Waterford SHC: Ballygunner stroll to 12th title
17 October 2011
Ballygunner captain Shane O'Sullivan lifts the trophy after the game.
Ballygunner claimed their second Waterford SHC title in three years and their 12th in all following a facile victory over Tallow before a 6,000-strong crowd at Walsh Park yesterday.
Well before the final whistle, however, many of the large attendance had left after witnessing one of the most one-sided Waterford finals in years. While incoming Waterford manager Michael Ryan won't be have been excited by what he saw, Ballygunner could only beat what was in front of them and sadly Tallow - who were appearing in their first final since 1985 - proved no match for their red-hot city opponents.
Rising county star Pauric Mahony had a field day, finishing with a personal tally of 0-11 (0-9 from frees), while corner forward Harley Barnes scored the only goal five minutes before the break.
The game was slow to come to life with the first 23 minutes producing just six scores. But everything changed when David O'Brien's defence-splitting run created the space for Barnes to rifle to the net and make it 1-4 to 0-2 in Ballygunner's favour.
Tallow's challenge fell apart completely after that, and with Wayne Hutchinson, Mahony, Andy Moloney and JJ Hutchinson to the fore, the Gunners powered into a 1-9 to 0-3 interval lead.
With the wind behind them in the second half, the city side quickly extended their advantage through points from the unerring Mahony, team captain Shane O'Sullivan and Moloney. Aaron Pratt hit a brace for Tallow, but they weren't able to make a contest of it as the Gunners pulled away with further scores from Mahony and O'Sullivan.
Ballygunner: S O'Keeffe; W Kiely, B Coughlan, R Cunningham; Philip Mahony, W Hutchinson, A Kirwan; S Walsh (0-1), D O'Sullivan; JJ Hutchinson (0-1), S OSullivan (0-2), A Moloney (0-2); Brian O'Sullivan (0-1), Pauric Mahony (0-11, eight frees), H Barnes (1-0). Subs: S O'Keeffe for A Kirwan, B Mullane for A Moloney, Barry O'Sullivan for Brian O'Sullivan, N Waldron (0-1) for H Barnes, S Power for S Walsh.
Tallow: S O'Sullivan; A Kearney, D OBrien, K Kearney; M OBrien, J Murray, W Henley; K Geary, P O'Brien (0-1); E Sheehan, E Condon, A Pratt (0-2); K Curley, T Ryan (0-3, one free, one 65), B Henley Subs: T Daly for K Curley, B McCarthy for E Sheehan, K OBrien for B Henley, T Feeney for P O'Brien.
Referee: M OBrien (Portlaw).