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Dublin: 10°C Monday 8 March 2021
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Waterford recover from slow start to power past Offaly back to the Division 1B summit

Waterford have yet to lose a game in the league.

Michael Walsh's late goal sealed the game for Waterford.
Michael Walsh's late goal sealed the game for Waterford.

Waterford 2-18
Offaly 1-14

WATERFORD RECOVERED FROM a shaky start to post a seven point win over Offaly at a windswept O’Connor Park and stay unbeaten in Division 1B. Shane Bennett and Michael Walsh netted for Derek McGrath’s charges as they pulled clear of the home side in the final quarter.

Young stars Colin Dunford, Shane Bennett and Tadhg De Burca all sprinkled their magic at important moments. The winners hit an alarming 22 wides and a hamstring injury to Austin Gleeson will also worry management. Shane Dooley scored a whopping 1-10 but finished on the losing side.

Waterford turned around a grim looking situation early on to pip the hosts by a point at halfway (1-7 to 0-9). Offaly sprinted seven points ahead within a quarter hour in the Saturday sun. Shane Dooley hit six of those (five frees) and Brian Carroll added the other. Pauric Mahony recorded Waterford’s opener on 18 minutes.

Ten minutes later, Colin Dunford escaped the Offaly backs with his searing speed and laid off for Shane Bennett to finish first time off his hurley (0-7 to 1-3). Waterford tallied 13 first half wides but overtook the home side towards the tail end.

That strike from Bennett got rid of any jitters and they played the ball about with assurance. Mahony, Jake Dillon, Michael Walsh and Dunford all added points before the half time whistle.

The away outfit extended the lead to four early in the second period. Offaly drummed up a response on 44 minutes. Joe Bergin made the initial catch and he supplied James Mulrooney. The wing forward passed across for Shane Dooley to flash to the net.

Cathal Parlon levelled for a second time with a huge point from midfield (1-11 each). Pauric Mahony nosed Waterford back in front from a free. After 50 minutes, Shane Bennett charged through the Offaly back line and provided a pass for Michael Walsh. James Dempsey saved his shot but in the ensuing scramble, Michael Walsh flicked the sliotar home and Waterford opened daylight.

Dempsey made an incredible diving save when Jake Dillon seemed certain to shake the net. He earned a rapturous round of applause from the stand. The Déise kicked on towards the finish to put them top of the standings at present and firmly in the hunt for promotion.

Scorers for Waterford: Pauric Mahony 0-7 (6fs); Shane Bennett, Michael Walsh 1-1 each; Jake Dillon 0-3, Colin Dunford 0-2, Shane Fives, Austin Gleeson, Brian O’Halloran, Martin O’Neill 0-1 each.

Scorers for Offaly: Shane Dooley 1-10 (8fs), Brian Carroll 0-2, James Mulrooney, Cathal Parlon 0-1 each.

WATERFORD

1. Stephen O’Keeffe

2. Shane Fives
3. Barry Coughlan
4. Noel Connors

7. Philip Mahony
5. Tadhg De Burca
6. Austin Gleeson

8. Jamie Barron
10. Kevin Moran

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26. Colin Dunford
11. Pauric Mahony
14. Michael Walsh

13. Brian O’Halloran
12. Jake Dillon
21. Shane Bennett

Subs: Martin O’Neill for Gleeson (31), Gavin O’Brien for O’Halloran (53), Shane O’Sullivan for Barron (58), Stephen Bennett for Dunford (61), Maurice Shanahan for Pauric Mahony (67).

OFFALY

1. James Dempsey

20. David King
3. Dermot Shortt
17. Stephen Wynne

5. Emmett Nolan
21. Eanna Murphy
7. Dermot Mooney

22. Cathal Parlon
9. Sean Ryan

13. Joe Bergin
11. Dan Currams
12. Sean Cleary

10. James Mulrooney
14. Shane Dooley
15. Brian Carroll

Subs: Stephen Quirke for Bergin (53), Chris McDonald for Murphy (63), Colm Mulrooney for Cleary (67).

Referee: James Owens (Wexford)

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About the author:

Tomas McCarthy

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