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Ballyhale manager James O’Connor steps down after All-Ireland final loss

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James O'Connor

James O'Connor

James O'Connor

Ballyhale Shamrocks are in pursuit of a new manager after James O’Connor decided to step away after two seasons in charge. He told the players after their All-Ireland final defeat by Ballygunner in Croke Park.

The Lismore man took over from Henry Shefflin after Ballyhale won back-to-back All-Irelands in 2020.

O’Connor led the south Kilkenny club to successive county titles and a Leinster championship, with hopes of an All-Ireland dashed in dramatic circumstances by Ballygunner.

O’Connor was emotional when talking shortly after Harry Ruddle’s goal in the last seconds left Ballyhale devastated, having led by two points and looking set for a new record of three All-Ireland titles back-to-back.

It was another All-Ireland final heartbreak for O’Connor who was manager of Fr O’Neills from Cork when they were beaten by a point by Tullaroan in Croke Park two years ago in the intermediate final by just a point in a high scoring contest.

“I’m just gutted to be honest with you, I thought with ten seconds to go we’d won,” said a crestfallen O’Connor after the final whistle in Croke Park signalled victory for Ballygunner.

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