Ballybacon/Grange manager Sean Maher looks forward to Munster Club Hurling Final

Eamonn Wynne

Reporter:

Eamonn Wynne

Email:

ewynne@nationalist.ie

Ballybacon/Grange

Ballybacon/Grange's Michael O'Sullivan in action against Shane Cotter of St. Catherine's during Sunday's Munster Club Junior Hurling Championship semi-final in Ardfinnan.

Ballybacon/Grange manager Sean Maher describes the prospect of the club’s Munster Club Junior Hurling Championship Final on Sunday fortnight, December 3rd as “very exciting”. 

“We've a couple of weeks to prepare, so we can let today flow past us and then start to build it up again for that”, he stated after his team beat St. Catherine’s of Cork in last Sunday’s semi-final.

“It's exciting stuff, we were never here before so it's great".

He also believes that Sunday’s win over St. Catherine's in Ardfinnan was even more satisfying than winning the club's first adult county title the previous Sunday.

Ballybacon beat Toomevara by five points in the County Junior A Final and followed up that historic victory by getting the better of the Cork team by the same margin to qualify for the Munster Final against Ardmore in Mallow.

"There was maybe even more satisfaction in today's win because they got themselves together and got prepared. They weren't prepared to leave it at that (winning the county final)", said Sean Maher. 

"They pushed on a little bit".

Ballybacon looked out of their depth when they trailed by 0-5 to 0-1 after 14 minutes, as they played second fiddle to a St. Catherine's side that included three players - captain Daniel Mangan, Brian Mulcahy and Eoin Condon - who helped divisional team Imokilly win the Cork Senior hurling championship.

But they fought their way back into contention and ran out deserved winners.

"I think we hurled to our level today, which was good", said the Ballybacon manager. 

"There's great spirit in the team and great heart. Sometimes it doesn't always transfer to the pitch but today I think it did".

He was delighted not only with the win but the performance and the manner of the victory.

"The heart and determination our fellows showed was fantastic, that's all you want from a team, it was very good today".

He agreed that his team responded very well when St. Catherine's scored three unanswered points at the start of the second half.

"They had a couple of tricks up their sleeve to begin with, including their puckouts, and they were able to close down all of our puckouts, it took us a while to get used to that.

"They had a number of changes from the (Cork) county final. They have been on a hard road in the last week, the drawn match (in the final) and extra time and the replay on Tuesday night, and they had a club event last night as well.

"Maybe our guys were that little bit fresher in the finish, so we were able to resist that onslaught when it came in the last four or five minutes.