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Brian O'Sullivan, Ballygunner, and Sean O'Leary-Hayes, Midleton, in action at Walsh Park.
Brian O'Sullivan, Ballygunner, and Sean O'Leary-Hayes, Midleton, in action at Walsh Park.

Ballygunner advance in Munster 


AIB Munster Club SHC Quarter-Final

BALLYGUNNER (WATERFORD) 1-18 MIDLETON (CORK) 2-13

By Tomas McCarthy at Walsh Park

Conor Power netted 11 minutes from time as favourites Ballygunner survived a scare from Midleton at Walsh Park.

In front of 1,342 spectators, Fergal Hartley's side trailed by five entering first half injury time, but Power's goal and twelve Pauric Mahony placed balls squeezed them through to the last four. They will face Ballyea next Sunday.

Strikes by Conor Lehane and Cormac Beausang earned Midleton a surprise 2-8 to 0-10 half time lead. Six Mahony frees inside 13minutes sent Ballygunner 0-6 to 0-2 up. Referee Johnny Murphy also flashed yellows to Midleton full backs Luke Dineen and Finbarr O’Mahoney.

The visitors won their first free at the end of the first quarter, as Shane O’Sullivan received a yellow for a high tackle, and Lehane obliged.

The Rebel attacker operated at full forward and drove home a 20 metre free on 21 minutes to level the contest (1-5 to 0-8). That score ignited the underdogs as Cormac Walsh edged them ahead for the first time before Patrick White added a fine solo effort.

Tim O’Sullivan got one back for the Gunners before Lehane created a third point for Walsh at the opposite end. In injury time, Tommy Wallace saved from Billy O’Keeffe before Tommy O’Connell supplied Beausang. With the Ballygunner defence blown wide open, he rifled to the corner of the net past Stephen O’Keeffe. Mahony converted his seventh free with the last act of the opening half. Midleton held a four point advantage and also shot six wides.

Peter Hogan replaced Wayne Hutchinson during the interval as the five in a row Waterford champions rearranged their defence. Early points by Tim O’Sullivan and Hogan narrowed the deficit to two. A lively Midleton attack continued to bother their hosts and Harley Barnes was shown yellow for taking Luke O’Farrell to ground. Lehane tapped it over. Pauric Mahony converted a 65 in reply. A Cormac Beausang sideline left the guests a goal up entering the final quarter. Lehane miscued a free to increase that margin.

With 11 minutes remaining, Conor Power evaded the Midleton defence and found the net at the second attempt (1-14 to 2-10). The speedy corner forward then hit the inside of the post. Three Mahony frees and another single from sub JJ Hutchinson got the Gunners over the line.

Scorers for Ballygunner: Pauric Mahony 0-12 (11fs, 1 65), Conor Power 1-1, Tim O’Sullivan 0-2, Billy O’Keeffe, Peter Hogan, JJ Hutchinson 0-1 each.

Scorers for Midleton: Conor Lehane 1-4 (3fs), Cormac Beausang 1-2 (1 s-l), Cormac Walsh 0-3, Luke Dineen, James Nagle, Luke O’Farrell, Patrick White 0-1 each.

BALLYGUNNER: Stephen O’Keeffe; Eddie Hayden, Barry Coughlan, Ian Kenny; Wayne Hutchinson, Philip Mahony, Harley Barnes; Shane O’Sullivan, Michael Mahony; Barry O’Sullivan, Pauric Mahony, Billy O’Keeffe; Conor Power, Brian O’Sullivan, Tim O’Sullivan.

Subs: Peter Hogan for Wayne Hutchinson (H-T), JJ Hutchinson for Barry O’Sullivan (45).

MIDLETON: Tommy Wallace; Eoghan Moloney, Seadnaidh Smyth, Finbarr O’Mahoney; James Nagle, Luke Dineen, Sean O’Leary-Hayes; Paul Haughney, Seamus O’Farrell; Cormac Walsh, Luke O’Farrell, Cormac Beausang; Tommy O’Connell, Conor Lehane, Patrick White.

Subs: Ross O’Regan for Dineen (56), Garan Manley for White (59), Aidan Ryan for Haughney (60+1).

REFEREE: Johnny Murphy (Limerick)

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