In a game highlighted by the brilliant performances of goalkeepers, Ian O’Regan and Clinton Hennessy, Mount Sion just about deserved the victory which guarantees them a place in the concluding knockout quarter-final stage of the title race.
However, without the suspended Eoin Kelly and the injured Ken McGrath they often struggled. Ardmore, while gallant and game to the end, simply didn’t have the support to compliment the efforts of Seamas Prendergast in attack. His duel with Tony Browne was another highlight in an enthralling tie.
The sides were level six times, with three points the biggest margin separating them at any stage. The performances of some players dropped off the county panel — notably Declan Prendergast at full-back for Ardmore and Sion’s scorer-in-chief Miceal White, along with O’Regan — may well have provided food for thought for county team management.
Ardmore had a great start when Johnny Hennessy finished the ball to the net after Seamas Prendergast’s goal attempt had been blocked in the 4th minute. Sion’s goal came from White on 22 minutes and the sides were deadlocked, 1-6 each, at the break.
It was nip and tuck for much of the second half before the winners hit three points on the trot.
While Ardmore narrowed the deficit to the minimum with time running out, Eoin McGrath landed a point to seal victory.
: Mount Sion: M. White (1-5); K. Stafford (0-3); E. McGrath (0-2); R. McGrath (0-2). Ardmore: S. Prendergas t(0-6); J. Hennessy (1-0); W. Hennessy (0-2); N. O’Brien (0-2).
: I. O’Regan; B. Flannery, A. Kirwan, K. Flynn; J. Cleere, T. Browne, C. Ryan; M. Gaffney, R. McGrath; E. McGrath, K. Stafford, M .White; S. Ryan, J. O’Meara, M. Hoban.
: J. O’Farrell for Gaffney; R. O’Keeffe for Hoban.
: C. Hennessy; A. Flavin, D. Prendergast, M. Hennessy; A. North, R. Hennessy, N. Hennessy; W. Hennessy, A. O’Dwyer; J. O’Donnell, S. Prendergast, N. O’Brien; E. Foley, J. Hennessy, A. O’Donnell.
: D. Hennessy for A. O’Donnell.
: V O’Toole, (Roanmore).