The Munster senior hurling championship gets underway this weekend, with the meeting of Drom & Inch and Ballygunner. It will be a new experience for the former, while the latter are well accustomed to this stage of the competition.
Drom & Inch, from Tipperary, are in the provincial series for the first time, having recorded a two-point win over Clonoulty Rossmore in the Premier final. Led by county stars, Seamus Callanan, James Woodlock and Seamus Butler, the side fought back from a five-point deficit early in the second half to win by 1-19 to 2-14.
They showed a never say die attitude on that occasion that will serve them well in the heat of battle this weekend. Should they find themselves trailing at any stage of Sunday’s game, they will believe that they have the ability to mount a fight back.
Ballygunner on the other hand, have vast experience at this level. They have won the Waterford championship four times in the last ten years and have been one of the leading club sides in Munster throughout that period. They recorded a 1-19 to 0-6 defeat of Tallow in the recent county decider and looked very sharp on the day. Pauric Mahony scored 0-11 for the side and was ably assisted by Waterford senior stars, Shane O’Sullivan, David O’Sullivan and Brian O’Sullivan.
The bookies have surprisingly made the Deise side the outsiders for this game and they will be determined to prove the layers wrong. The men from the South East are in tremendous form at present and having easily taken their county title, they will be full of confidence this weekend.
Despite the odds, Ballygunner have the crucial experience at this level of competition that may just see them over the line. The likes of Callanan, Butler and Woodstock are excellent hurlers and have played at the very top for Tipperary. However, their teammates will need to adapt to a pace that they are not as used to playing at. The Waterford side have been there and seem that already and this experience may just be enough.