Troubled times indeed for Mount Sion, and a second successive defeat leaves their championship aspirations hanging by a thread. By contrast Lismore are now safely through to the last eight and on this display could take a lot of beating.
Twice the sides exchanged points in the early sequences before Maurice Shanahan, younger brother of Dan, crashed home the game’s only goal on the quarter-hour to give Lismore a lead they would never again surrender. With the two Shanahans in top form the Mount Sion defence was under constant pressure and the winners were well worth their 1-8 to 0-6 half time lead.
Clearly the loss of the suspended Tony Browne was a major blow to Sion who began the second half brightly with Kenny Stafford rifling over a super point. But Lismore wasted no time in reasserting themselves and three points from Maurice Shanahan frees and a real beauty from play by John Heneghan put them even more firmly in the driving seat.
In a last throw of the dice Sion moved Ken McGrath from centre back to centre forward, but there was no way Lismore were going to surrender the initiative. Two points from Paul Hammond and McGrath (free) in the closing minutes were too little, too late, leaving Lismore comfortable winners and safely into the last eight in the title race.
For Mount Sion however it will be last chance saloon time when they next play Passage East, and their former colleague Eoin Kelly.
M. Shanahan (1-7, 0-6 frees); D. Bennett (0-2, 0-1 free); D. Shanahan (0-2); J. Heneghan (0-2); S. Kearney (0-1).
E. McGrath (0-3, frees); M. Frisby (0-2, 0-1 free); K. Stafford (0-2); J. O’Farrell, M. O’Neill, K. Flynn, P. Hammond, K. McGrath(f) (0-1) each.
B. Landers; E. Bennett, J. O’Connor, A. Whelan; D. Howard, S. O’Keeffe, P. Howard; D. Bennett, D. Howard; D. Shanahan, S. Kearney, J. Shanahan; P. Prendergast, M. Shanahan, J. Heneghan.
S. Bennett for Whelan; C. O’Gorman for Prendergast.
I. O’Regan; B. Flannery, A. Whelan, K. Flynn; F. O’Shea, K. McGrath, C. Ryan; K. Stafford, J. O’Farrell; B. Cusack, R. McGrath, E. McGrath; M. O’Neill, N. Jacob, M. Frisby.
P. Hammond for O’Farrell.
M. Condon, Clashmore.
WITH the minimum of fuss Ballygunner chalked up a second successive group stage victory at Fraher Field yesterday, copperfastening their place in the quarter-finals of the Waterford senior hurling championship.
To Ardmore’s credit they battled bravely against mountainous odds, being short as many as nine regulars, but it was mission impossible against a much better balanced all-round side. They never gave up battling however even with defeat staring them in the face, the great Seamus Prendergast doing all that one man could to inspire them.
Ballygunner raced into an early four-point lead, one they never surrendered. Ardmore had to wait 14 minutes to get off the mark from a Prendergast free and were denied a goal ten minutes later when the ‘Gunners goalkeeper Pat Haran brought off a superlative save from Prendergast.
Leading 0-8 to 0-3 at the break, the Gunners quickly eased to safer pastures with points from Shane O’Sullivan (2) and Stephen Power, and the game seemed to be petering out to its inevitable conclusion when Prendergast briefly raised Ardmore hopes with a goal from a semi-penalty, awarded for a foul on his brother Patrick.
Another Prendergast point narrowed the deficit to just four, but the Gunners finished strongly and three more points left them clear cut winners at the end.
S. Power (0-6, frees); S. O’Sullivan (0-4, 0-1 free);G. O’Connor (0-2); M. Kearney (0-2), J. J. Hutchinson, A. Moloney, D. O’Sullivan (0-1) each.
S. Prendergast (1-5, 1-0 penalty, 0-4 frees); J. O’Donnell (0-2); Cathal Hennessy(0-1).
P. Haran; J. Kearney, F. Hartley, C. Kehoe; P. Mahoney, A. Kirwan, W. Hutchinson; D. O’Sullivan, S. O’Sullivan; S. Power, T. Power, A. Moloney; M. Kearney, J. J. Hutchinson, G. O’Connor.
B. Coughlan for Moloney (inj); R. Hearne for T. Power.
Clinton Hennessy; K. Murphy, D. Prendergast, M. Hennessy; A. North, J. Hennessy, S. Leahy; S. Prendergast, D. Hennessy; E. Foley, P. Gleeson, G. North; A. O’Donnell, J. O’Donnell, Cathal Hennessy.
P. Prendergast for Murphy; C. Foley for G. North.
J. Murphy, Mount Sion.