Michael Kiely

Eoin McGrath loses his hurley while laying off a hand-pass as Michael O

Mount Sion 2-9 Fourmilewater 2-8

■□■ View Photos

A goal deep in stoppage kept Mount Sion’s one hundred percent record in this year’s county senior hurling championship intact at Fraher Field on Saturday last.

With Mount Sion trailing 2-8 to 1-9 with three minutes of additional time played, the monastery men were awarded a free in their own half of the field. Tony Browne delivered the ball in around the Fourmilewater goal and amid a scramble Eoin McGrath managed to put it past impressive ‘keeper Conor Ryan to steal a victory by the minimal margin.

However, the main talking point of the game came 13 minutes earlier when Fourmilewater’s Richie Fenton put a pin-point accurate free between the uprights which the umpires waved wide. Referee Pat Casey quite rightly overruled his umpires, leading to protests from the Mount Sion mentors. This resulted in the referee going in to consult with his umpires, after which he changed his original decision and the score was scrubbed.

While Fourmilewater will feel distressed with that overruled point in the 50th minute, they also have to take some responsibility for the defeat themselves.

Against a strong wind in the second half they played with a two-man full-forward line. Experienced as Mount Sion are, they also moved one of their full-back line out the field and opted to leave the experienced Tony Browne as their free man in defence. He duly cleaned up in the ‘sweeper’ role between the full and half-back lines, setting up a number of attacks.

Richie Fenton had opened the scoring with two pointed frees in the third and sixth minutes which Alan Lawlor added to from play.

County minor Martin O’Neill got Mount Sion’s first score on nine minutes. Thomas O’Gorman and Martin O’Neill from a 65 added points before Richie Fenton put Fourmilewater five points to two in front with a quarter-of-an-hour gone.

During the remainder of the half Mount Sion had numerous chances to score but time and time again these chances fell short and Conor Ryan in the Fourmilewater goal was on hand to clear the danger, often unchallenged.

The Fourmilewater goalkeeper was tested with five minutes of the half remaining when Jason Phelan had a good chance, but Ryan was equal to the task and made a very good save. Brian Cusack added a point at the death for Mount Sion, leaving just two points between the sides at the break.

With the aid of the wind Mount Sion were expected to be too strong for Fourmilewater in the second half, but this was far from the case. It was Fourmilewater that got off to the better start scoring a goal inside four minutes of the restart. A good delivery from the impressive Thomas O’Gorman found its way to County senior panellist Shane Walsh who put the ball past Ian O’Regan in the Mount Sion goal.

Sean Ryan and Richie Fenton exchanged scores inside a three minute spell after which Ken McGrath, Richie Fenton, Tony Browne and Ross O’Keeffe (2) all added points to leave just two points between the sides with half of the second thirty minutes played.

With 11 minutes of the game remaining Brian Cusack, shooting for a point, saw his effort hit the upright; the ball fell to Sean Ryan and he put the ball past Conor Ryan to put Mount Sion in front for the first time.

Fenton’s disputed point followed and patrons had to wait a further six minutes for the next score. A long delivery from Fourmile’ defender Rory Rice found its way to Shane Walsh who cracked the ball past Ian O’Regan for his third club championship goal in a week.

Martin O’Neill and Richie Fenton exchanged points for their respective sides on 60 and 62 minutes before Tony Browne’s long ball led to Eoin McGrath’s last-gasp winner just before the shrill of referee’s Pat Casey’s full-time whistle.

*Footnote: Ken McGrath was deemed not fit enough to start the game but did come on early in the second half for the injured Ian Galgey.

Mount Sion: I O’Regan; I Power, M Gaffney, K Flynn; T Browne, E Whelan, C Ryan, P Hammond, E McGrath; B Cusack, R O’Keeffe, J Phelan; Martin O’Neill, S Ryan, I Galgey. Subs: K McGrath for Galgey, K Stafford for Power.

Scorers: S Ryan 1-1, M O’Neill 0-3, E McGrath 1-0, R O’Keeffe 0-2, B Cusack, K McGrath, T Browne 0-1 each.

Fourmilewater: C Ryan; L Walsh, L Lawlor, J Walsh; Shane Lawlor, B Wall, P Horkan, Rory Rice; Seamus Lawlor; R Fenton, M Walsh, M O’Gorman; A Lawlor, S Walsh, T O’Gorman. Subs: T Walsh for Shane Lawlor, J.P. Fitzgerald for A Lawlor, D Wall for M Walsh.

Scorers: S Walsh 2-0, R Fenton 0-5, A Lawlor, T O’Gorman 0-1 each.

Referee: P Casey (Cappoquin).