Allianz Hurling League Division 1 – Waterford 2-19 Offaly 1-19

Walsh stars for Deise as Offaly rue missed chances

From the Irish Independent newspaper

Waterford 2-19 Offaly 1-19

Monday April 04 2011

A lucky second-half goal from Brian O’Sullivan helped Waterford edge out an improving Offaly team in the Tullamore sunshine to set up a nail-biting finale against Galway, with a place in the final possibly up for grabs. Waterford, who lost Richie Foley to a thigh injury, led throughout but Offaly were left to rue a host of missed chances. Deise selector Pat Bennett was more than happy to come away with the win. “We were dreading coming to Offaly because they were buoyant after their win last week,” he said. “It was a tough, hard, physical game of hurling. We are still in with a shout.”

Waterford’s spread of scorers was impressive, with debutant Brian O’Sullivan shining with 1-2 from play. Foley was excellent from placed balls before going off injured with full-forward Shane Walsh the star of the show with 1-4. The first half was for the most part a dull affair despite some excellent scoring from both sides, with Walsh particularly good. Shane Dooley opened the scoring but a trio of points from O’Sullivan, Walsh and Foley settled the Deise. Dooley was deadly from frees in the opening half and kept the Faithful County in touch, with Walsh firing over again in the ninth minute to give Waterford a 0-5 to 0-2 lead.

Offaly full-forward Joe Bergin came to life midway through the half and his brace of points left the scores at 0-6 to 0-5 in favour of the Deise. Foley was in fine form from dead balls. He fired over six in the first half and had a strong part to play in the decisive score of the half. On 32 minutes, Walsh disposed Dylan Hayden on the Offaly end line and skipped towards goal before calmly dispatching a low shot beyond the reach of Offaly custodian James Dempsey. A late Offaly rally from Dooley and Carroll left the margin at seven points as Waterford went in leading 1-14 to 0-10 at the break.

Dooley missed a glorious goal chance early in the second half before Bergin finally found the net for the Faithful County in the 39th minute to bring it back to a five-point game. Dooley fired over a free and a ’65’ but Foley was as accurate as ever for the Deise. Waterford looked to have buried Offaly in the 57th minute when a breaking ball around the goalmouth was finished to the net by O’Sullivan, but a resilient Offaly battled back and were unlucky not to have a goal or two late on. Dooley hit three unanswered frees and with five minutes to go Waterford only led by four points. Walsh restored their five-point lead and, despite a late flurry from Offaly, Waterford hung on to win by three points.

Man of the Match: Shane Walsh (Waterford)

Scorers — Waterford: R Foley 0-9 (8f, 1 ’65’), S Walsh 1-4, B O’Sullivan 1-2, S Prendergast, G Crotty, S O’Sullivan, K Moran 0-1 each. Offaly: S Dooley 0-12 (10f, 1 ’65’), J Bergin 1-2, B Carroll 0-3, C Egan, C Parlon 0-1 each.

Offaly — J Dempsey 6, D Franks 6, D Kenny 6, S Egan 6; M Verney 6, R Hanniffy 7, D Morkan 7; C Mahon 8, D Hayden 6; D Molloy 6, G Healion 6, C Egan 8; S Dooley 9, J Bergin 9, B Carroll 8. Subs: M Cordial for Hayden (blood, 17-27), M Cordial 6 for Hayden (h-t), C Parlon 7 for Healion (45), J Mulrooney 6 for Molloy (50).

Waterford — C Hennessy 6; E Murphy 6, W Hutchinson 6, N Connors 7; T Browne 9, M Walsh 8, J Nagle 7; K Moran 7, R Foley 8; S Prendergast 6, S O’Sullivan 6, S Molumphy 6; B O’Sullivan 9, S Walsh 9, G Crotty 6. Subs: P Mahoney 6 for Prendergast (53), E McGrath 6 for Molumphy (60), E Kelly 5for Foley (inj 60), D O’Sullivan 5 for Nagle (67).

Ref — J Ryan (Tipperary)

 

Offaly 1-19 Waterford 2-19

From the GAA.ie web site

Waterford placed Offaly right in the relegation mire going into the final weekend of Division 1 of the Allianz National Hurling League with a 2-19 to 1-19 win in Tullamore. The result leaves Offaly bottom of the table, level on two points with Wexford, but with a significantly inferior scoring difference of -8. Waterford still have an outside chance of making the league final but they will need a few results to go in their favour on the last weekend. Waterford were always in control of the game and had a big lead of nine points at one stage, however Offaly did come back strongly in the second half. It never looked like being enough to overhaul the Munster champions though. The Déise played with a strong wind in the first period and went into an early lead thanks to Gavin Crotty. The visitors were without John Mullane, who is getting married, but they did have the ageless Tony Browne in their ranks, as he gears up for his 20th year of championship hurling.

Shane Dooley was in good scoring form for Offaly throughout, and he was especially potent from placed balls. He kept the Faithful in touch early on but soon Waterford were in control with Richie Foley hitting a number of frees, which he continued to do all afternoon. Shane Walsh hit two points following three in a row from Foley to put Waterford ahead. Crotty and Joe Bergin then traded points before Seamus Prendergast and Foley for Waterford and Colin Egan and Dooley for Offaly all added points. That left it 0-11 to 0-6 in favour of Waterford.

The key score of the first half came on 27 minutes when Shane Walsh rattled to the net for Waterford. It put them nine points clear but Dooley managed to cut the gap before half time and at the break it was 1-14 to 0-10 in favour of the visitors. But Offaly came out fighting strongly in the second half and set about cutting the gap straight away. Their task was made easier when Joe Bergin finished to the net either side of a brace of frees from Foley. Brian Carroll, Dooley and Colin Egan all pointed as Joe Dooley’s side battled on but Waterford landed the killer blow when they hit their second goal of the game on 56 minutes.

Foley hit a long ball towards the goal and it fell to Brian O’Sullivan who finished smartly. Shane Dooley responded with a quick free but the gap was seven points now and it looked all over. However, Offaly finished the stronger of the two sides and outscored Waterford by 0-6 to 0-1 in the final 15 minutes of the game, with Dooley and Brian Carroll doing most of the work. It wasn’t enough though and even though Waterford eased up after O’Sullivan’s goal, they had done enough.

With Wexford and Offaly now on the same points, it could come down to scoring difference as both sides face daunting trips to Tipperary and Kilkenny in their final two fixtures. With both their opponents still chasing a spot in the final, it is unlikely either Offaly or Wexford will find much sympathy in their fight against relegation. Waterford on the other hand could still make the final, but they will need to beat Galway on the final weekend and hope for a number of favours from other teams.

Team News

Waterford Hurling Team attached to play Offaly in Tullamore on Sunday.

1. Clinton Hennessy – Ardmore

2. Eoin Murphy, Shamrocks 3. Wayne Hutchinson, Ballygunner 4. Noel Connors, Passage

5. Tony Browne, Mount Sion 6. Michael Walsh, Stradbally 7. Jamie Nagle, Dungarvan

8. Richie Foley, Abbeyside 9. Kevin Moran, De La Salle

10. Seamus Prendergast, Ardmore 11. Shane O’Sullivan, Ballygunner 12. Stephen Molumphy (Ballyduff Upper)

13. Gavin Crotty, Dungarvan 14. Shane Walsh, Fourmilewater 15. Brian O’Sullivan, Ballygunner