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Galway rally late but impressive 14-man Waterford win thriller in Thurles

The Déise came out on the right side of a memorable showdown in Thurles.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Waterford 1-30

Galway 3-20

David Connors reports from Semple Stadium

LAST YEAR’S BEATEN All-Ireland finalists Waterford sounded a clear warning this afternoon that they’re very much in the reckoning for Liam MacCarthy honours.

Liam Cahill’s side dismantled a shell-shocked Galway — who produced an impressive second-half comeback but ultimately bowed out of the championship following back-to-back defeats.

For 50-plus minutes, it was a breath-taking performance by Waterford, who began the 2021 championship slowly with defeat to Clare in Munster and an unconvincing victory over Laois last weekend in Round 1 of the qualifiers.

Waterford tired in the later stages following the dismissal of Conor Gleeson immediately after the interval for a first-half off-the-ball incident. 

Prior to the first water break, Galway battled back after a slow start to tie matters on 0-7 apiece but a Déise scoring burst of 1-11 before the half-time whistle with Stephen Bennett, his brother Kieran, Jamie Barron, Austin Gleeson and a 32nd-minute Jack Fagan goal left Shane O’Neill’s side with a seemingly insurmountable task.

For much of the contest Galway were unable to cope with Waterford’s power, pace, workrate and impressive running game and in the second quarter they could only muster two points from the 18th minute until the half-time break with only Conor Whelan really producing anywhere near the levels of performance required as they found themselves 12 points adrift.

On an afternoon where hurling icon Joe Canning usurped Henry Shefflin’s record as all-time Championship top scorer, Galway, somehow managed to cut a 14-point second half deficit to just three on two separate occasions in injury time through two goals from substitute Jason Flynn, but late points from Stephen Bennett and Michael Kiely sealed a fully deserved victory.

Though their stirring second half comeback is to be commended, Galway simply left themselves with too much to do as Waterford advance to the quarter-finals and Galway bow out for 2021.

Scores for Waterford: Stephen Bennett 0-10 (0-7f, 0-1 65), Jack Fagan 1-2, Jamie Barron (0-4), Austin Gleeson (0-1 sideline) 0-3, Jack Prendergast, Patrick Curran, Kieran Bennett, Calum Lyons, 0-2 each, Shane Bennett, Peter Hogan, Michael Kiely 0-1 each.

Scorers for Galway: Joe Canning 0-9 (0-9f); Jason Flynn 2-1, Cathal Mannion 1-0, Conor Whelan 0-3, Evan Niland 0-2, Conor Cooney, Joseph Cooney, Adrian Tuohey, Johnny Coen, Brian Concannon 0-1 each.

waterford-fans-celebrate-a-score Waterford fans celebrate a score. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Waterford

1. Shaun O’Brien (De La Salle)

2. Conor Gleeson (Fourmilewater), 3. Conor Prunty (Abbeyside), 4. Ian Kenny (Ballygunner)

5. Calum Lyons (Ballyduff Lower), 6. Shane Bennett (Ballysaggart), 7. Kieran Bennett (Ballysaggart)

8. Jamie Barron (Fourmilewater), 9. Peter Hogan (Ballygunner)

15. Patrick Curran (Dungarvan), 12. Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart), 11. Jack Prendergast (Lismore),

Jack Fagan (De La Salle), 14. Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion), 13. Dessie Hutchinson (Ballygunner)

Subs

21. Michael Kiely (Abbeyside) for Curran (59)

18. Darragh Lyons (Dungarvan) for Hogan (61)

19. Billy Power (Clonea) for Prendergast (64)

24. Colin Dunford (Colligan) for Fagan (68)

17. Shane McNulty (De La Salle) for Hutchinson (70+3)

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Galway

1. Darach Fahy (Ardrahan)

2. Shane Cooney (St Thomas’), 3. Gearoíd McInerney (Oranmore-Maree), 4. Darren Morrissey (Sarsfields)

5. Padraic Mannion (Ahascragh-Fohenagh), 6. Daithí Burke (Turloughmore), 7. Aidan Harte (Gort)

8. Seán Loftus (Turloughmore), 9. Cathal Mannion (Ahascragh-Fohenagh)

10. Joseph Cooney (Sarsfields), 11. Conor Whelan (Kinvara), 12. Conor Cooney (St Thomas’)

13. Seán Linnane (Turloughmore), 14. Joe Canning (Portumna), 15. Brian Concannon (Killimordaly)

Subs

22. Johnny Coen (Loughrea) for Loftus (26)

19. Adrian Tuohey (Beagh) for Linnane (30)

24. Evan Niland (Clarinbridge) for Conor Cooney (46)

17. Jack Fitzpatrick (Killimordaly) for Morrissey inj (51)

25. Jason Flynn (Tommy Larkins) for Joseph Cooney (58)

About the author:

David Connors

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