Saturday, 16th December 2017
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Across the Back by Booter

Ten years of hurt and humiliation comes to an end

Waterford FC 1 Longford Town 0

Thousands of Waterford FC supporters flocked to the RSC on Friday night last to see the captain Kenny Browne lift the First Division cup high into the air and to see the players presented with their league medals.

Young and old fans cheered 15 minutes after the game when the official presentation was made and it was lovely to see the long serving Kit Manager Michael Walsh being fully recognised for his unbroken 52 years of service to the club as he also was given the honour of lifting the cup on the podium. The league title and promotion had been achieved the previous week when the Blues defeated Wexford FC and second placed Cobh Ramblers had been surprisingly beaten by Cabinteely. Following this latest victory allied to another defeat for Ramblers (this time against UCD) Waterford FC are now eleven points clear at the summit and they will conclude their campaign away to Stephen Henderson's team on Sunday October 8th. The club chairman and owner Lee Power was present on Friday last and he basked in the glory of the occasion also. It was a very special night in many ways and Mr Power made it clear that there will be no stone left unturned next season to compete in the Premier League next season. ``We will be setting our target on one of the European spots . That's our aim now'' Lee informed his adoring fans. When one takes into account the situation the club found itself in this time last year it has been a remarkable turn around in fortunes. Twelve months ago it looked as if the club was going under and the begging bowls were out and all sorts of fundraising events just about got the club to the conclusion of the campaign. Good and all as last Friday was the words of the late Milo Corcoran should never be forgotten. The last time the club got promoted Milo said ``This is one cup we never want to see here again''. What he meant of course was that the Blues had lost their top grade status and had to battle to get back to the top table. Hopefully the next cup to be raised high in the RSC or elsewhere will be the Premier League trophy or the FAI Cup. To round off an incredible 24 hours for the club the Under 17 team won the Mark Farren Cup also so the future is extremely bright for Waterford FC and thankfully ten years of hurt and humiliation has come to an end and the message is now loud and clear. ``Bring on the big boy's next year''. Longford Town made the Blues work for the victory but Davy McDaid scored the only goal of what was a pretty entertaining encounter.

Mark O’Sullivan could have capitalised on a defensive error on two minutes when the striker nipped the ball off a hesitant keeper Jack Brady but his attempted lob of the netminder was brilliantly caught underneath the crossbar.

Karl Chamber had a half chance for the visitors on eight minutes when he fired in a shot from distance but keeper Ian McLoughlin made a fine save at the second attempt before O’Sullivan was unlucky not to find Sander Puri with a through ball soon afterwards.

Paul Keegan went close to putting the hosts in front on 36 minutes when he fired in a shot from the edge of the penalty area that was deflected just wide before Sean Heaney got on the end of the resulting corner kick but he couldn’t direct his header on target.

The Blues had a great chance to take the lead on 47 minutes when Paul Keegan sent in a cross from the right that was met by the head of Mark O’Sullivan but his close-range header was straight at the visiting keeper Jack Brady.

Longford could upset the party with a good opportunity of their own on the hour mark when Sam Verdon cut in from the left before forcing Ian McLoughlin before Garry Comerford did have a chance at the other end on 68 minutes but his effort went close range.

David O’Sullivan was denied the lead goal for the visitors when his strike was deflected narrowly wide of the right-hand post by Paddy Barrett before the home venue was rocking on 81 minutes when the Blues struck the front.

A brilliant through ball from Aaron Drinan sent David McDaid into the clear and he showed his class to lob the ball over the head of the advancing keeper Jack Brady from 16 yards to send a packed RSC into wild celebrations and seal a 1-0 win. Fiveteen minutes later the official presentation took place and a long night of celebrating began which was fitting as ten years of unhappiness and frustration had finally come to an end. It was a very special night for one an all and now we can look forward to a brand new chapter for Waterford FC.

WATERFORD FC: Ian McLoughlin, Anthony McAlavey, Kenny Browne, Paddy Barrett, Sean Heaney (Dean O’Halloran `68), Garry Comerford, Paul Keegan, Derek Daly (John Martin `6), Aaron Drinan, Mark O’Sullivan (David McDaid `72), Sander Puri

LONGFORD TOWN: Jack Brady, Tristan Noack Hofmann, Alan Kehoe, Dean Zambra, Kaleem Simon (Peter Hopkins `46), Karl Chambers, David O’Sullivan, Daniel O’Reilly, Aodh Dervin, Rhys Gorman (Don Cowan `63)

Referee: David Keeler. Assistants. Kevin O'Sullivan and Ricky Crean.

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