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JAMES Murphy has been ever-present at wing back on the three Ballyea teams to taste senior championship glory.

Their 2021 success was special, the defender noted. “Losing Tony (Kelly) was a big thing but back along, we have always had the culture in Ballyea that we hurl what is out in front of us. The hurlers got better as we progressed over the years and everybody stood up today to make up for Tony’s loss. It’s extra special, doing it without Tony and doing it for Tony at the same time”.

Corner forwards, Mossy Gavin and Aaron Griffin added a new dimension to their team this year, the dual-player with Clondegad said.

A track record of clawing back games stood to Robbie Hogan’s side in the dying moments, James believed. “We have been in an awful lot of tight games down the years. Look at what happened against Thurles a couple of years ago, coming back from there with so little time left. We knew that we can always dig it out. When we are there or thereabouts in the last quarter we know we can put it in. It’s a bit of a thing that other teams have on us that we know we are there till the last whistle”.

Looking ahead to the Munster club clash with the Waterford champions, Ballygunner he recalled, “we had a savage battle with them in Waterford a few years ago and we will be itching to get another crack, they are the form team with so many titles. We will do what we always do, go out and take every quarter as it comes and give it a good belt”.

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