Waterford manager Derek McGrath has backed Pauric Mahony to show resilience and make a full recovery from a season-ending injury.
On his 23rd birthday, the Déise top scorer faces an operation on his broken tibia at lunchtime today in University Hospital Waterford. The WIT student will spend the summer on the sidelines after sustaining the clean shin break on club duty for Ballygunner on Saturday night.
Mahony had contributed nine points for the Gunners in their championship opener against Ballyduff Upper, before he received a late challenge as he played a pass to Stephen Power for their second goal on 46 minutes. The game was stopped for 17 minutes and an ambulance rushed to the scene. Play was resumed and the champions recorded a 2-18 to 0-9 win.
McGrath firmly believes that his centre forward possesses the strength of character to rebound from this setback. “They are happy with the fact that it is a clean break. He is in very good hands in terms of Tadhg O’Sullivan who is looking after him…
“He has been a massive leader for us in the dressing room. He has been a massive contributor from play and frees. He is essential to how we play, absolutely essential. It’s not just an ordinary loss, it’s a massive loss to us.”
After this shattering blow, McGrath will have to lift spirits ahead of the Munster championship. “That’s where we earn our crust as a management. The boys, whilst they were very upset, they are a very close unit. While they are devastated for Pauric, they know that they are just going to have to put that bit extra in to try and galvanise us. That’s what teams do.”
On a blustery Sunday afternoon, Abbeyside defeated Fourmilewater by 2-9 to 0-13. Stephen Cliffe struck six points as Mark Gorman and Patrick Hurney grabbed first-half goals. Ken McGrath started his stint as Mount Sion manager with a 23-point mauling of 2014 Munster intermediate winners Cappoquin (4-18 to 0-7).
Fourteen man Dungarvan dug out a 0-13 to 0-10 win over Lismore in deplorable weather last night at Fraher Field. The sides were deadlocked eight times but seven Patrick Curran points helped the Blues to victory.
At Walsh Park, Owen Connors knocked over a last-minute winner as Passage prevailed by 0-11 to 1-7 against Roanmore. Billy Nolan registered 1-6 for Roanmore, including a first-half penalty.
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