Mount Sion outclass demoted Ardmore in relegation playoff

This crucial relegation play-off affair between honours-laden Mount Sion and Ardmore turned out to be something of an anti-climax at a well-attended Fraher Field on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon.

This crucial relegation play-off affair between honours-laden Mount Sion and Ardmore turned out to be something of an anti-climax at a well-attended Fraher Field on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon.

Mount Sion 3-14; Ardmore 1-5

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This crucial relegation play-off affair between honours-laden Mount Sion and Ardmore turned out to be something of an anti-climax at a well-attended Fraher Field on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon, as the city men simply romped home the most comprehensive of winners and by a most convincing 3-14 to 1-5 margin into the bargain.

It was a game both sides needed to win in order to maintain their senior status going into 2009, but at no stage of a somewhat one-sided affair did anything other than a resounding victory for the Monastery colours suggest itself.

In fact, the contest seldom rose above the level of mediocrity, due no doubt to the marked supremacy of the winners, who simply had the issue well and truly secured by the halfway mark, at which stage they led by an unassailable lead of 3-11 to 1-3.

Their scoring power dried up appreciably in the second half, and remarkably in what transpired to be little more than an academic second period, the losers actually outscored the victors during the concluding thirty minutes’ play.

Aided by a pretty influential first-half breeze, the former champions went about their business in most positive fashion and a brace of early goals – the first from Eoin McGrath after six minutes, and the other by Ross O’Keeffe three minutes later, when the first mentioned turned out to be the provider -saw off an Ardmore outfit who had expressed grave difficulty in fielding anywhere near full strength in the days leading up to this fixture.

As it was, the Seasiders who had joined senior ranks after they had taken the 2002 Intermediate crown at the expense of Clonea, looked a fairly strong team on paper at least, and this included sterling servant Declan Prendergast who was married on Saturday, and interrupted his honeymoon in order to assist his club in their hour of need. But as a unit they certainly revealed a great lack of match practice and it showed right from the beginning.

Following the early goals, Mount Sion went on to stretch their lead further with three points on the trot by Ken McGrath – the first of these from a free – and some seventeen minutes had elapsed before Seamus Prendergast, the only Ardmore scorer in the first half, finally opened their account from a placed position.

On the call of half-time Mount Sion consolidated their position -again Eoin McGrath created the opening and Ross O’Keeffe was able to get his second goal from close range, and leave them well ahead at the short whistle.

Low scoring

There was a fair deal of improvement in Ardmore’s second half performance and with a little slice of luck they might have added more appreciably to their meagre interval tally. Again the versatile Seamus Prendergast proved to be their chief threat in attack, and it was fitting that it was he who secured the losers’ lone goal in the closing minutes, when he latched on to a David Hennessy free to give Ian O’Regan no chance.

Mount Sion, playing well within themselves, raised just three additional white flags in the second period – one each from Ross O’Keeffe, Eoin and Ken McGrath – and will surely be a force to be reckoned with again at senior level in 2009.

Mount Sion: Ian O’Regan, John Cleere, Nicky Jacob, Kevin Flynn, Christopher Ryan, Tony Browne, Kenny Stafford, Paul Hammond, Eoin Whelan, Eoin McGrath, Ken McGrath, Jamie O’Meara, Anthony Kirwan, Ross O’Keeffe, Sean Ryan. Subs: Martin O’Neill for A Kirwan, Ian Galgey for S Ryan, Shane Twomey for K Stafford, John O’Farrell for P Hammond, Pat Kelly for J Cleere.

Scorers: Ken McGrath 0-8, Ross O’Keeffe 2-2, Eoin McGrath 1-1, Sean Ryan, Tony Browne, and Jamie O’Meara 0-1 each.

Ardmore: Clinton Hennessy, Adrian O’Donnell, Declan Prendergast, Maurice Hennessy, David Hennessy, Richard Hennessy, Niall Hennessy, James O’Donnell, Wayne Hennessy, Kenny Murphy, Seamus Prendergast, Cathal Hennessy, Shane Leahy, John Hennessy, Paudie Gleeson. Subs: Anthony Ahearne for S Leahy, Dan McNamara for N Hennessy, Kieran Foley for J O’Donnell.

Scorers: Seamus Prendergast 1-4, James O’Donnell 0-1.

Referee: Tim O’Byrne (Erin’s Own).

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