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Crucial Moran goal, Waterford's red card cloud and future Wexford promise

A third successive All-Ireland semi-final beckons for Waterford.

Kevin Moran fires to the net past Mark Fanning in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Kevin Moran fires to the net past Mark Fanning in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

1. Moran goal proves crucial

He’s not a renowned goalscorer but Kevin Moran chose a vital time to raise a green flag today. The Waterford captain provided typically brilliant leadership, chipped in with his usual quota of points and whipped a ground shot crisply to the net in first-half injury-time.

It was a score that had a defining impact on this match. Waterford enjoyed a five-point advantage at the interval as a result of the strike and it provided a cushion they could rely on throughout the second half, regardless of Wexford’s advances.

The concession will haunt Wexford as a couple of defensive errors resulted in the ball spilling into the path of Moran. It would prove a hugely significant moment.

2. Red card clouds Waterford’s day

A controlled performance that delivered a quarter-final victory should have left Waterford immensely satisfied. But the brandishing of a red card towards Tadhg de Búrca in the 65th minute was a dark moment on their road to victory and could have serious repercussions for the rest of their season.

De Búrca saw the line after interfering with an opponent’s helmet and the loss of a pillar of their team would be a major setback for Waterford. De Búrca’s defensive nous has been instrumental to their last two wins and Derek McGrath will have plenty to mull over if he is marked absent for an All-Ireland semi-final.

3. Wexford bow out but still hold promise

It’s the second successive year that Wexford have exited at the hands of Waterford in a quarter-final tie but the manner of this defeat generates more promise for the future. In 2016 they only posted a paltry total of 0-10 against the Deise in Thurles, today’s figure of 1-19 illustrated the greater scoring punch they packed.

They suffered from coughing up too many frees to Pauric Mahony and the lack of a goal threat until the dying moments. But there was a towering display by Liam Ryan, the impact made by Jack O’Connor when introduced and the dazzling showing by teenager Rory O’Connor just weeks after he finished his Leaving Cert.

2017 can be marked as a year of progress for the county’s hurlers.

4. Waterford’s bench chip in again

We saw two weeks ago the scoring impact that the Waterford bench is capable of with Maurice Shanahan, Tommy Ryan and Patrick Curran hitting a combined total of 1-6. It was a tally that was a crucial ingredient in Waterford eventually staving off Kilkenny in an extra-time thriller.

Today they were generally in a strong scoreboard position in the second half but it needed the extra injection of scoring power from the bench to truly finish off the contest. Shanahan and Brian O’Halloran both notched a brace of points from play when introduced. Those scoring options in reserve could be significant.

5. Last four stage beckons again for Waterford

For the third year on the bounce, Derek McGrath has steered Waterford to the All-Ireland semi-final stage. It’s been a trickier route this summer given they exited Munster after their opening assignment.

But they have shown resilience to respond after that poor showing against Cork and then finally ended their hoodoo in encounters with Kilkenny. Today backed up the success they had achieved a fortnight ago and a semi-final tie beckons against Galway or Cork. The task now is to smash through the semi-final barrier after falling short the past two years.


Source: The42 GAA/SoundCloud

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Davy Fitz hits back at Duignan and Shefflin after criticism of tactics in today’s quarter-final

Moran goal vital as 14-man Waterford advance past Wexford in quarter-final tie

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