BALLYGUNNER AND PASSAGE will square up for the Waterford SHC final at Walsh Park next Sunday in a repeat of the 2013 decider.
Owen Connors nailed an injury time winner as 14-man Passage scraped past Dungarvan after a frantic conclusion. The skipper produced 0-9 for Peter Queally’s charges to reach their first final in three seasons.
In a slow burner, substitute Conor Carey lashed to the top corner to create a 1-10 to 0-7 lead with twelve minutes remaining. Eoin Kelly also came off the bench to strike two points and assist another.
Dungarvan responded with 1-4, including a fortuitous goal from Kenny Moore, to squeak ahead. Two Connors frees regained a narrow advantage for Passage entering stoppage time. Kieran Power levelled the scores for the sixth occasion. Connors popped up with the clincher on 63 minutes after Kelly broke the ball in his direction. Michael Kiely had a late opportunity to force a replay but his point attempt dropped short into Eddie Lynch.
This represented the eighth championship meeting between these clubs since 2010. Dungarvan won the initial group game back in June.
Connors shot the last four points of the first half (three frees and a 65) to leave Passage 0-6 to 0-4 ahead. The sides traded two points apiece in the opening quarter. Ryan Donnelly was twice denied goals by Darragh and Eddie Lynch. Passage full forward Liam Flynn received a straight red on seventeen minutes for an off the ball offence.
Patrick Curran was convinced that he registered a goal for Dungarvan but the sliotar popped back out off the crossbar. Alan Kissane consulted with his umpires before ruling out the score. The Blues pushed 0-4 to 0-2 up with Curran and Sean Ryan on target. Connors shouldered the responsibility towards the tail end of the half and his accuracy swung the match in favour of the Eastern men.
Scorers for Passage: Owen Connors 0-9 (5fs, 1 65’); Conor Carey 1-0; Eoin Kelly 0-2; Adam Roche, Liam Flynn 0-1 each.
Scorers for Dungarvan: Patrick Curran 0-8 (7fs, 1 65’); Kenny Moore 1-1; Sean Ryan, Kieran Power, Ryan Donnelly 0-1 each.
Mount Sion 0-11
Ballygunner remain on course for three in a row following a decisive ten point victory over great rivals Mount Sion.
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Brian O’Sullivan scored 1-5 from play as the champions seized control during the second quarter of the contest. Pauric Mahony finished the sixty minutes as top scorer on 0-9 while Stephen O’Keeffe and Philip Mahony minded the house.
The holders opened fire in the closing ten minutes of the half to assume a 1-13 to 0-5 advantage.
With wind assistance, the Gunners surged four points clear in the first quarter. On 24 minutes, Pauric Mahony picked out Brian O’Sullivan with a crossfield pass and the captain finished to the far corner of the cobwebs. Mahony claimed six points including two beauties from play. Six players got on the scoresheet for Denis Walsh’s men.
Sion staged a mini recovery on the resumption with four unanswered singles through Stephen Roche, Michael Gaffney, John Dee and Stephen O’Neill. Two Mahony frees halted that momentum however.
David O’Sullivan drove forward to tee up his brother Brian and the player of the hour tagged on another from near the sideline. The winners currently hold a twelve match unbeaten record in the Waterford SHC.
Scorers for Ballygunner: Pauric Mahony 0-9 (6fs), Brian O’Sullivan 1-5, Peter Hogan, Shane O’Sullivan, Billy O’Keeffe, Tim O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Mount Sion: Martin F O’Neill 0-4 (3fs), Stephen Roche 0-2; Mark Hoban, Stephen O’Neill, John Dee, Michael Gaffney, Owen Whelan 0-1 each.
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