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Allianz HL S-F: Waterford edge out Galway

Allianz Hurling League Semi-Final

WATERFORD 1-18 GALWAY 0-19

By Cian O'Connell at Nowlan Park

When demanding questions were posed Waterford summoned the necessary answers to set up an intriguing Allianz Hurling League decider against Limerick.

Paraic Fanning’s developing team delivered when it truly counted in the closing stages reeling off seven points without reply at a crucial stage.

That five of those scores arrived following the 54th minute dismissal of Mikey Kearney merely added to the feel good factor.

It was that sort of defiant display Waterford craved and the Deise will head for GAA headquarters heartened by this win.

Initially Waterford were in a bit of bother as Galway stitched some nice attacking patterns together accumulating an 0-8 to 0-3 advantage by the 18th minute.

Joe Canning was knitting the play together smartly while Cathal Mannion and Davey Glennon contributed some fine scores.

Still Waterford ploughed on and while they trailed by five again as the interval approached a fortuitous goal altered the complexion dramatically.

Stephen Bennett’s delivery caused panic and the sliotar eventually rattled the Galway net and the lead was trimmed to two.

The prolific Bennett narrowed the gap, but a Canning free ensured Galway went in at the interval 0-12 to 1-7 ahead.

After the restart it was tight and tense as Galway nudged themselves three in front, 0-17 to 1-11 when Canning rifled over a 49th minute free.

Galway didn’t score again until the seventh minute of stoppage time as Waterford seized the initiative in impressive fashion.

Substitute Jack Prendergast made an impact, but Waterford could have been disturbed when a second yellow card ensured Kearney was sent off.

Admirably Waterford kept thundering into the contest - Stephen Bennett levelled in the 56th minute before Calum Lyons clipped a sweet point from distance.

Suddenly Waterford were armed with belief, confidence, and momentum as Pauric Mahony clipped two splendid efforts guiding them 1-18 to 0-17 clear.

Galway’s cause wasn’t aided when Canning was stretchered off in injury time and while Glennon and Jason Flynn (free) pinched points it wasn’t enough. Waterford weren’t going to be denied.

Scorers for Waterford: Stephen Bennett 1-7 (1-6fs), Pauric Mahony 0-3, Jamie Barron and  Jack Prendergast 0-2 each, Calum Lyons, Tommy Ryan, Mikey Kearney, and Austin Gleeson 0-1 each.

Scorers for Galway: Joe Canning 0-7 (5fs), Cathal Mannion 0-4, Davy Glennon 0-3, Johnny Coen, Conor Whelan, Brian Concannon,  Kevin Hussey, and Jason Flynn (f) 0-1 each.

WATERFORD: Stephen O’Keeffe; Shane McNulty, Calum Lyons, Noel Connors; Tadhg de Burca, Philip Mahony, Kevin Moran; Jamie Barron, Colin Dunford; Austin Gleeson, Mikey Kearney, Pauric Mahony; Tommy Ryan, Stephen Bennett, Shane Bennett.

Subs: Jack Prendergast for Dunford (HT), Peter Hogan for Ryan (51), Colm Roche for de Burca (63), DJ Foran for Gleeson (70).

GALWAY: Fergal Flannery; Ronan Burke, Gearoid McInerney, Darren Morrissey; Paul Killeen, Padraic Mannion, Aidan Harte; Cathal Mannion, Johnny Coen; Conor Whelan, Joe Canning, Kevin Hussey; Davey Glennon, Brian Concannon, Niall Burke.

Subs: Jason Flynn for N Burke (56), Tadhg Haran for Coen (69), Jarlath Mannion for Canning (70+2), John Hanbury for Killeen (70+8).

REFEREE: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow).

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