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PODCAST: "They make the decision that they're going to be warriors at that level" - Ballygunner like an intercounty set up

Ballygunner will currently be busy preparing for their All-Ireland semi-final with Slaughtneil.

The Gunners rattled Kilmallock in the Muster final to claim their third O' Neill Cup last weekend and ultimately made it look like a walk in the park.

Their application, hard work, and approach as a team unit were something to behold on Leeside with Darragh O Sullivans team romping to a 3.20 - 1.12 win.

A man who was instrumental in their first Munster success back in 2001 was Captain Billy O Sullivan (Brother to Darragh). Having lifted the O' Neill cup for the first time 21 years ago, Billy was there last Sunday to see it for the third time. He was on the WLR hurling podcast this week to reflect on his clubs amazing performance in Munster.

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"I just happened to be speaking to someone there on Saturday about the game and about the levels of commitment. When you get to the level that Ballygunner are at, and other top club teams around Ireland, it's the same as the intercounty setups - that's exactly what it is. Same levels of commitment."

The players had been preparing for the final since beating Loughmore-Castleiney in the rain-soaked semi in Fraher Field. Reports had indicated that the players had decided to have as muted a Christmas as possible for fears of contracting covid-19 and becoming unavailable for selection. With the level of omicron variant so pervasive in the community, it looks to have been the correct choice for the squad who were fully stocked and ready for the Limerick champions once the ball was thrown in.

"The best way I could describe it, it's like a lifestyle choice really for these guys. They make the decision that they're going to be warriors at that level, in the game of hurling. It takes over almost everything that they're doing. And they don't always get the reward; it can be only one winner. So then when you do achieve things, it makes it all the sweeter"

While O' Sullivan was in the stand to enjoy the success, former Waterford hurler Eoin Murphy was on duty with WLR for our Big Match coverage. He joined Kieran O Connor in the commentary box, and the Shamrock's club man was blown away by the level of skill displayed by Darragh O Sullivan's team.

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"The big thing for me is how selfless everyone is on the team regardless of who ends up at the end of a score, the right decision is made nine times out of ten. Their awareness; and the way that every single one of them bought into the way that the team wants to play. They know where their strengths are. They're just very, very happy to give a three-yard pass and the pass could be a kick along the fourth floor. There's a lot of intricate, very skillful passing of the ball with the hurley be it a little bat, be it a hand pass over the head, or down low. I'm just blown away with how everyone has bought into the system of play. And just the selfless nature of everyone on their team."

Eoin and Billy featured on the WLR hurling podcast this week to reflect on the Munster final success of Ballygunner, where they were joined by intercounty selector Stephen Frampton.

You can listen to the podcast here

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