Hartley jumps to Mahony's defence

November 20, 2017

Ballygunner manager Fergal Hartley.
©INPHO/James Crombie.

Fergal Hartley has stressed that Pauric Mahony wasn't to blame for Ballygunner's Munster club SHC final defeat to Na Piarsaigh.

The Waterford star had a rare off-day from frees, converting just one from seven attempts before handing over the free-taking duties to Billy O'Keeffe.

"To be fair, a huge amount of his frees were difficult on a day with a wet ball. Certainly, it wouldn't be a factor (in the result)," the Ballygunner manager told the Irish Examiner.

"There are plenty of other factors. Pauric Mahony probably got us here. He has pulled us out of the fire on so many days. Absolutely not a factor, as far as I'm concerned."

Hartley had no complaints with the outcome.

"They left everything on the field and they did their best. That's all you can ask of fellas every day they go out," he continued.

"They (Na Piarsaigh) are a huge physical team and we knew that. And we feel we are a physical team too and we are able for that.

"But some of the contact there was huge and, in that respect, it was a great game to watch. In fairness to the referee, there were some decisions that both teams would have felt would have gone their way, but he left it run and at least if he is consistent I think it is the best way to play hurling."

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