Monday 29 May 2017

Walsh wants Ballygunner to drive on in Munster

“I don’t know if we’ll ever get over that, the way we lost,” said Mahony. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile
“I don’t know if we’ll ever get over that, the way we lost,” said Mahony. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Philip Mahony has urged Ballygunner to deliver on their potential in the Munster club championship, which takes them to Thurles on Sunday to face Tipperary champions Sarsfields in a quarter-final.

Ballygunner reeled off a third successive Waterford senior hurling title by beating Passage in a one-sided final.

The victory helped to honour the memory of Pat Flynn, father of former All-Star Paul, and a huge figure in the club who was buried yesterday. It also helped to avenge a defeat by Passage in the final three years ago, when Ballygunner conceded 2-4 in the last seven minutes to lose by three points.

"I don't know if we'll ever get over that, the way we lost," said Mahony. "We had only ourselves to blame that day (2013). We went too defensive. We just drew them onto us and they deserved their victory but we made a pact after that that we would keep attacking the leads, and I think this win was an example of that.

"We didn't panic, we drove on in the second half and we didn't stop until the end."

The win puts them up there with two previous Ballygunner teams who have done the three-in-a-row in the past.

"My father was on the last team to do it (1995-97) and he would always be on to us about it the last few years," said Mahony.

Ballygunner manager Denis Walsh, the former Cork dual star, admitted after the game that the question of underachievement in Munster for such a successful team in their own county was there. Only once, in 2001, have they won a provincial title.

"It might be easy to say that looking in but there has been nothing easy the last three years. Our backs have been to the wall plenty of times," said Walsh.

"Two years ago in the semi-final against Dungarvan, people thought we were beaten but we came back and won it and beat Mount Sion in the final. Last year was the same. We're probably a little bit more experienced now than we have been."

Walsh recalled the input of Pat Flynn warmly, saying: "There were eight or nine lads in the team that Pat was involved with right from U-5, U-6 all the way up to minor and U-21. We were all at the removal and said it before the match that we would drive it on for Pat."

Irish Independent

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