Tuesday, 25th July 2017
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Out of Competition

The Waterford Minor hurling team travelled to Gaelic Park in LImerick on Thursday last in a "last chance saloon" effort to remain in the Munster Championship. Following two heavy defeats to hugely fancied Cork and Clare, there was every reason to expect that Limerick, who have contested the last four finals and went down narrowly to Tipperary in their opening game, would again prove a formidable task. The Ennis Road venue has been a forboding place for Waterford minor teams over the last few years with precious little reward for some huge endeavour.

Travelling to Shannonside on the back of those two opening defeats was going to make the job that much harder. The Deise manager James Lacey and his team were dealt a huge blow before the game as full back, Ardmore clubman, James Flavin had to withdraw due to injury. Matt Noonan from Cappoquin came in as replacement. Limerick manager John Mulqueen was satisfied with their initial outing against Tipperary where although beaten his side had come so close to upsetting the odds. Injury free he was able to field his chosen fifteen.

The Treatystone team were quickly off the mark and had four unanswered points in the opening minutes before Ian Beecher replied with one for Waterford. Paul O'Brien the Limerick sharpshooter was very much to the fore with his freetaking and the scoring charts showed him with a personal tally of five points in the opening half 0-9 to 1-2 lead.

Indeed the Mungret St Pauls' young lad ended the game with ten points (0-9 from frees). The Waterford goal coming from a Thomas Douglas penalty after referee John McCormack had adjudged a foul on Deise forward Iarlaith Daly on 23 minutes. This goal could well have been the catalyst for the Deise but it was Limerick who finished the stronger with O'Brien and Dylan O'Shea hitting the target to give them a lead but by no means a comfortable lead. The Waterford management would have been reasonably pleased with the first half effort as it was a huge improvement on their initial outings.

Coming out for the second half James Lacey had made two changes in the Waterford attack had made a number of changes with Niall O'Keeffe and John Devine in the starting fifteen. The very accurate Billy Power pointed a brace of scores in the opening couple of minutes of the second half to close the game to 0-9 to 1-4. With the Visitors now beginning to get a foothold the game took a huge swing away from them five minutes after the restart. De La Salle clubman Thomas Douglas broke the defensive cover and with Limerick keeper Daithi Heffernan well beaten, the ball crashed off the crossbar and the opportunity was gone. This had a telling effect on the Waterford young lads and despite another brace of points from Billy Power which got the Deise to within the minimum, 0-10 to 1-6, it was Limerick who gained the momentum. Three points for the home side with one from Iarlaith Daly for Waterford saw the lead out to four 0-14 to 1-7 The Deise did hit a number of wides but late frees converted by Paul O'Brien and a point from David Woulfe edged the homeside to a 0-19 to 1-7 win and a date with Clare on 28th June. This was a much better showing from Waterford and while there was a gap of nine points at the end perhaps, with a little luck that difference might have been a hell of a lot closer. Incidentally Cork will play Tipperary in the second semi-final on 29th June.

EAST MEETS WEST: THE HURLING VERSION

It was joy for the young hurlers of West Waterford in the recent Celtic Challenge Round two as they overcame their fellow county lads east Waterford on a 2-14 to 0-15 scoreline in Walsh park. They say that goals win matches and never was a saying more true. The Eastern Division made the early running and thanks to some fine scoring from Seaghan Walsh at number fourteen, Alan Kirwan and in particular Ballygunner's Jack Troy, they led 0-7 to 0-4 at the break. In fairness to the Western youngsters they were fully determined, none more so than Eamon O'Crotaigh, Seamus Cronin and the impressive Jamie Walsh from Abbeyside/Ballinacourty.

The second half continued to see th Eastern Division just ahead but the game turned on it's head twelve minutes after the restart. Jamie Walsh was on hand to goal and the deficit was to a single point 0-9 to 1-5. This goal was the catalyst for the West. They began to dominate in many parts of the field with Jamie Walsh very much to the fore in the attacks. Outscoring their opponents 1-8 to 0-5 in the last quarter, the tie was put beyond the reach of the Eastern lads when with just two minutes remaining, Patrick Walsh from the Kilrossanty club found the net. Some late action saw the Eastern team renew their efforts and only some fine goalkeeping from Brickey Rangers Jack McGrath kept the Western goal intact and they held out for the win.

Next up will see West Waterford travel to Glanmire on May 17th for an encounter with Cork City while on the same day East Waterford will travel to Cahir for a meeting with Limerick. Both teams will be hoping for a win and the impetus that it brings.

TABLES TURNED

Waterford Ladies Footballers provided one of the big shocks on opening day of the Tg4 Munster Senior Football Championship as they scored a thrilling 2-9 to 1-9 win over a highly regarded Kerry outfit. The Kingdom beat the Deise rather comprehensively in both the Munster and All-Ireland series of 2016 and in most quarters were expected to come through and provide a stern challenge to reigning League Champions Cork.

This however has all been blown apart as Pat O'Sullivan's outfit showed terrific form with goals, from Michelle Ryan and Roisin Tobin, in the second half steering the home side to victory. Waterford led by a solitary point at the break 0-7 to 0-6 with Maria Delahunty notching six of those points for Waterford. with Aileen Wall firing over the other one. The first goal from Michelle Ryan was a real filip for the ladies and when Roisin Tobin added the second it was 2-9 to 0-8. Try as they might Kerry were just not able to breach the deficit and Waterford held out for a superb win which sees them now face Cork and every chance of reaching the Provincial Final. Well done ladies, hopefully the start of another successful run of campaigns.

DEISE SUPER DRAW

The first in the series of Deise Super Draw was held in Ballymacarbry on Wednesday last and hosted by the Fourmilewater/Nire clubs. This was an auspicious occasion as the format of the draw has been changed for 2017, with an increased prize fund. The support for the draw continues to amaze with every club in the county contributing. There was a huge crowd in Ballymac and all were welcomed by Chairpersons of the relevant club Billy Walsh (Fourmilewater) and Orla O'Ryan (Nire).

The top prize of €12500 went to Seamus Cashman from Tower hill, Ardmore who purchased his ticket for the local GAA club. Kevin Sheehan from Ballinamult won €3500 having bought his ticket from Sliabh gCua GAA and one thousand euro each went to Mary Kelly from Clonea Power who got her ticket from Newtown/Ballydurn and John Kiely Ballingown who got his ticket through Kilrossanty GAA. The full list of winners can be viewed on the Waterford GAA site.

To be in with a chance of winning one of the many cash prizes please contact your local GAA club as there are still five draws remaining.

LIMERICK EDGE OUT WATERFORD

Limerick travelled to Dungarvan on Sunday last for a rearranged Senior Hurling challenge and came through on a 0-27 to 2-19 scoreline against the hosts. This game sponsored by Club Deise/St. Mollerans GAA was an opportunity for Waterford manager Derek McGrath and Limerick's John Kiely to have look at their respective squads although there were a number of players unavailable for both sides. Derek McGrath and his management team called Darragh Lyons and Stephen Daniels into the starting fifteen before throw-in with hurler of the year Austin Gleeson operating at full forward. Both teams began brightly but a goal from Tommy Ryan, after twenty minutes gave the home side a 1-10 to 0-9 lead at the break. Tallow forward Ryan had helped himself to 1-2 of the Waterford total. With practically a new starting lineup for the second half. A few minutes into the second half the Limerick net billowed again as Shane Bennett goaled and this helped the Deise to a 2-12 to 0-11 lead on forty minutes. Shane Dowling converted three for Limerick and the same player continued to find the target as the Treatystone men edged closer to Waterford and when Paul Browne levelled with time just up it was the Shannonsiders who had the momentum and they finished that little stronger to record another victory. Limerick had already beaten Cork in another recent challenge (2-25 to 4-17) to show they are making headway for their semi-final showdown with Clare. Waterford will not be too despondent about this result. For long periods they had the momentum to go on and win however Derek McGrath and his fellow selectors will have had an opportunity of looking at the majority of the extended panel as they prepare to face Tipperary / Cork in their semi-final. This is a way for players to lay down a marker for the upcoming campaign.

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