The North Tipp side take on Limerick champions Na Piarsaigh in the Munster Intermediate football semi-final on Sunday at 1pm in Kilmallock.
Ballina reached the Munster Junior final last year, where they were beaten by Kerry’s Gneeveguilla.
Ballina manager Kevin Byrne says they now know what to expect in Munster:
“What we’ve learned is that once you come out of the county and into Munster, there is a step up again in the level of competition that you’re meeting.
“It’s knockout football so there can be no slip ups, every match has to be taken on it’s own merit and you can’t look any further than the next match and that’s very much been our concentration over the last six weeks.
“It’s all been geared to one o’clock on Sunday.”
Six weeks is the time Ballina have had to wait for Sunday’s game since they beat Mullinahone in the county final back on October 16th.
For Na Piarsaigh, they’re last competitive game came two weeks ago against Waterford side Roanmore in the Munster quarter-final, a game the Limerick men won 2-10 to 1-05.
Kevin Byrne saw that game and knows the Limerick men will prove a tough test:
“Na Piarsaigh are a very impressive team.
“I was at their match against Roanmore and we’ve studied the video of that game and some of their previous games during the year as well.
“They are an accomplished team, they know how to play football, they are well organised in defence, they know how to attack, their transition from defence to attack is good and they have a number of very important playmakers on the team.
“We know there’s a big challenge ahead of us on Sunday.”