Tomas McCarthy reports from Dungarvan
PAURIC MAHONY SUPPLIED thirteen points as Ballygunner raised the News & Star cup for the fifth year in-a-row at a blustery Fraher Field this afternoon.
The Gunners talisman was a major doubt before the match with a back injury but was deemed fit to start and plagued the Abbeyside back line throughout. The undisputed man of the match sourced eight points from frees and five from open play. The 26 year old completed the Waterford SHC with a total of 2-66.
Mahony’s move to full forward was a significant switch during the first half. They led by three at the break after facing a stiff breeze and second half strikes by Conor Power and Brian O’Sullivan wrapped up a seventeenth county title.
Abbeyside finished with fourteen men after Patrick Hurney’s straight red card on 45 minutes. The Gunners outscored them 2-10 to 0-7 across the second period. Mark Ferncombe was a constant threat on the losing side and ended up with 0-8 for the day and 2-45 for the championship.
Six Mahony points left the favourites 0-9 to 0-6 in front at halfway. Abbeyside skipper David Collins won the toss and opted to play with the elements initially. 4,275 spectators crammed into Fraher Field as the Villagers appeared in their first final for ten years.
The underdogs made a dream start via Ferncombe after thirteen seconds. Patrick Hurney added a second a minute later. They shot seven costly wides during the first quarter however.
Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO
Two Mahony frees tied it up before Brian O’Sullivan supplied Barry O’Sullivan for the lead score on fifteen minutes. Maurice Power equalised immediately. Stephen O’Keeffe then dived at the feet of Hurney when Abbeyside sniffed a goal. Ferncombe slotted two frees to regain the lead.
Mahony then drifted into the edge of the square and four points (three from play) resulted. Brian O’Sullivan and Billy O’Keefe also obliged in a spell where the champions hit six in a row. The hard working John Hurney claimed Abbeyside’s first point for thirteen minutes.
Ferncombe struck first again for Peter Queally’s side 43 seconds into the second half. Mahony reacted with three frees at the other end. On 40 minutes, Tim O’Sullivan rounded John Elstead and offloaded to older brother Brian who slipped the ball low under Stephen Enright (1-12 to 0-7). A Mahony free extended the margin to nine. Ferncombe produced another spectacular point from an acute angle as he wriggled free from Barry Coughlan.
Thomas Walsh dismissed Patrick Hurney with fifteen minutes left for interference with Philip Mahony’s helmet. Conor Power belted home a second goal for the leaders on 50 minutes after he collected a Tim O’Sullivan delivery.
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Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO
In the dying moments, Stephen O’Keeffe pulled off a full length save from Abbeyside sub Michael O’Halloran who mustered two consolation points. Sub keeper Paddy Cooke replaced O’Keeffe at the end as Fergal Hartley emptied the bench.
Ballygunner will encounter Cork side Midleton in the Munster club quarter final on October 28.
Scorers for Ballygunner: Pauric Mahony 0-13 (8fs), Brian O’Sullivan 1-3, Conor Power 1-0, Billy O’Keeffe, Barry O’Sullivan, Michael Mahony 0-1 each.
Scorers for Abbeyside: Mark Ferncombe 0-8 (3fs, 1 65), Michael O’Halloran 0-2, Maurice Power, John Hurney, Patrick Hurney 0-1 each.
1. Stephen O’Keeffe
2. Eddie Hayden
3. Barry Coughlan
4. Ian Kenny
6. Wayne Hutchinson
5. Philip Mahony
8. Harley Barnes
9. Shane O’Sullivan
15. Michael Mahony
7. Billy O’Keeffe
11. Pauric Mahony
10. Barry O’Sullivan
12. Tim O’Sullivan
14. Brian O’Sullivan
13. Conor Power
21. JJ Hutchinson for Billy O’Keeffe (48)
24. Conor Sheehan for Michael Mahony (59)
22. Barry Power for Wayne Hutchinson (61)
16. Paddy Cooke for Stephen O’Keeffe (63)
19. Mark Mullally for Conor Power (64)
1. Stephen Enright
4. John Elstead
2. Brian Looby
7. Darragh McGrath
8. James Beresford
6. David Collins
3. Sean O’Hare
5. Conor Prunty
9. Maurice Power
13. Patrick Hurney
15. Tiernan Murray
10. Neil Montgomery
11. John Hurney
14. Mark Ferncombe
12. Sean Whelan-Barrett
23. Richie Foley for Murray (H-T)
18. Tom Looby for O’Hare (H-T)
21. Michael O’Halloran for Whelan-Barrett (42)
20. Mark Twomey for Elstead (56)
22. Eoin Kiely for Montgomery (58)
Referee: Thomas Walsh
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