Sion tops in City battle

Waterford Senior Hurling Championship Group B

Mount Sion 3-17
Roanmore 0-13

Brian Flannery at Walsh Park

Mount Sion got their 2019 Senior Hurling Championship campaign off to the perfect start with a 13-point victory over city rivals Roanmore at Walsh Park last Saturday.Two second half goals from former county minor Evan McGrath proved crucial in propelling the Monastery men to victory over their neighbours for the third successive year. Roanmore had the benefit of the breeze in the opening and for long spells during this period the Sky blues was on top and looking the likely winners.

Mount Sion struggled to find any rhythm in the first half and was left hanging onto the coattails of their opponents. Gavin O’Brien was in sparkling form hitting seven points in the opening half with Billy Nolan and debutant Cian Wadding both landing a pair of white flaggers for the Philip Murphy managed Roanmore side. Evan McGrath and Austin Gleeson provided most resistance but Mount Sion was fortunate to be only four points adrift at the break 0-12 to 0-8.Gavin O’Brien pointed a free just two minutes into the second half to increase the Roanmore lead to five points. Remarkably, this was to be Roanmore’s only second half score as they failed to score over the remaining 34 minutes (28 normal plus six minutes injury-time).

Mount Sion's PJ Fanning tussles with Roanmore's Emmet O'Toole during their Group B SHC clash at Walsh Park. 							| Photos: Maurice Hennebry

Mount Sion's PJ Fanning tussles with Roanmore's Emmet O'Toole during their Group B SHC clash at Walsh Park. | Photos: Maurice Hennebry


Mikey Daykin, Evan McGrath (a free) and veteran Michael Gaffney all pointed in succession to narrow the margin to just two points as Mount Sion finally began to gain momentum.
When Eamonn Power was dismissed in the in the 44th minute the task became even more difficult for Roanmore. Evan McGrath converted another free and then after 47 minutes the youngster goaled to put ‘Sion ahead for the first time in the game. A long delivery from Mikey Daykin was fumbled on the goal-line and the inrushing McGrath batted the loose ball to the net (1-12 to 0-13).

A difficult spot for Roanmore became even more so when substitute Brian Nolan followed his teammate to the line for a second bookable offense, reducing his side to 13 players.
The traffic was all towards the Roanmore goal now with Evan McGrath converting two more placed balls before landing the game deciding second goal after 58 minutes. This concession was largely self-inflected when a free for Roanmore was sent across goal to their goalkeeper Jack Chester. The sideward pass wasn’t online and a vigilant Evan McGrath pounced to dispossess Chester before shooting into an unguarded net, 2-14 to 0-13 – game over.
Martin F.O’Neill added a third goal two minutes into injury time to swell the margin and increase the score difference with two more rounds still to be played.

Evan McGrath was the goal scoring hero for the winners with good support from Owen Whelan, Mikey Daykin, Peter Penkert and Michael Gaffney.Roanmore lost control of the game in the second half but had good performances from Gavin O’Brien and Frank McGrath with newcomers Conor Ryan and Cian Wadding also impressing.

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