“We said to the lads at half-time the seven or eight minutes after the break would be the winning or losing of the game, and from our point of view it was the losing of it.
“They must have hit seven or eight points in 10 minutes. They were able to move up a gear, and we weren’t able to move up a gear with them. They’re the hard facts of it.
“I’m disappointed for the lads. The physical strength of them was important - physically we were a bit lighter than Na Piarsaigh at that time with the breeze coming against us.
“But I couldn’t fault our fellas, they fought away. I couldn’t put any fault on any of them. We fought away and we might have been unlucky with a couple of goal chances. Those are the little things. But Na Piarsaigh, overall, they deserved it the way they moved up a gear and we didn’t.”
Ballygunner were missing key players - the Mahonys, Pauric through a long-term leg injury and Philip through suspension. “In fairness, Kevin Downes was missing for them as well,” said Walsh. “David Breen only came on as a sub. We knew Pauric would be missing all year, but Philip is a lynchpin in those situations. He is a real leader. But in saying that the people who came in gave a great account of themselves.
“(Peter Hogan) was injured, he went off early on in the Glen game. But the fact we were down so many more bodies from last year we felt we had to run with him and really he didn’t last.”
Na Piarsaigh’s experience and physicality counted as well, said Walsh, though he was happy his side managed a second goal to finish with a flourish. “I won’t say the day was bad but conditions were still heavy. The pitch is in marvellous shape but it’s still heavy and it takes a bit out of you. They were able to hold the ball a bit better and take the tackles a bit better.
“They knocked over a lot of the points from out the field, outside the 50 which is the hallmarks of a good team.
“In fairness it (Ballygunner’s second goal) was no more than we deserved, I think. Maybe their last one put a bit of gloss on it in a way but we fought to the end which is fair credit to the lads.”