Waterford hit 5-20 in win over Wexford but Austin Gleeson sent off

Waterford will play Cork in the league final after victory in Nowlan Park.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Waterford 5-20
Wexford 0-16

Tomás McCarthy reporting from UPMC Nowlan Park

AUSTIN GLEESON AND Dessie Hutchinson dazzled in the late March sunshine as Waterford reached their third major final under Liam Cahill.

2016 Hurler of the Year Gleeson scored 2-3 while All Ireland club winner Hutchinson hit 1-3 to see off Wexford by 19 points.

The afternoon ended on a sour note for the winners however as Gleeson was sent off on a straight red card for an off the ball incident with Simon Donohue on 67 minutes. Referee John Keenan consulted with his umpires before he made his decision.

Jack Prendergast and Shane Bennett also raised green flags for a rampant Déise. They have billowed the net 17 times in six league outings.

cathal-dunbar-and-patrick-curran Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Patrick Curran deputised for Stephen Bennett on frees and sent over seven points. Corner back Conor Gleeson contained Rory O’Connor, Jack Fagan had another powerful outing at number five while Darragh Lyons drove forward from midfield.

7,815 supporters packed into Nowlan Park on a glorious afternoon. Déise All-Stars Stephen Bennett, Jamie Barron and Conor Prunty all missed out due to injury.

In the blazing sunshine, Dessie Hutchinson opened the scoring for Waterford after 22 seconds. He then saw a low shot saved by Mark Fanning as the Deise dismantled his puckouts early on.

In the fifth minute, Austin Gleeson intercepted a Fanning restart, soloed forward and lashed the ball past the Wexford netminder (1-2 to 0-1).

Fanning thwarted Hutchinson again on 12 minutes but Patrick Curran converted the 65.

Wexford got back level as Rory O’Connor, Damien Reck, Mikie Dwyer and Diarmuid O’Keeffe all raised white flags.

Referee John Keenan blew for the first free after 16 minutes and only awarded eight in the opening 35 minutes.

On 17 minutes, Dessie Hutchinson found Gleeson with a glorious stick pass and the Mount Sion attacker rattled the net again (2-4 to 0-7).

dessie-hutchinson-scores-the-third-goal Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

At the other end, Conor Gleeson hooked Rory O’Connor when he bore down on goal.

Gleeson pulled the strings for Liam Cahill’s men as points followed from Gleeson, Jack Fagan and Michael Kiely. He finished the first half with 2-2 to his credit. On 29 minutes, Darragh Lyons burst through the middle and laid off to Hutchinson who finally got his goal.

Waterford got 2-5 without reply in that purple patch as they moved eleven points clear.

Wexford finished the half with ten wides. A Paudie Foley free was their first point in 16 minutes as they trailed 3-9 to 0-10 at the break.

From the throw in, Dessie Hutchinson forced another save from Fanning. His third of a busy afternoon. Two Curran frees and Hutchinson from play restored their eleven point advantage.

On 42 minutes, Jack Prendergast finished a cracking Waterford counter-attack to the roof of the Wexford net. Conor McDonald’s penalty appeal fell on deaf ears as Patrick Curran and Michael Kiely moved the ball up for Prendergast to flash home (4-12 to 0-10).

To add to Wexford’s woes, full forward McDonald was helped off the field four minutes later. Lee Chin’s return raised a cheer but Darragh Egan’s men were wasteful and finished up with 18 wides.

Sub Shane Bennett fired Waterford’s fifth goal seven minutes from time. Gleeson then received his marching orders for an off the ball incident with Simon Donohue. Both sides finished with fourteen as Wexford sub Jack O’Connor was dismissed on two yellow cards in injury time.

Scorers for Waterford: Austin Gleeson 2-3 (1f), Patrick Curran 0-7 (4fs, 2 65s), Dessie Hutchinson 1-3, Shane Bennett, Jack Prendergast 1-0 each, Jack Fagan, Michael Kiely, Pauric Mahony (1f) 0-2 each, Neil Montgomery 0-1.

Scorers for Wexford: Rory O’Connor 0-5 (3fs), Paudie Foley 0-2 (2fs), Damien Reck, Diarmuid O’Keeffe, Mikie Dwyer, Charlie McGuckin, Conor McDonald, Oisin Pepper, Lee Chin (f), Connal Flood, Jack O’Connor 0-1 each.


1. Shaun O’Brien

2. Conor Gleeson 3. Iarlaith Daly 4. Shane McNulty

5. Jack Fagan 6. Tadhg de Burca 7. Carthach Daly

8. Darragh Lyons 12. Patrick Curran

10. Neil Montgomery 9. Austin Gleeson 11. Jack Prendergast

13. Dessie Hutchinson 14. Michael Kiely 15. Colin Dunford


25. Shane Bennett for Dunford (24)

21. Kieran Bennett for Kiely (53)

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23. Tom Barron for Iarlaith Daly (61)

18. Calum Lyons for Fagan (61)

20. Pauric Mahony for Darragh Lyons (63)


1. Mark Fanning

2. Simon Donohoe 3. Liam Ryan 4. Damien Reck

5. Paudie Foley 6. Kevin Foley 7. Matthew O’Hanlon

8. Liam Óg McGovern 9. Diarmuid O’Keeffe

10. Cathal Dunbar 11. Mikie Dwyer 12. Charlie McGuckin

13. Rory O’Connor 14. Conor McDonald 15. Oisín Pepper


26. Jack O’Connor for Dunbar (42)

22. Oisin Foley for Pepper (42)

24. Rory Higgins for McDonald (46)

18. Lee Chin for Dwyer (54)

21. Connal Flood for Kevin Foley (60)

Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow)

About the author:

Tomas McCarthy

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