Lismore aiming to atone and dethrone champions Ballygunner

FEW are as well acquainted with the disappointment of losing Waterford SHC games to Ballygunner as former Lismore great Michael ‘Ducky’ Ormonde.

However, such history wouldn’t feature in the manager’s team speech when the sides face off in tomorrow’s county semi-final (Fraher Field, 3.30pm) – a repeat of last year’s thrilling draw and replayed decider between the pair which the Gunners’ won.

Manager in 2009 and again in 2001 when Lismore lost in the final to Ballygunner, Ormonde was also a selector when Lismore lost the 1986 decider to Mount Sion.

But he insists his approach is all about the future – and not righting wrongs of the past. He said: “If we allow ourselves to fall into that trap then we will be starting from a very negative position tomorrow,” he says.

Ormonde praised Cork legend Tomás Mulcahy who has coached them to the last four.

“Tomás has had a huge influence and he has fashioned a tremendous relationship with the players. We are now playing a more direct brand of hurling, and he has instilled a tremendous belief into them.”

Ormonde, who allayed fitness concerns over star attacker Maurice Shanahan, acknowledged Ballygunner enter the game as deserving favourites. “They have managed to fill the gaps created by the retirement of some of their greatest players with exciting youngsters. Having won the title last year they will be fancying their chances of retaining it.”

However he feels that his side are peaking at the right time and are perfectly placed to cause an upset.

Tomorrow’s second semi-final pits 2009 champions De La Salle against Passage East who have never lifted the title, (Walsh Park, 3.40pm).

De La Salle, backboned by John Mullane and Kevin Moran are hot favourites against a Passage side which features county men Eoin Kelly and Noel Connors.

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