Lismore add to Mt. Sion’s woes
Lismore . . . 1-14; Mount Sion . . . 0-12
Troubled times for Mount Sion as they crashed to a second successive county senior hurling championship defeat at the hands of Lismore at sun-splashed Fraher Field last Sunday.
In stark contrast the Westerners have moved comfortably into the last eight in the title race leaving ‘Sion with one last gasp chance of keeping their championship hopes alive when they play Passage East – former colleague Eoin Kelly and all – in what will be a winner take all showdown later in the season.
Never have the former title laden champions missed the absence of the suspended Tony Browne as sorely as they did in this one, and without Micheal White and the injured Sean Ryan too they clearly went into the game at a serious disadvantage.
Lismore wasted no time in settling into their task with Maurice Shanahan giving them a 4th minute lead. Teenager Martin O’Neill had ‘Sion level on nine minutes and after a further points exchange between Shanahan (free) and John O’Farrell the losers hit the front for the one and only time through Michael Frisby.
On the quarter hour Lismore had the game’s only goal, a super strike by Maurice Shanahan who collected a long Dave Bennett delivery and it was a lead the westerners would never again relinquish. They were in control in virtually every area of the field and their 1-8 to 0-6 half time advantage certainly didn’t flatter them. In fact it was looking a whole lot worse for ‘Sion as the half-time break approached but three points on the trot by Eoin McGrath – two of them from frees – left his side a still manageable five points adrift at the interval.
That margin was down to four within three minutes of the restart when midfielder Kenny Stafford found the range, but that was as good as it would get for ‘Sion with Lismore quickly reasserting their mastery and pulling away for a victory probably more easily attained than their eventual margin of victory would suggest.
Home and hosed
John Heneghan negated Stafford’s point with a beauty of his own, and when Maurice Shanahan unerringly converted three successive frees they led 1-12 to 0-7 and all but home and hosed. Frisby and Shanahan (free) exchanged points as did Heneghan and Stafford, and the gap between the sides was still an intimidating eight points with the game into the final ten minutes. In what was clearly a last throw of the dice ‘Sion mentors moved Ken McGrath from centre back to centre forward, and when his goal bound drive from a 20 metre free was kept out by the defensive wall it clearly wasn’t going to be the Monastery club’s day. They did manage late points from substitute Paul Hammond and a Ken McGrath free but this was far too little and far too late as Lismore cruised to victory and to the championship quarter finals.
A solid, workmanlike, and all round efficient Lismore display with Brendan Landers cool and confident in goal, James O’Connor outstanding at full back, Dave Bennett controlling midfield, and Maurice and Dan Shanahan, and John Heneghan doing most of the damage in attack.
A bad day at the office for depleted Mount Sion who are going to need some kind of major injection if they are to reactivate what right now is a faltering championship challenge.
No fault on the day to goalkeeper Iggy O’Regan, Ken McGrath at centre back, and Kenny Stafford at midfield. But up front however their lightweight forwards cut little or no ice against a resolute Lismore defence.
Teams and scorers
Lismore: B. Landers; E. Bennett. J. O’Connor. A. Whelan; D. Howard. S. O’Keeffe. P. Howard; D. Bennett. D. O’Gorman; D. Shanahan. S. Kearney. J. Shanahan; P. Prendergast. M. Shanahan. J. Heneghan; Subs; S. Bennett for Whelan; C. O’Gorman for Prendergast.
Scorers: 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).
Mount Sion: I. O’Regan; B. Flannery. A. Kirwan. 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; Sub; P. Hammond for O’Farrell.
Scorers for Mount Sion; 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(free),(0-1) each.
Referee: Maurice Condon, Clashmore.
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