McGraths fire Sion to victory over Gunners
Mount Sion 2-13 Ballygunner 0-12 Adrian Flanagan Waterford SHC Final THE McGrath brothers, Ken and Eoin, led by example as Mount Sion claimed a deserved victory over arch rivals Ballygunner in the Waterford hurling final in Dungarvan yesterday.
The brothers, lining out on the half-forward line, contributed nine points, with Ken producing a man-of-the-match display and finishing the game's top scorer.
The Monastery men enjoyed a whirlwind start, blasting home two exquisite goals in the first six minutes to leave Ballygunner shell-shocked.
Mount Sion got the first score on three minutes when a beautiful ball from Ken McGrath was caught by Sean Ryan, who netted a brilliant goal.
If one thought the first goal was a piece of brilliance, then it was matched on six minutes when Eoin Kelly superbly set up Michael White, who flicked the ball past a stranded Pat Haran.
The Gunners were rocked and it took them 14 minutes to register a reply, thanks to captain Andy Moloney, but Ken McGrath scored three points (two from play) to keep his side in control.
Three points from Barry Mullane cut the gap, and the Gunners were handed a lifeline when Eoin Kelly had an excellent chance for a goal on 29 minutes but fired wide following a flick on from Sean Ryan.
Shane O'Sullivan landed two frees to see the Gunners trailing Mount Sion by three points at half-time, 2-4 to 0-7.
Mount Sion started the second half as impressively as they had begun the first and four points in the opening seven minutes had them in control.
Captain Eoin McGrath started the ball rolling for Sion, followed by points from Kelly and Ken McGrath.
However, it was the superb White, with two excellent scores from play, that saw the tie swing firmly in favour of Mount Sion.
As tempers flared during stages of the second half, which saw four yellow cards issued in 60 seconds, it looked as if things would turn ugly, but referee Tommy O'Sullivan kept a firm lid on proceedings.
Ballygunner and Waterford star attacker Paul Flynn, who was nursing a lingering groin injury, was sprung from the bench in a last-ditch attempt to get back into the match.
However, despite two points from play, even he could not stop Mount Sion's march to their 35th title.
Ken McGrath was immense and he finished the game's top scorer in a man-of-the-match performance that yielded seven points, as Mount Sion claimed victory with considerable ease.
SCORERS - Mount Sion: K McGrath 0-7 (4f), M White 1-2, S Ryan 1 -0, E McGrath 0-2, E Kelly 0-1. Ballygunner: B Mullane 0-3, S O'Sullivan 0-3 (2f, 1 '65'), A Moloney, P Flynn 0-2 each, J Kearney, G O'Connor 0-1 each.
MOUNT SION - I O'Regan; B Flannery, A Kirwan, K Flynn; J Cleere, T Browne, C Ryan; K Stafford, R McGrath; E McGrath, K McGrath, E Kelly; M White, F O'Shea, S Ryan. Subs: R Murphy for Kelly 53, M Gaffney for O'Shea 60, I Power for White 60, P McGrath for S Ryan 60, J O'Meara for Cleere 60.
BALLYGUNNER - P Haran; J Kearney, N Power, R O'Sullivan; A Kirwan, F Hartley, W Hutchinson; C Kehoe, S O'Sullivan, T Power, A Moloney, B Mullane; B O'Sullivan, D O'Sullivan, G O'Connor. Subs: N O'Donnell for Power 11, P Flynn for D O'Sullivan 33, S Walsh for B O'Sullivan 33, B O'Keeffe for Mullane 48.
REFEREE - T O'Sullivan (Cappoquin/