Wednesday, 26th April 2017
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Footballers just edged out in southeast derby

The Waterford Senior Footballers travelled to Innovate Park in Wexford on Sunday last in Round Three of the Allianz National league. Having performed superbly well in their opening games against London and Wicklow, there were high hopes that the Deise with the same commitment and determination, another win could be chalked on the board. Wexford were also coming into the game on the back of two polished performances against both Leitrim and Limerick. These wins had installed the Slaneysiders as one of the fancied teams to clinch promotion. Before the throw-in manager Tom McGlinchy and his selectors made one personel change with Stephen Dalton coming into the defence. Waterford played with the elements at their back in the opening half and led 0-2 to 0-1 within the opening ten minutes with points from Donie Breathnach and Paul Whyte. The Deise continued to hold the advantage with points from Michael O'Halloran and Patrick Hurney but were rocked back in the 25th minute when Wexford breached the defence for a Kevin O'Grady goal. Despite this setback the accuracy of the aforementioned Whyte and Hurney kept Waterford in touch and the sides finished the half level 1-3 to 0-6. The Wexford points coming from John Tubritt and two from Ciaran Lyng.

The opening minutes of the second saw the home side back on the offensive but little could seperate the teams. The Deise continued to take the game to Wexford although the wind advantage was making it more and more difficult. Ciaran Lyng and Ben Brosnan kept the scoreboard ticking along for the hosts as did Patrick Hurney, Conor Murray and Donie Breathnach for Waterford. There was never more than three points between the sides and the goal was beginning to look more and more the decisive score. In the end a late point from Hurney closed the lead to just two points and despite putting up a terrific effort it was Wexford who took the spoils on a 1-9 to 0-10 scoreline.

No doubt Tom McGlinchy and his management team were disappointed but they will also realise that this outfit are as good as any in the division. Next up are Westmeath who come to Fraher Field on Sunday for what could be a real make or break for both teams with the Midlanders having two wins and draw from their opening three games.

A win for Waterford would really put them back in the promotion mix and yes, they can do it but it will take a huge effort.

HURLERS GO TO CROKER

Round three of the Allianz National Hurling League will see Waterford travel to the Capital on Saturday to face Dublin with both teams having a win and a loss behind their name. The Deise opened their campaign with a huge victory over Kilkenny in Nowlan Park and then went down to Tipperary in Walsh Park while the Dubs opened their campaign with a big defeat (1-24 to 1-8) to All-Ireland champions Tipperary before shocking Cork down on Leeside with a 2-19 to

1-14 victory. No doubt Ger Cunningham and his Dublin charges will be buoyed with their win in Cork but will realise that an even bigger performance is required to beat a Waterford team that is quickly coming up the rankings. Ger Cunningham has assembled a tight knit panel of players who showed on Leeside that they had consigned to history their opening defeat. With David Treacy, The Schutte brothers Mark and Paul along with Cian O'Callaghan, Colm Cronin and Darragh O'Connell from Cuala representing their club in the All-Ireland Final it is highly unlikely that the Corkman will avail of those players which gives some of the extended panel a huge opportunity to seal a place in the squad. The Regular goalkeeper Gary Maguire may well reclaim the number one spot although one could not fault sub keeper Conor Dooley who started a few of their recent games. In defence expect Liam Rushe, Chris Crummey, Shane Barrett, Pat Smyth and Sean McGrath to figure while the midfield pairing of Ben Quinn and Donal Fox will work hard to give the engine room that advantage. Up front Dublin have some dangerous attackers who are also ball winners. The likes of Eamon Dillon, Niall McMorrow, Ryan O'Dwyer, Chris Bennett and Donal Burke will ensure that the Waterford defence will be kept on their toes.

In recent games the Waterford management have tended to make a number of personnel changes before the start but I would expect that Derek McGrath and his fellow management team will remain close enough to the fifteen that began against Tipperary although one never knows. That said Ian O'Regan who was superb against the Premier will surely keep the number one spot. The last line of defence is beginning to look really solid with Shane Fives and Noel Connors protecting the corners and Barry Coughlan manning the edge of the square. Tadgh de Burca had a superb seventy minutes against Tipperary and will man the pivotal centre back position with perhaps Austin Gleeson reverting to a defence/midfield role. Stephen Daniels and Shane McNulty will also look to build on their gametime along with Conor Gleeson and Darragh Lyons. In midfield Gavin O'Brien could well start as the Roanmore man did himself no harm against Tipperary and chipped in with a few points. Kevin Moran will probably come into the midfield equation with Pauric Mahony, Shane Bennett and Michael Walsh making up the half forward line. The inside forwards could see Jake Dillon and Tom Devine with Maurice Shanahan, Patrick Curran, Stephen Bennett all looking to make the first fifteen. With players of the calibre of Colin Dunford (superb in Fitzgibbon Cup final) Brian O'Halloran, Stephen Bennett, Mikey Kearney etc all looking for a starting place this squad are well capable of taking the points on offer and I will be disappointed if a win is not secured on Saturday in Dublin. Incidentally for those travelling to Headquarters the game is part of a double header with Dublin facing Mayo in the Allianz National Football League the second game down for decision.

COACHING AND GAMES DEVELOPMENT

The indoor blitzes are up and running. The Urban under 7 hurling takes place on March 4th while Mid County under 8 football takes place on the same date and the under 7 football on 11th March. Details and venues are presently being sent to the clubs.

Clubs who have not returned the C&GD Club Survey are asked to do so this week. The information in the surveys will help to plan future programmes. If assistance is required contact the GDA's or the Coaching Officer.

The first County Go Games blitz of the year takes place on Saturday 11th March in Carriganore. The blitz will be under 10 Hurling and the clubs are welcome to put in as many teams as they wish. The blitz will run from 11am -12.30pm. Clubs are asked to have entries in by Monday 6th March.

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