Ballygunner 1-7 Dungarvan 1-6
Ballygunner completed the clean sweep of adult hurling titles in Waterford with a one-point victory over Western champions Dungarvan in Walsh Park last Saturday. However, despite the efforts of Philip Mahony, Brian O’Sullivan and Dungarvan’s outstanding centre-back Wayne Flynn, it was the standard of refereeing which was the topic of conversation on most people’s lips leaving the ground.
Time and time again throughout the hour referee John-Michael Kelly made some baffling decisions which stirred the anger of both sets of supporters. Indeed, one particular second-half incident would have been funny if it was not so petty.
Kelly saw Ballygunner giving a dry sliotar to Pauric Mahony as he was preparing to take a free. Determined that this was out of order, Kelly took the new ball from Mahony, rolled it in the wet grass and then handed it back to the Ballygunner star to take the free. Perhaps seeing the error of his ways during the game, in the final minute Kelly awarded a free-in to Dungarvan when it was clear that Shane Kearney had slipped. Unfortunately for Dungarvan Cormac Curran’s effort went wide and the title went to Ballygunner.
Free-taking was one of the aspects of the game that suffered as a result of the atrocious weather conditions. Both teams had a difficulty finding the range in the driving rain and swirling breeze with many efforts going as much as 10 yards wide. Even the normally-reliable Stephen Power failed to find the mark with a couple of straightforward frees.
See The Munster Express newspaper for full story and photos.