Historic hurling win against Kilkenny

Waterford 4-23;
Kilkenny 2-22.
Even though this was not a quarter-final, semi-final or final, whatever way one looks at it this was a historic win for Waterford hurling in Thurles last Saturday evening. It’s hard to believe that 1959 was the last time the Déise beat Kilkenny in championship hurling and that was after a replay of the All-Ireland Final.
Similarly, in ways, it took extra- time for the county to win in Semple Stadium on Saturday and while we take the laurels, and justifiably so on this occasion, the Cats record against us shows the quality and pedigree that is the game of hurling down Noreside way.
However, last Saturday, Derek McGrath’s charges were the better team overall and though we made hard work of dispatching Brian Cody’s men from the All-Ireland
series, bridging the 58 years gap without a win will always be
regarded as historic in the game of hurling in the county.
The winners dominated the first half at the end of which we led by 1-10 to 1-5 as Kilkenny’s first touch was poor and we were operating at a higher level.
On the restart, we didn’t score for eleven minutes and by this time the Cats had reduced their deficit to 0-2 at 1-10 to 1-8. We weathered this storm with a contender for score of the match by Jamie Barron and a brace of superb points by Austin Gleeson recovering our 0-5 half-time lead and 50 minutes on the clock.
Eight minutes later we led by a clear 0-8 with Shane Bennett billowing the net from a Michael Walsh pass in the 53rd minute and with a scoreline of 2-15 to 1-10 in our favour, what followed could not have been anticipated by anyone.
But we lost control of the match at this vital stage, we didn’t score again in normal time, we couldn’t get possession of the sliotar and the change of tactic from short puck outs to long ones favoured Kilkenny more and we almost paid the ultimate price. Indeed, if the match lasted any longer the Cats would have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
Kilkenny were the perkier of the two teams entering the dressing room at the end of the game and exiting them for the twenty minutes of extra-time. But the difference
between the teams soon became evident again and under the con-tinuing leadership of Tadhg De Burca in defence and Jamie Barron further up we won this extra part of proceedings by 2-8 to 0-7, a
marvellous achievement indeed.
In extra-time, Jamie Barron’s first half goal of class and a further 0-2 using his bottomless tank of energy helped Waterford to a half time lead of 3-19 to 2-18 and when the ball broke positively for Maurice Shanahan in the 83rd minute, his batted finish to the Kilkenny net was the icing on the cake on this first championship win over our neighbours in a life time.
An rud ata annamh is iontach é agus be’ iontach an gaisce a rinne ar imreorí i Durlas Eile an Satharn seo caite.
Kilkenny started with three changes to their announced line up with Rob Lennon, Kevin Kelly and John Joe Farrell on from the start. As expected the midfield area was choc a block with players yet by the 17th minute the Deise were ahead by 0-6 to 0-2 with Pauric Mahony accounting for five of those Waterford points.
Uncharacteristically, T. J. Reid missed two consecutive free
attempts in the 24th and in the 27th minutes and by the half hour mark Waterford were comfortably ahead by 0-9 to 0-4. At this stage we had tallied more wides than the opposition and we should have been even further ahead.
Game Questions of Waterford
Number 1
The consequences of our poor marksmanship arrived shortly when T. J. Reid scored from the spot after Richie Hogan had been upended in front of the goal by Darragh Fives, who lasted the full ninety three minutes of action, another plus for Waterford ahead of the game v Wexford. This goal was the first question to be answered on Waterford’s winning intentions and it was done so in style when Austin Gleeson pointed and Shane Bennett set up Michael Walsh for a reply goal after good refereeing gave the Ballysaggart player the advantage when fouled in possession.
Number 2
Kilkenny dominated the early second half exchanges and kept the winners scoreless for eleven minutes. Now just 0-2 to the good at 1-10 to 1-8, the second question was answered when Jamie Barron nabbed Waterford’s first point of the new half on 46 minutes and Austin Gleeson came up trumps with two consecutive scores from play, 1-13 to 1-8 and fifty minutes gone.
Number 3
Ahead by 2-15 to 1-10 by the 58th minute and not to score again for the remainder of normal time, Waterford answered the third question on their winning ambitions when they denied Kilkenny a winning score in their magnificent last ten minute comeback.
Number 4
Rejuvenated Kilkenny and deflated Waterford, after not finishing off the game in normal time, came out for extra time and this question was emphatically answered under the leadership of Jamie Barron as the team scored 2-8 in twenty three minutes of hurling and conceded no further green flags to the Cats.
Sometimes you have to answer one or two questions during the course of a game but Derek McGrath’s charges were continually answering last Saturday and there was no doubt but that the best team in this pairing advanced to the quarter finals of the cham-
pionship.
Waterford’s Top Three: Tadhg De Burca, Jamie Barron, Austin Gleeson.
Kilkenny’s Top Three: Ciaran Buckley, T. J. Reid, Lyster Ryan.
Observer’s Man of the Match: Tadhg De Burca.
Number of Scorers: Waterford 10. Kilkenny 8.
Scores from Play: Waterford
4-14. Kilkenny 1-10.
Frees For: Waterford 13. Kilkenny 18.
Wides: Waterford 16. Kilkenny 9.
Score of the Match: Jamie Barron’s 80th minute engineered and executed goal for Waterford.
Scorers – Waterford: Pauric Mahony 0-6 (0-5f, 0-1 ’65), Jamie Barron, Maurice Shanahan 1-3
(0-3f) each, Austin Gleeson 0-5, Shane Bennett, Michael Walsh 1-0 each, Tommy Ryan, Kevin Moran 0-2 each, Jake Dillon, Patrick Curran 0-1 each.
Kilkenny: T. J. Reid 2-12 (0-10f, 0-1 ’65, 1-0 pen), Lester Ryan 0-3, Richie Leahy 0-2, Richie Hogan, Eoin Murphy (0-1f), Colin Fennelly, Ger Aylward, Kevin Kelly 0-1 each.
Waterford: 1. Stephen O’Keeffe (Ballygunner). 2. Shane Fives (Tourin). 3. Barry Coughlan (Ballygunner). 4. Noel Connors (Passage). 5. Tadhg de Burca (Clashmore / Kinsalebeg). 15. Darragh Fives (Tourin). 9. Conor Gleeson (Fourmilewater). 7. Philip Mahony (Ballygunner). 8. Jamie Barron (Fourmilewater). 10. Kevin Moran (De La Salle). 6. Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion). 11. Pauric Mahony (Ballygunner). 14. Michael Walsh (Stradbally). 12. Jake Dillon (De La Salle). 13. Shane Bennett (Ballysaggart). Subs: 22. Patrick Curran (Dungarvan) for Dillon (48). 25. Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart) for Shane Bennett (61). 21. Maurice Shanahan (Lismore) for Walsh (69). 20. Brian O’Halloran (Clashmore / Kinsalebeg) for Mahony (74). 19. Tommy Ryan (Tallow) for Stephen Bennett (79); 23. Colin Dunford (Colligan) for Curran (84). 18. Shane McNulty (De La Salle) for Connors (86).
Kilkenny: 1. Eoin Murphy (Glenmore). 2. Paul Murphy (Danesfort). 3. Padraig Walsh (Tullaroan). 19. Robert Lennon (Bennettsbridge). 6. Cillian Buckley (Dicksboro). 5. Conor Fogarty (Erins Own). 8. Michael Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks). 7. Joe Lyng (Rower Inistioge). 12. T J Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks). 9. Paddy Deegan (O’Loughlin Gaels). 22. Kevin Kelly (St Patrick’s). 11. Walter Walsh (Tullogher Rosbercon).14. Colin Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks). 13. Richie Hogan (Danesfort). 23. Jonjo Farrell (Thomastown). Subs : 20. Lester Ryan (Clara) for Deegan (half-time). 15. Ger Aylward (Glenmore) for Farrell (half-time). 10. Chris Bolger (Clara) for Kelly (48). 26. Richie Leahy (Rower-Inistioge) for Hogan (62). 25. Liam Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge) for Michael Fennelly (73). 13. Hogan for Aylward (85)
Referee: James Owens (Wexford).

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