Mount Sion are champs of Munster
02 December 2002
Mount Sion 0-12
In Artic conditions at Thurles, on Sunday December 1st, Waterford champions Mount Sion won the Munster club championship for the first time in 21 years with a two-point victory over Clare kingpins Sixmilebridge.
The driving rain and icy wind ensured that this was never going to be a text book hurling match. Two side with an abundance of talent were forced to resort to good old grafting yet amidst the gloom Ken McGrath still managed to shine.
The Waterford star fired over nine points from his centre-forward position and proved a constant menace throughout the game. Indeed it was McGraths two late points that won the game for his side. Sixmilebridge had arrived in Thurles as slight favourites but vitally Mount Sion benefited from playing with the wind in the first half.
They took the lead in the opening minute through Michael White but by the midway point in the half the sides were deadlocked on four apiece. McGrath came to the fore for the remainder of the opening period and at the break Mount Sion led by five points, 0-9 to 0-4.
County star Tony Browne had been withdrawn due to injury prior to the second half but Mount Sion still managed to record the first score of the period through McGrath once more. However Sixmilebridge enjoyed a purple patch, blitzing the Mount Sion rearguard and drawing even. Niall Gilligan, Paul Fitzpatrick and Christie Chaplin were all on target as they levelled the game at ten points apiece with eight minutes remaining.
The momentum and the wind were strongly in the Clare sides favour but they lost it in the dying minutes when Alan Mulready received a second yellow card. McGrath pointed the resulting free and added another moments later. Four minutes of injury time followed but Mount Sion held out for a famous victory.
Mount Sion - I ORegan, J OMeara, A Kirwan, B Flannery, J Cleere, T Browne, B Greene, E McGrath, R McGrath, M Frisby, K McGrath 0-9, E Kelly, M White 0-3, S Ryan, J Meaney. Subs: K ONeill for T Browne, B Browne for Meaney, K Stafford for ONeill, M ORegan for Ryan, P Fanning for Frisby
Sixmilebridge - D Fitzgerald, W Kennedy, P Hayes, T Keogh, A Mulready, J Chaplin, C Walsh, M Culbert, C Chaplin 0-2, A Chaplin, J Reddan, S Fitzpatrick 0-1, C Crowe 0-1, N Gilligan 0-5, B Culbert. Subs: P Fitzpatrick 0-1 for Walsh, J OMeara for M Culbert, D Murphy for Reddan
Referee - W Barrett (Tipperary)