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Recent title winners to clash next Sunday as 2017 Waterford SFC reaches county final day at last

The Nire will take on Stradbally next Sunday after today’s semi-final ties.

 

Shane Ryan and Conor Gleeson Shane Ryan and Conor Gleeson both netted for The Nire today (file pic). Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

IT’S BEEN DRAGGING on for some time but the 2017 Waterford senior football championship has reached the final stage at last.

Next Sunday afternoon on the first weekend of December, the decider will take place after the outcome of today’s semi-final ties in Dungarvan.

And it will be a familiar pairing facing off at the Fraher Field venue in search of silverware as the reigning champions The Nire will take on 2016 kingpins Stradbally.

The two clubs have met in seven finals since 2002 with Stradbally winning five of those clashes and The Nire triumphing twice.

Both clubs had to withstand big challenges before triumphing in their respective semi-final ties this afternoon.

The Nire won out 3-8 to 2-10 in the curtain-raiser against An Rinn with a late goal from Shane Ryan causing heartbreak for their opponents, who were hoping for a historic first final place.

Goals from Lorcán Ó Corraoin and Liam Ó Lionain helped An Rinn forge an early advantage but their lead was cut to three points, 2-4 to 1-4, when Waterford senior hurler Conor Gleeson netted before the break.

Shane Walsh, another player with plenty Deise hurling experience, notched The Nire’s second goal after the break but An Rinn recovered to go two points clear approaching full-time.

Then Shane Ryan atoned for an earlier penalty miss with that priceless late goal for last year’s beaten Munster club finalists The Nire.

In the second game Shane Ahearne helped Stradbally into a 0-6 to 0-4 interval advantage before Kilrossanty drew level and it took late points from Kevin Lawlor and Jack Mullaney to clinch a 0-13 to 0-11 victory for Stradbally.

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Neither club are newcomers to the Waterford senior football final stage with both dominant forces in recent times. This will be Stradbally’s 15th final appearance in 20 seasons and it will be The Nire’s outing in a decider in the same time frame.

In that period Stradbally have won nine titles and The Nire have collected five crowns.

It’s not the only county senior final scheduled for next Sunday afternoon with the Galway hurling decider also down for decision as Gort will take on Liam Mellows.

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

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