Mount Sion deservedly led by two points, 1-5 to 0-6, at half-time and were still narrowly in front with little more than ten minutes left. But De La Salle raised the tempo and, finding inspiration from the splendid Kevin Moran at centre-back, they rifled over three of late points to seal their hard earned but deserved victory.
The only goal of a tough opening half was scored by Sion’s Michael Gaffney three minutes before the break and was right out of the top drawer.
The tempo of the game never flagged with De La Salle setting out their stall as they rifled over points by Brian Phelan (free) and Jake Dillon that brought them level inside two minutes of the restart.
Now dominating the outfield play, they steadily eased three points clear with scores that included a Moran gem from the halfway line, before Mount Sion’s emphatic response.
Ken McGrath pointed in the 46th minute, and less than a minute later they were sensationally back in front when Anthony Kirwan, not long in the game as a substitute, finished a long range Tony Browne free to the net — 2-7 to 0-12.
However, De La Salle dominated from there on and they rifled over six points in the closing ten minutes to which Mount Sion’s solitary reply was a Martin O’Neill pointed free.
During that spell too John Mullane managed his one and only score of the hour, but a beauty it was too as he finished an otherwise quiet performance on a dramatic high.
Brian Phelan, like Moran, never put a foot wrong for Mount Sion and one of their most influential players was Dean Twomey who bagged four quality long range points.
For Mount Sion Kenny Stafford, Stephen O’Neill, the never say die Tony Browne and Michael Gaffney all did well.
Scorers for De La Salle: J. Dillon (0-5,0-4 frees); D. Twomey (0-4); B. Phelan (0-3, 0-2 frees, 0-1 ‘65’); P. Nevin (0-2); K. Moran, J. Mullane, S. McNulty, E. Barrett (0-1) each.
Scorers for Mount Sion: M. O’Neill (0-5,0-4 frees); M. Gaffney (1-0); A. Kirwan (1-0); A. Gleeson, S. Roche, K. McGrath (0-1) each.
DE LA SALLE: S. Brenner; C. Watt. I. Flynn. S. Daniels; B. Phelan. K. Moran. E. Madigan; E. Barrett. D. Twomey; S. McNulty. J. Dillon. P. Nevin; J. Mullane. J. Kennedy. J. Keane.
Sub: D. Breen for Keane(41mins)
MOUNT SION: I. O’Regan; J. Dee. J. O’Leary. S. O’Neill; T. Browne. C. Ryan. K. Stafford; O. Whelan. M. Gaffney; E. McGrath. K. McGrath. A. Gleeson; M. O’Neill. S. Ryan. S. Roche; Sub; A. Kirwan for Whelan(41mins).
Referee: Michael O’Brien, Portlaw.