Ballygunner success gives Waterford hope of taking Limerick’s All-Ireland crown

Dessie Hutchinson on the attack against Na Piarsaigh last weekend.

BUOYED by his club’s defeat of Na Piarsaigh in the Munster Club semi-final, Ballygunner’s Dessie Hutchinson believes that Waterford will be serious challengers for next year’s All-Ireland title.

Speaking at the launch of the AIB Club Championships, the Dunmore East man said: “I still think Waterford are All-Ireland contenders. I don’t think we turned into a bad team overnight or anything like that.

“I still think we’ll be All-Ireland contenders. That’s the main aim in Waterford – to win the All-Ireland.”

Waterford, who are home to Limerick in the opening round of next season’s Munster Championship, have a new manager in the much-travelled Davy Fitzgerald.

“I don’t know him that well, but from other teams and what I’ve heard, he’ll set up everything in his power to help Waterford win an All-Ireland and I get the feeling myself from Davy and the rest of his management team that that is going to be the aim,” commented Hutchinson.

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“He’s going to put everything in place for us to go as far as we can with him.”

Waterford last won the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 1959 following a replayed defeat of Kilkenny. It was only their second All-Ireland triumph.

Ballygunner’s next opponents are Ballyea of Clare in the Munster Final at Semple Stadium, Thurles on Saturday week.