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1-11 for Pauric Mahony as Ballygunner complete Waterford hurling three-in-a-row

A 17-point win for the champions against Passage.

Ballygunner's players celebrate their victory at Walsh Park.
Ballygunner's players celebrate their victory at Walsh Park.
Image: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Ballygunner 4-20
Passage 1-12

Tomás McCarthy reports from Walsh Park

BALLYGUNNER LIFTED THE Waterford senior hurling crown for the third year in succession after a comprehensive win over neighbours Passage at a blustery Walsh Park today.

Top scorer Pauric Mahony delivered 1-11 as Denis Walsh’s side routed their opponents in the second half.

Two goals in three first half minutes from Tim O’Sullivan and Billy O’Keeffe flipped the match on its head after Passage made a bright start with the elements.

The Gunners drove on with further green flags through Stephen Power and Mahony to avenge the 2013 final defeat to the same opponents and complete a treble for the third time in their history.

Mahony missed last year’s final through injury but marked his return to the county showpiece with a man of the match display. The 24 year old posted 1-7 in the second period while goalkeeper Stephen O’Keeffe made an incredible stop to keep out Conor Carey’s shot.

Pauric Mahony celebrates at the end of the game Pauric Mahony celebrates Ballygunner's victory. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Captain Brian O’Sullivan supplied four points from play assisted by lively inside pair Tim O’Sullivan and Peter Hogan. David O’Sullivan barged forward at every opportunity from midfield.

9/2 underdogs Passage started with the strong breeze, before an attendance of 3,811, and full back Noel Connors opened the scoring from seventy metres.

Eoin Kelly and Barry Coughlan both received yellows for an off the ball incident. Peter Queally’s men raced five points clear after ten minutes as Adam Roche, Owen Connors, Thomas Connors and Jason Roche all split the uprights.

Barry Coughlan in action against Eoin Kelly Ballygunner's Barry Coughlan in action against Passage's Eoin Kelly Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

The reigning champions settled with points by Pauric Mahony (free) and Peter Hogan. Passage dead ball specialist Killian Fitzgerald lashed over from his own 45 before Conor Carey intercepted a short puck out and set up Eoin Kelly (0-7 to 0-2).

Two quick strikes changed the complexion of this final. Passage failed to clear Brian O’Sullivan’s delivery and Tim O’Sullivan pounced to finish past Eddie Lynch. On 21 minutes, Billy O’Keeffe buried a shot to the far corner following a Hogan solo run.

Passage accumulated five costly wides during the second quarter. A Mahony brace helped the favourites into a three point advantage. Fitzgerald and Owen Connors replied with two late frees to make it 2-5 to 0-10 at halfway.

Eoin Kelly levelled matters for the very first time on the restart. Ballygunner moved four points away through Brian O’Sullivan and Pauric Mahony.

Stephen O’Keeffe produced a spectacular close range save from Conor Carey on 43 minutes. O’Sullivan, Mahony and Hogan eased Walsh’s charges out of sight. Killian Fitzgerald ended a seventeen-minute wait for a Passage score.

The Gunners clinched victory with another rapid double blast. Stephen Power billowed the roof of the net before Hogan supplied Mahony for their fourth green flag. Thomas Connors netted a consolation six minutes from time.

Brian O'Sullivan lifts the trophy Ballygunner captain Brian O'Sullivan lifts the trophy Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Scorers for Ballygunner: Pauric Mahony 1-11 (0-7f), Stephen Power 1-1, Brian O’Sullivan 0-4, Tim O’Sullivan, Billy O’Keeffe 1-0 each, Peter Hogan 0-3, David O’Sullivan 0-1.

Scorers for Passage: Thomas Connors 1-1, Killian Fitzgerald 0-4 (0-3f), Owen Connors, Eoin Kelly 0-2 (0-1f) each, Adam Roche, Noel Connors, Jason Roche 0-1 each.

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Ballygunner

1. Stephen O’Keeffe

2. Eddie Hayden
3. Barry Coughlan
4. Ian Kenny

8. Harley Barnes
6. Philip Mahony
7. Shane Walsh

10. David O’Sullivan
11. Billy O’Keeffe

9. Shane O’Sullivan
12. Pauric Mahony
13. Conor Power

15. Tim O’Sullivan
14. Brian O’Sullivan
19. Peter Hogan

Subs

5. Wayne Hutchinson for Billy O’Keeffe (43)
20. Stephen Power for Barnes (48)
21. Michael Mahony for Conor Power (52)
17. JJ Hutchinson for Tim O’Sullivan (54)
18. Johnny McCarthy for Hogan (55)

Passage

1. Eddie Lynch

2. Darragh Lynch
6. Noel Connors
3. Jason Flood

4. Adam Roche
7. Jason Roche
5. Stephen Mason

8. Pa Walsh
18. Gary Cullinane

10. Owen Connors
13. Conor Carey
9. Sean Hogan

11. Thomas Connors
14. Eoin Kelly
12. Killian Fitzgerald

Subs

28. John Whitty for Cullinane (H-T)
15. Richard Hurley for Carey (54)
19. Callum O’Neill for Mason (60)
21. Paul Donnellan for Adam Roche (60)

Referee: Michael O’Brien (Portlaw)

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