Ballygunner catch fire in sec­ond half to win

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Gaelic Games -

A mag­nif­i­cent sec­ond-half rally saw Ballygunner over­turn a five-point half-time deficit to over­come Sixmilebridge in a grip­ping Mun­ster Club semi-fi­nal at Walsh Park on Sun­day.

JJ Hutchin­son, scorer of 1-3 dur­ing the Gun­ners’ sec­ond-half re­cov­ery, ri­fled a 58th-minute goal though a mass of limbs to edge Fer­gal Hart­ley’s side two points clear be­fore a 2,492-strong crowd.

And when Billy O’Ke­effe, fol­lowed by Hutchin­son landed fur­ther su­perb points in ad­di­tional time, one felt Ballygunner had done enough to se­cure their place in the pro­vin­cial de­cider.

But as the game trick­led into its third ex­tra minute, re­de­ployed cen­tre back Seadna Morey slammed the slio­tar past All Star goal­keeper Stephen O’Ke­effe to hand Sixmilebridge a life­line. But time ran out for the Clare­men, who had dom­i­nated the open­ing half, go­ing in 0-11 to 0-6 up at the break.

What­ever or­a­cle was worked in the Ballygunner dress­in­groom did the trick at half-time and they’d drawn level by the 39th minute.

Over the next 20-plus min­utes, the sides slugged it out, with Jamie Shana­han turn­ing over two su­perb points for Sixmile in the clos­ing stages, but the qual­i­ties ex­em­pli­fied by Pau­ric Ma­hony, O’Ke­effe and Hutchin­son en­sured the day was Ballygunner’s.

They will face Lim­er­ick’s Na Piar­saigh in the pro­vin­cial de­cider on Sun­day week.

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