Wednesday, 19th September 2018
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Rebels edge home

The Waterford under 21 hurlers travelled to Pairc ui Chaoimh on Wednesday last seeking a win over the Leesiders and with it a place in the Munster Final against either Limerick or Tipperary. The home side, beaten in the 2017 Final had a number of their Senior team available were favourites although one could also make a strong case for this Waterford side. Both managers Denis Ring and Sean Power were quietly confident.

Waterford had an early scare as goalkeeper Billy Nolan was called into action to save from Shane Kingston but a terrific goal from JP Lucey, set up by Darragh Lyons and Peter Hogan, allied to points from Lucey, Neil Montgomery, Andrew Casey and Jack Prendergast gave the Southeast side a 1-8 to 0-8 lead at the break.

Two minutes into the second half that lead was five points as Lucey and Darragh Lyons saw Waterford ahead 1-10 to 0-8. Cork senior stars Shane Kingston and Robbie O'Flynn were beginning to find the range and five unanswered points saw the sides level 1-10 to 0-13 after forty minutes.

Waterford however, with superb defending from Conor Prunty, Jordan Henley and Mikey Daykin were restricting the home side to long range efforts. Goalkeeper Billy Nolan was soundness personified and landed three points throughout the game. However the Leesiders midfield pairing of Darragh Fitzgibbon and Billy Hennessy were gaining more and more possession as Waterford began to feel the pace.

Despite a huge effort from the Deise which saw them regain the lead on two occasions the momentum was now firmly with Cork and points from Mark Coleman, Fitzgibbon and Kingston eased them clear and earned a place in the Provincial decider courtesy of a 0-23 to 1-17 win.

Monaghan Prove Division One Credentials

The difference between Division One and Division Four teams was never more pronounced than on Saturday last as Waterford hosted Monaghan in the All-Ireland qualifiers. Having come through against Wexford this could not have been a harder draw for the Deise. The Ulstermen, who had competed in the top division of the league, including a victory over All-Ireland champions Dublin on their CV, were fancied as a teams capable of dislodging the Dubs. However they were rocked in their Ulster semi-final by Fermanagh and manager Malachy O'Rourke was taking little chances with his lineup.

As for the game itself three first half goals from Conor McManus (penalty), Karl O'Connell and Fintan Kelly saw Monaghan ahead 3-11 to 0-4 at the break. Two more goals in the second half from Dessie Mone and Shane Carey confirmed the gulf between the sides. For the record the Waterford scorers were Jason Curry 0-4 and one each from Kieran Power, Jack Mullaney, Stephen Prendergast, Gavin Crotty and Conor Murray. A tremenduous individual display saw Monaghan dangerman Conor McManus held scoreless by the superb Nire defender Thomas O'Gorman.

Waterford manager Tom McGlinchy acknowledged that there was a huge gulf between the sides but he was also very proud of the effort by his charges.

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