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Saturday 28 January 2023 Dublin: 4°C
Laszlo Geczo/INPHO Kevin Mahony wheels away after scoring a goal against Passage.
# Still On Top
Awesome Ballygunner clinch seven-in-a-row with 17-point win over Passage
The decider was played at Walsh Park.

Ballygunner 1-23

Passage 0-9

PAURIC MAHONY AND DESSIE Hutchinson hit a combined 0-12 as Ballygunner clinched their seventh consecutive senior county crown with a dominant display in Walsh Park.

A first-half goal from Kevin Mahony, who finished with 1-3, helped the holders on their way to a convincing win against a Passage side whose wait for a first senior county title since 2013 goes on.

Ballygunner were quick out of the traps, opening up a five-point lead in the first 10 minutes, with four different scorers contributing to the tally.

Pauric Mahony, Hutchinson, Peter Hogan and Kevin Mahony all chipped in with those early scores, while Passage were forced to wait until the 11th minute for Mikey Cummins to register their opening score.

Hutchinson, who was named to start at half-forward, quickly moved in towards the square where he made an immediate impact on his way to finishing with four points.

He now has since second senior county title since returning to the club following the end of his soccer adventure with Brighton.

Hutchinson paired up with Kevin Mahony to operate a two-man full-forward line, picking off his first point after three minutes before winning a free shortly after.

Passage were just three points adrift before the first water break but the defending champions worked through the gears on the resumption.

Mahony’s goal came after 21 minutes, fetching a long ball in before rounding his marker to smash his shot low past Passage keeper Eddy Lynch.

He was presented with another goal chance moments later but his attempt was kept out.

dessie-hutchinson-and-callum-oneill Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Dessie Hutchinson was superb for the victors. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

Passage were reliant on Cummins’ frees in the opening half while Gary Cullinane managed to get their only point from play in the first half.

Leading by 11 points at the break, Ballygunner refused to relent in the second half and were 1-19 to 0-5 clear by the turn of the second water break.

Passage earned their first clear goal chance in the 50th minute as Cummins unleashed a rocket at the Ballygunner goal. But his shot came crashing back into play off the crossbar, while Owen Connors was also unsuccessful from his goal-bound shot shortly after.

Ballygunner continued to tag on the points as the decider wound down to the inevitable conclusion, with Philip Mahony picking up the man-of-the-match award.

Scorers for Ballygunner: Pauric Mahony (0-8, 5f), Dessie Hutchinson (0-4), Conor Sheahan (0-2), Peter Hogan (0-4), Kevin Mahony (1-3), Conor Power, Barry O’Sullivan (0-1 each)

Scorers for Passage: Mikey Cummins (0-5,5f), Owen Connors (0-2, 1f), Gary Cullinane 0-1, Liam Flynn (0-1).

Ballygunner

1. Stephen O’Keeffe

2. Ian Kenny
3. Barry Coughlin
4. Tadhg Foley

5. Billy O’Keeffe
6. Philip Mahony
7. Shane O’Sullivan

8. Conor Sheahan
9. Paddy Leavy

13. Tim O’Sullivan
11. Pauric Mahony
12. Mikey Mahony
15. Peter Hogan

14. Kevin Mahony
10. Dessie Hutchinson

Subs:
17. Barry O’Sullivan for M Mahony (48 mins)
18. Conor Power for T O’Sullivan (50 mins)
20. Eddie Hayden for B O’Keeffe (55 mins)
21. JJ Hutchinson for P Hogan (57 mins)
23. Darragh O’Keeffe for Sheahan (60 mins).

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Passage

1. Eddy Lynch

2. Callum O’Neill
3. Darragh Lynch
4. David Jones

5. Adam Roche
6. Noel Connors
7. Ciaran O’Neill

8. Gary Cullinane
9. Killian Fitzgerald

10. Stephen Lynch
11. Owen Connors
12. Paddy Flynn

23. Jason Roche
14. Liam Flynn
15. Mikey Cummins 

Subs:
20. John Whitty for A Roche (HT)
29. Thomas Connors for S Lynch (HT)
19. Jamie Burke for G Cullinane (48 mins)
13. Eoghan Reilly for P Flynn (48 mins)
18. Mike Hutchinson for C O’Neill (59 mins)

Referee: Thomas Walsh [Modeligo].

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