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Ballygunner’s Mahony brothers Philip and Pauric bouncing back from bad breaks

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Ballygunner player Philip Mahony has recovered from breaks in both legs in 2021. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Ballygunner player Philip Mahony has recovered from breaks in both legs in 2021. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Ballygunner player Philip Mahony has recovered from breaks in both legs in 2021. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Not for the first time, the Mahony boys led the charge for Ballygunner last Sunday. Mikey, Kevin, Philip and Pauric all contributed handsomely as the Waterford champions dispatched Ballyea and moved into a Munster semi-final.

For Philip and Pauric, in particular, every day out is a good day. They have been through the mill this year with injury.

Philip has broken both his legs in 2021 but recovered to earn his first start in months on Sunday. Pauric has missed two championship seasons with Waterford, including their 2020 All-Ireland final appearance, as he recovered from a knee problem. With much time lost, he’s eager to make the days count

“The rehab went very much to schedule, because they say it’s a nine month thing – and I had a close eye on the latter stages of the inter-county championship (in 2021) but it just would have been too soon,” Pauric says after the semi-final win.

“Come the semi final against Limerick I was just back playing in in-house club games. Time-wise, it just wasn’t possible, which was unfortunate, but I’m delighted to get back here today.

“I got back for the first club championship match this year. With rehab you pick up a lot of niggles – and I was no different. I picked up a tendon issue and some other small little knocks, and it delays the whole process. Thankfully, now I’m getting close to 100pc.

“The year before was probably harder, because the injury happened just a week or two before the championship.

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“Last year you had more time to think and prepare for it – and I was purely focused on my rehab and getting back on the field. But, hopefully, I can keep going here and set myself up for 2022.”

Philip has finished up with Waterford but suffered the misfortune of breaking a leg earlier this year before disaster struck for the second time.

“He was only just back from the first injury and the first game back he did the same thing on the other leg. Today was the first bit of action he got, bar an in-house game,” Pauric explained.

Manager Darragh O’Sullivan hailed Philip’s efforts to get back on the pitch.

“He’s an amazing guy, an amazing guy,” O’Sullivan said. “And it was touch and go all along, but when Philip Mahony comes to you and tells you he’s fit, he automatically goes into any team in the country in my opinion.

“He worked really, really hard and we let him off to his own devices. About four or five weeks ago he went and done his own thing, there’s some recovery unit in Whitfield (hospital) or attached to UPMC that he was working on, and he got himself back, which is a testimony to the character of the guy he is.”

While those two were out injured, the other two Mahony brothers have kept the flag flying. Mikey hit 1-2 and was set up for his goal by a clever pass from Kevin, who himself chipped in with a point.

Ballygunner have already been installed as favourites to win Munster. If they pull it off, the Mahony boys will be front and centre.



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