Sport

Ballygunner and Mount Sion set to make a splash in Walsh Park

Despite the heavy rainfall this morning, the senior hurling county final is due to go ahead in Walsh Park.

Ballygunner and Mount Sion are set to line out at the city ground from half past two to decide who takes home the News & Star Cup for 2022.

2014 was the last time Sion were involved in the decider losing to Ballygunner 2.14 to 0.09. Since then, Ballygunner have been in every final - winning all of them. The run has sent the Gunners to the very top of the club game, winning both Munster and All-Ireland titles last year.

They come to Walsh Park today with a hard-to-believe 46-game unbeaten run in their back pocket, with no sign of the train slowing down any time soon.

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Sion meanwhile have been the team most likely to dethrone the Gunners this year. John Meaney only boasts one senior intercounty hurler on his panel, but as former Déise Captain Brian Flannery says "If you can only have one county player in your team, Austin Gleeson is probably the best one to have".

The talismanic Gleeson has been superb for Sion this year leading from the front as captain and putting opposition to the sword at every opportunity - you can be sure Waterford boss Davy Fitz has enjoyed watching him in full flow. Gleeson's county team mate Jack Fagan was tasked with marshalling him last weekend and performed the task well, only for Gleeson to catch fire in the second half and send six points over the black spot.

If the Gunners are to be stopped at eight titles and 46 games unbeaten, Gleeson is going to be need to be at the peak of his powers.

On the other side of the coin, Darragh O' Sullivans Gunners will be aiming to continue what they have done in every other game so far. While they were put to the pin of their collars by Roanmore in the first half of their semi-final, they came out for round two and brushed the Sky Blues away in a typically clinical fashion.

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Any team that has the luxury of springing Patrick Fitzgerald from the bench is a team that is cruising, and while he came into the game midway through the first half it was Fitzgerald along with Dessie Hutchinson would who put the frights up Roanmore backs.

O'Sullivan has often talked about the process, the process, the process. That was clear to see last weekend. A game that was not going to plan was not to be too concerned about. Stick to the process and the cream will rise.

If the process is to be muddied this afternoon, Sion have been given a template from Peter Queally's Roanmore. Taking the Gunners on physically and matching them for pace is one thing, but Sion will need to aim to do it for the full sixty. While the star man Gleeson is capable of winning games on his own at times, this is a game where the full compliment of 15 will need to be on their game to support the county man.

It remains to be seen what happens and with torrential rain falling all morning the game may take on a different complexion. Balls won't go to hand as easy, the pace will be brought right down and players who are usually able to spin and turn to slip a tackle won't have the same freedom as in recent weeks.

We will be on air from 2.15 here on WLR, with live commentary thanks to George Corbett Skoda. Kieran O'Connor and Michael Ryan will be in the commentary box to see it all play out.

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