Ballygunner manager Darragh O'Sullivan was delighted to come away with the victory in difficult conditions as his side saw off Limerick's Na Piarsaigh to continue the defence of their Munster club hurling title.

A strong breeze, which O'Sullivan described as a "six-point wind", meant that the scoring was relatively low over the hour at the TUS Gaelic Grounds with the third quarter critical in seeing the Déise men home safely.

Having been just one up at the swap over, they would push five clear soon after the restart, stretching the lead out to eight coming down the home straight. A late Adrian Breen goal proved nothing more than consolation for the Limerick champions.

Ballygunner are now just one win away from completing the three-in-a-row of Munster titles, something which has never been achieved before.

"There was an awful lot of similarities to last year, it was a titanic struggle," O'Sullivan said on RTÉ's Sunday Sport.

"They put us to the pin of our collar last year, we were under serious pressure at half time and we turned it around. The second half we were only hanging on there and that's a testament to how good they are. They've fabulous players all over the field. In the end we just barely held on.

"We'll look back on it, we'll take all the positives and we'll take the lessons that we need to learn as well. I'm sure we will find areas in which we can improve."

"It was an extremely strong wind, a five or six point wind, and that's probably why," he said of their narrow lead at the break, despite having much of the possession.

"Even Stephen [O'Keefe] with his puckouts, it was hard to get the ball into the other half. They had the same problem in the second half, they couldn't get it up in our half from their puckout.

"In the modern game the puckout is so important."

Ballygunner manager Darragh O'Sullivan

O'Sullivan will be hoping for better conditions the next day as the Waterford side look to complete a historic third title on the bounce.

It's been seven years since a Clare club last tasted provincial success when Ballyea saw off Glen Rovers. That victory was just the second for a club from the Banner in this century.

But O'Sullivan says that his squad won't be taking anything lightly ahead of next month's decider.

"I'm thrilled with the guys. We had an early start again this morning. It's the fourth year in a row we've had this side of the country. We were in Ennis, we were in Sixmilebridge, and the last two years we've been in the Gaelic Grounds. We have massive days every day.

"We'll re-focus now. Clonlara have been knock on the door in Clare for a number of years. They've a serious forward line and we're going to have to get right back to the level of that today.

"Anyone who thinks different needs to realise that they're going to be a savage Munster final in a coupe of weeks. We've got to make sure we're at the pitch of it."

"It's often harder to play with the wind than it is against the wind because there can be more space. It was about keeping our structure, and at times it was really good.

"At other times, I'm sure when we look back on it we'll find areas in which we can improve it."