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Brendan Maher drives Borris-Ileigh past Ballygunner to first Munster title in 33 years

Reigning provincial champions Ballygunner lost out by a single point.

Borris Ileigh's Brendan Maher celebrates scoring a point.
Borris Ileigh's Brendan Maher celebrates scoring a point.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Updated at 21.30

Borris-Ileigh (Tipperary) 1-12

Ballygunner (Waterford) 1-11

Denis Hurley reports from Páirc Uí Rinn

A SUPERB PERFORMANCE from Brendan Maher characterised Borris-Ileigh’s indomitable spirit as they claimed a first AIB Munster club SHC title since 1986 on Sunday.

Waterford’s Ballygunner had the edge for much of the proceedings at Páirc Uí Rinn but Kieran Maher’s goal in the 44th minute tied the game at 1-7 to 0-10 and Maher’s fourth immediately afterwards put them ahead for the first time since early the game.

A free from the Tipperary star opened up a two-point advantage but the momentum looked to have turned back the way of Ballygunner on 51 when the excellent Dessie Hutchinson found Barry O’Sullivan in space and he slotted home.

Though Jerry Kelly levelled for Borris, Conor Sheahan put Ballygunner ahead again on 53 but it proved to be their final score. Maher tied the game again with a free as his scoring tally matched his jersey number of 6.

philip-mahony-dejected-at-the-end-of-the-game Ballygunner's Philip Mahony dejected at the end of the game. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Then, in the second-last minute of normal time, Conor Kenny found his brother Niall and though Stephen O’Keeffe saved his goal effort, he had been fouled and Maher sent over the winning score.

While Maher and Dan McCormack performed well in the first half, Borris were second-best to Ballygunner, who had Philip Mahony on form in the half-back line, were smarter in their use of the ball. Mahony’s brother Pauric was a source of scores for them from frees while Hutchinson lit up the first half with a trio of fine points.

The outscored Borris by 0-4 to 0-1 from the 19th minute until half-time and it was 0-9 to 0-6 at the break.

jerry-kelly-celebrates-at-the-final-whistle Borris Ileigh's Jerry Kelly celebrates after the game. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

After Maher got his third for Borris on 33, the Gunners might have got in for a goal as Hutchinson’s super pass set Peter Hogan away but he was fouled before he could shoot.

Pauric Mahony pointed the free to leave three in it again, but Ray McCormack’s powerful run led to Kieran Maher’s goal and Borris pushed on from there.

Scorers for Borris-Ileigh: Brendan Maher 0-7 (0-5 frees, 0-1 65), Kieran Maher 1-0, Jerry Kelly 0-2 (0-1 sideline), Niall Kenny, Conor Kenny, Kevin Maher 0-1 each.

Scorers for Ballygunner: Pauric Mahony 0-5 (0-4 frees), Dessie Hutchinson 0-3, Barry O’Sullivan 1-0, Paddy Leavy, Conor Sheahan, Billy O’Keeffe 0-1 each.

Borris-Ileigh

1. James McCormack

4. Liam Ryan
2. Séamus Burke
3. Paddy Stapleton

5. Seán McCormack
6. Brendan Maher
7. Ray McCormack

8. Tommy Ryan
9. Dan McCormack

12. Conor Kenny
14. Jerry Kelly
10. Kieran Maher

13. Kevin Maher
15. James Devaney
11. Niall Kenny

Sub

18. Jack Hogan for Tommy Ryan (25, injured)

Ballygunner

1. Stephen O’Keeffe

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

4. Billy O’Keeffe
6. Philip Mahony
9. Shane O’Sullivan

15. Paddy Leavy
5. Conor Sheahan

8. Michael Mahony
11. Pauric Mahony
12. Barry O’Sullivan

10. Dessie Hutchinson
14. Tim O’Sullivan
20. Peter Hogan

Subs

13. Conor Power for Hogan (43)
22. JJ Hutchinson for Tim O’Sullivan (55)

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About the author:

Denis Hurley

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