Ballygunner sharpshooter Pauric Mahony paid tribute to his team-mates for their win over Patrickswell in Sunday’s Munster club semi-final — and to his younger brother Michael in particular.
The younger Mahony chipped in with 0-4 from play in the second half to make the game safe for the Waterford champions, having led by just a point at the break.
“We started pretty well, but Patrickswell are a good team,” said Pauric Mahony.
“We saw how comfortable they were in the county final in Limerick against a team as good as Na Piarsaigh. We knew we had to weather the storm in the second half and we did that, thankfully.
“The conditions are tough at this time of year so it’s important to get the fundamentals right.
“We might have strayed away from the game plan for a few minutes late in the first half and we paid the price.
“Thankfully half-time came at just the right time for us, we were able to refocus and go again. We all know what Mikey is capable of and he’s worked hard for the last couple of years, this year he’s really nailing on his place.
“Different people have to step up on different days. Dessie (Hutchinson) stepped up the last day against Sixmilebridge and Mikey stepped up on Sunday, but everyone performed.”
Along with centre-back Philip, Pauric and Mikey have another sibling who enjoyed a successful weekend: “My sister Emily plays camogie with Gaultier and they’d a great win on Saturday in the Munster final. Sometimes at home we take all the plaudits but she’s a handy camogie player. They won the Munster intermediate title so plenty of celebrating Saturday night.”
Mahony agreed Ballygunner’s workrate doesn’t appear to have diminished since Ballyhale knocked them out of the All-Ireland series last February.
“Our first game of the year after the Ballyhale game was in Clonea, we set the tone that day and every day we go out we’re just trying to get better.
“We’re also looking over our shoulders at the young lads coming through. We know we have to improve continuously, to keep working.
“What we have this year possibly is that those 17, 18-year-olds are working hard to get into the team, and that’s giving us experienced lads a push to keep it going.
“We’re 18 months, nearly two years on the road now as a group so maybe that stands to us.”
Did that stand to them in recovering from the previous weekend’s win over Sixmilebridge in Clare? “That’s why we have the likes of (management team) Shay Fitzpatrick, David Franks and Darragh O’Sullivan. They’re very good — we’ll be straight back in dressing-room, getting our protein shakes and recovery. Same tomorrow. Another recovery session in the evening and then good to go for Wednesday night training.”
And then Borris-Illeigh on Sunday week in the Munster club final. “I watched their county final. The spine of their team is made up of intercounty players. Again, it’s going to be a huge challenge for us but it’s great to be in these positions. We have to knuckle down and get as much work as we can into the next two weeks.”