Thursday, 20th September 2018
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First step on the ladder

The Waterford Senior Hurling team travelled to Leeside on Sunday last to face Cork and hopefully garner their first points of the current Allianz National league. In truth as far as the relegation playoff was concerned nothing short of a win gave any hope of avoiding that one off scenario. Even at that, other results might well see the Deise having to face the prospect of a relegation battle. However the priority for Waterford was to secure the win and turn around their recent form. Both Derek McGrath and his Cork counterpart John Meyler have seen their charges below form in recent games and that all important first win would be very welcome indeed. Indeed both managers made a number of positional and personnel changes from their previous outing. The Fourmilewater midfield pairing of Jamie Barron and Conor Gleeson could be the answer to the drive in the engine room with Austin Gleeson accomodated in the half back line.

There was a good crowd at the Pairc Ui Chaoimh although one must say that the pitch, after sanding, was anything but conducive for hurling. As one wit said "if the sun was shining I'd think we were playing in the Sahara". However what's good for the goose...... and the teams had to get on with it.

OPENING HALF

A foul on Pauric Mahony saw the opening free sail just outside the post. The Ballygunner ace made up for it a minute later as a short puck out from Anthony Nash was intercepted and converted. A short passing move from defence saw Seamus Harnedy set up Conor Lehane for the equaliser in the 3rd minute. Mark Ellis then placed Lehane for point number two for the home side before Kevin Moran and Mikey Kearney combined for a point for Waterford. Conditions probably contributed to some really scrappy patches of play as Patrick Horgan added a brace of points from frees 0-4 to 0-2. Waterford were back level in the 13th minute as Pauric Mahony and Colin Dunford found the range and the visitors were in front a minute later when the excellent Tadhg de Burca collected in defence and played a one two before slotting over 0-5 to 0-4. The lead lasted less than a minute before Patrick Horgan converted a free for which Jamie Barron was booked. The Fourmilewater clubman landed a point in the 16th minute as he finished a neat solo run to see the deise ahead 0-6 to 0-5. Again Horgan punished a defensive lapse with a levelling point a minute later.

The Glen Rovers marksman got the opening goal in the 19th minute as he superbly collected and raced through to slip the ball to the net 1-6 to 0-6. A couple of Waterford efforts drifted wide of the target. In the 22nd minute Mikey Kearney collected the break and from a tight angle smashed the ball past Anthony Nash for an equalising goal 1-6 apiece. A point apiece from Austin Gleeson and Patrick Horgan had the still level 1-7 each after 23 minutes. However the pendulum swung in favour of Waterford a minute later as Seamus Harnedy was booked for a needless foul when he went down with his knee on Barry Coughlan. Waterford hit three unanswered points in the following five minutes as Pauric Mahony with two and one from Austin Gleeson saw them ahead 1-10 to 1-7.

Again perhaps it was the conditions, but some very erratic shooting saw both teams miss the target before Patrick Horgan added a brace of points before Mahony restored the three point advantage with two points in additional time. So Waterford ahead and the Rebels down to fourteen men for the second half. Surely this was the right opportunity for us to open out league account.

The second half began with Cork adding a point as both freetakers, Mahony and Horgan missed the target. The crowd and the players were unhappy with some of the refereeing decisions but with the pitch as it was it was some players were finding the underfoot conditions difficult.

Tim O'Mahony and Pauric Mahony had a point apiece 1-13 to 1-11. Maurice Shanahan and Shane Fives were off target as Waterford had their eight wide. A point from Mark Ellis reduced the lead to the minimum. Derek McGrath brought Stephen Roche and Brian O'Halloran into the fray. Patrick Horgan levelled with a free in the 48th minute but three in a row from Pauric Mahony saw the Deise clear 1-16 to 1-13. Horgan had another point for Cork but the momentum was now with the Deise. A foul on Alan Cadogan and Horgan converted. The lead back to two 1-16 to 1-14. Jake Dillon and Stephen Bennett came into the Waterford attack. On 58 minutes Bennett had a point and Roche added another there was a healthy five between the sides 1-19 to 1-14. In the remaining minutes there was a point apiece from Colm Spillane and Stephen Bennett and so Waterford had claimed their opening win of the competition on a 1-20 to 1-15 scoreline.

No doubt for all concerned this was a welcome relief. Up next weekend is the visit of Clare who are on something of a renaissance at present. Waterford at home and the win behind them might well collect another brace of points.

FOOTBALLERS EDGED OUT

Tom McGlinchy and his Waterford Senior Football team faced table toppers Carlow in WIT arena on Saturday in the hope that they could annex their first win in the Division of the Allianz National League. Unfortunately for the Deise after a promising start in Aughrim they just cannot get themselves over the line in recent weeks and find themselves languishing at the bottom of the table. Carlow, unbeaten, on the crest of a wave at present were another huge challenge for the home side but certainly one they would be relishing.

A goal for the visitors in the opening half from Sean Gannon and some excellent points from Tinryland clubman Paul Broderick saw Carlow ahead 1-8 to 0-5 at the break. The league pacesetters continued to hold a healthy lead through most of the second half and were 2-10 to 0-6 ahead with just twenty minutes remaining. However Waterford never relented and three unanswered points from JJ Hutchinson, Gavin Crotty and Paul Whyte edged them a little closer and also gave them some momentum.

A late penalty for the hosts following a foul on Thomas O'Gorman was converted by Gavin Crotty and Carlow who looked in dominant mood began to "look over their shoulders". Carlow lost possession in defence and from the resultant attack Paul Whyte hit a second goal for Waterford. Two points between the sides and one wondered could the Deise, who for so long lagged behind on the scoreboard, collect an unexpected victory. Seven minutes into additional time midfielder Brendan Murphy made the game safe for the visitors as he landed a superb point to secure the win. Manager Tom McGlinchy was not happy with some of the refereeing decisions and voiced his displeasure with Kildare official Brendan Cawley after the game.

Waterford will face fellow strugglers Limerick in Newcastlewest next weekend and hopefully they can get a win to ease them off the bottom rung of the ladder.

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