Darragh O'Sullivan thrilled as Ballygunner continue historic journey
Ballygunner manager Darragh O'Sullivan was delighted to come away with the victory in difficult conditions as his side saw off Limerick's Na Piarsaigh to continue the defence of their Munster club hurling title.
A strong breeze, which O'Sullivan described as a "six-point wind", meant that the scoring was relatively low over the hour at the TUS Gaelic Grounds with the third quarter critical in seeing the Déise men home safely.
Having been just one up at the swap over, they would push five clear soon after the restart, stretching the lead out to eight coming down the home straight. A late Adrian Breen goal proved nothing more than consolation for the Limerick champions.
Ballygunner are now just one win away from completing the three-in-a-row of Munster titles, something which has never been achieved before.
"There was an awful lot of similarities to last year, it was a titanic struggle," O'Sullivan said on RTÉ's Sunday Sport.
"They put us to the pin of our collar last year, we were under serious pressure at half time and we turned it around. The second half we were only hanging on there and that's a testament to how good they are. They've fabulous players all over the field. In the end we just barely held on.
"We'll look back on it, we'll take all the positives and we'll take the lessons that we need to learn as well. I'm sure we will find areas in which we can improve."
"It was an extremely strong wind, a five or six point wind, and that's probably why," he said of their narrow lead at the break, despite having much of the possession.
"Even Stephen [O'Keefe] with his puckouts, it was hard to get the ball into the other half. They had the same problem in the second half, they couldn't get it up in our half from their puckout.