway through the first half with a heavily-strapped leg.

They are also without the services of former Déise star Wayne Hutchinson who transferred to Dublin outfit St Jude's this season.

The Waterford side face the winners of this weekend's clash between Thurles Sarsfields of Tipperary and Limerick kingpins Na Piarsaigh and Walsh has no preference on who his side face.

The Waterford side are out to secure a first Munster title since a Paul Flynn-inspired side went all the way in 2001 in a campaign that saw them beat Cork's Blackrock in the final.

"There's a bit of tragedy in Thurles and that news is terrible really," he commented.

"I suppose they'll find it tough to get up for the game but I'm sure they'll do it for Jackie Griffin.

"That was tough going. And our fellas played Na Piarsaigh a couple of years ago. They were up eight or nine points and got beaten.

"And I think they played Thurles Sars as well in the Munster championship.

"So it will be either one. We're just delighted to be back in the Munster Championship."

Meanwhile, Shane O'Brien will continue as manager of the Dublin camogie team in 2016.

Former Kilkenny goalkeeper and All-Star nominee David Herity has been appointed coach of the team.

Irish Independent

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