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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 17 September, 2019
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'It can be a noose around your neck' - McGrath happy to see Waterford back among the goals

Three second half goals were vital in seeing off Limerick in Thurles.

Waterford boss McGrath.
Waterford boss McGrath.
Image: Ken Sutton/INPHO

AN IMPRESSIVE SECOND half performance saw Waterford secure their place in the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 final yesterday.

A point down to Limerick heading into the half-time break, Shane Bennett’s penalty conversion was the first of three goals as Patrick Curran and Tom Devine also found the back of the net in the 3-23 to 1-18 victory.

Before the game, Waterford had managed just three goals in six league outings so manager Derek McGrath was glad to see his team double that tally at Semple Stadium.

“There was (talk), and it’s hard to keep that outside,” McGrath said after the game.

“There was a stat mentioned that Clare and Limerick were well ahead of us on goals, but our stats when we were in (Division) 1B were very handsome in terms of goals.

“It’s good to get a couple of goals, no doubt about it. We’re an absolute work in progress and nowhere near where we need to be in terms of goals and otherwise.

It’s no coincidence that the penalty freed us up, I was thinking the accusation after would be that we could only get goals from penalties!

“Psychologically for the lads it’s good to get a couple of goals. We got 3-21 last year against Cork in the championship, 3-23 today (Sunday). There’s a little more accuracy needed because it can be a noose around your neck, not getting goals.

“We were happy to get them today. We worked hard for them.”

Shane Bennett scores his sides first goal from a penalty Bennett scores a penalty. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

19-year-old forward Bennett put in an excellent display, scoring 1-3 on the day, but McGrath believes there is plenty of room for improvement.

“He’s a serious talent,” he added. “A very good player who has a lot of natural skill. We’re not trying to dampen his exuberance, but he has a lot to learn as well.

“He drifts in and out of games but when he’s in them he’s very good. He doesn’t take the ball to hand a lot, he takes it low and keeps it on the hurley for a while.

“He has a unique skill set, one that will benefit Waterford in time, but he did his Leaving Cert last year. He’s hardy, he works hard for the team too.”

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Ben Blake

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