Waterford SHC final: Passage claim first title with late, late show
October 14, 2013
Sean Hogan of Passage is mobbed by supporters at the final whistle. INPHO
Passage produced a Lazarus-like comeback to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in the Waterford SHC final against Ballygunner yesterday.
With seven minutes remaining, Peter Queally's side trailed by the same amount of points but they stunned their more illustrious opponents with 2-4 without reply to get their hands on the coveted silverware for the first time in their history.
Points from corner-back Jason Roche and Killian Fitzgerald set the late match-winning rally in motion and reduced the deficit to five before Owen Connors left just a goal between the sides with two pointed frees.
Momentum was very much on Passage's side at that stage and All-Ireland minor winner Sean Hogan - who was introduced as a half-time substitute - left the scoreboard all level with a goal.
You would have thought that Passage might have settled for a draw at that stage but Conor Carey - joint-captain along with former Deise star Eoin Kelly - had other ideas and, almost straight from the puck-out, got on the end of a pass from Connors before netting his team's third goal to round off a remarkable comeback.
It was a breath-taking climax to a decider which saw both teams go in level at the break.
Stephen Power raised the game's first green flag for Ballygunner in the 16th minute but Connors cancelled that effort out and Passage led by 1-4 to 1-2 on 21 minutes.
The third quarter belonged to Andy Moloney's charges but they were left shell-shocked at the final whistle.
Passage - E Lynch; J Roche (0-1), M Wyse, J Upton; S Mason, N Connors, P Walsh; K Fitzgerald (0-2), J Whitty (0-1); O Connors (1-7, 6f, '65) C Carey (1-0), T Connors; R Walsh, E Kelly (0-5, 4f), L Flynn. Subs: J Flood for Upton, S Hogan (1-0) for Flynn, J McLean for Walsh.
Ballygunner - Stephen O'Keeffe; Stephen O'Keeffe, B Coughlin, P Coughlin; S Walsh, W Hutchinson, A Kirwan; Philip Mahony, S O'Sullivan; D O'Sullivan (0-1), Pauric Mahony (1-7, 5f, 1'65), H Barnes (0-2); Brian O'Sullivan, S Power (1-2), J J Hutchinson (1-0). Subs: Barry O'Sullivan (0-1) for J J Hutchinson.
Referee - T O'Sullivan.
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