Ballygunner's Pauric Mahony celebrates at Walsh Park.
Ballygunner's Pauric Mahony celebrates at Walsh Park.

Waterford SHC Final: Ballygunner retain title


Waterford SHC Final

Ballygunner 2-11 Mount Sion 0-8

By Tomás McCarthy at Walsh Park

All Star goalkeeper Stephen O''Keeffe inspired All Ireland champions Ballygunner to a record equalling nine county titles in a row at a rain lashed Walsh Park this afternoon.

The Gunners netminder produced four top drawer saves, including a first half penalty stop from Austin Gleeson. On a day when scores were scarce, Pauric Mahony and Peter Hogan goaled in either half while Dessie Hutchinon and Billy O'Keeffe got two points from play. Corner back Ian Kenny was always out in front as it took Sion 42 minutes to score from play.48 games unbeaten in Waterford for the men in red and black.

Heavy rain fell in Waterford all morning and afternoon, but the game was given the green light following a pitch inspection.

After a hot and heavy start, Pauric Mahony pointed a free in the third minute. He missed the next one. On ten minutes, he played a quick free to Patrick Fitzgerald but PJ Fanning stopped his shot on the line. Mount Sion hit two wides before Mikey Mahony set up Dessie Hutchinson for the first point from play after 13 minutes.

Austin Gleeson and Owen Whelan put Jamie Gleeson into space. His shot was saved by Stephen O'Keeffe but Thomas Walsh signalled a penalty for a high tackle. Austin Gleeson stepped up but O'Keeffe produced a full length save. Gleeson notched Sion's first point from a long range free on 17 minutes.

Mikey Mahony then cut through Sion defence and supplied older brother Pauric who slipped it past Ian O'Regan (1-2 to 0-1).

O'Keeffe then brought down a Martin O'Neill point effort and Hutchinson obliged at the other end. A Pauric Mahony free and a Mikey Mahony point from left it 1-5 to 0-2 in favour of the Gunners. Austin Gleeson mishit a free in front of goal before he tapped over his third in injury time. A five point lead for the holders at the break.

After Gleeson converted another free, Hutchinson flashed a shot across the face of goal and wide. On 36 minutes, Stephen O'Keeffe denied Alan Kirwan from close range. Mikey Mahony won a free and Pauric did the rest.

Kevin Mahony stretched the lead to six before Evan Curran struck Sion's first point from play on 42 minutes. A quick free from Gleeson to Martin O'Neill saw the gap close to four (1-8 to 0-7).

Billy O'Keeffe was introduced for the champions and he made an instant impression with back to back points. Gleeson responded with a marvellous solo score.

With eight minutes left, Peter Hogan scampered through on goal and found the top corner of the net. History in the making.

Scorers for Ballygunner: Pauric Mahony 1-4 (4fs), P Hogan 1-1, B O'Keeffe, D Hutchinson 0-2 each, K Mahony, M Mahony 0-1.

Scorers for Mount Sion: A Gleeson 0-5 (4fs), E Curran, O Whelan, M O'Neill 0-1 each.

Ballygunner: S O'Keeffe; I Kenny, B Coughlan, T Foley; R Power, Philip Mahony, S O'Sullivan; C Sheahan, P Leavey; M Mahony, Pauric Mahony, P Hogan; Patrick Fitzgerald, D Hutchinson, K Mahony.

Subs: B O'Keeffe for Fitzgerald (43), T O'Sullivan for K Mahony (59), J Foley for Pauric Mahony (59), D O'Keeffe for Sheahan (63), B O'Sullivan for Power (63).

Mount Sion: I O'Regan; L O'Brien, PJ Fanning, M Daykin; Martin F O'Neill, S O'Neill, B Flanagan; S Roche, E Curran; A Gleeson, O Whelan, A Kirwan; J Meaney, Martin O'Neill, J Gleeson.

Subs: J Kennedy for Meaney (HT), D Butler for Jamie Gleeson (41), P Penkert for Curran (53), D Power for Flanagan (61).

Referee: T Walsh.