SHC quarter-final: wasteful Deise men advance
24 July 2016
Wexford's Liam Og McGovern with Conor Gleeson of Waterford.
Waterford eased past Wexford this afternoon in Thurles to set-up an All-Ireland SHC semi-final showdown with Kilkenny next month.
Derek McGrath’s men were never troubled despite hitting 18 wides as the frees of Pauric Mahony were enough to keep them in control against a Wexford side which were never allowed to get going in the same manner they did against Cork last time out.
Mahony (4), Michael Walsh (2) and Shane Bennett (2) helped the Deise County to lead by seven at the half and they made it double figures early in the second-half, before allowing the Slayneysiders back into the contest and eventually killing them off with a solid final quarter display.
The Munster side now face the defending All-Ireland champions in two weeks’ time at Croke Park for the right to contest September’s final.
Maurice Shanahan got the ball rolling for the would-be winners, firing over after 50 seconds, and they’d be three to the good inside five minutes thanks to overs from Mahony (free) and Walsh.
Waterford's Tadhg de Burca contests a puckout with Conor McDonald and Harry Kehoe of Wexford.
Lee Chin opened Wexford’s account a minute later but their neighbours were already gaining a foothold around the centre, with Ken Moran to the fore, and they rattled off three more without reply via Walsh, Mahony (free) and Austin Gleeson before losing wing back Darragh Fives to a quad injury.
Fives’ forced withdrawal saw an early introduction for Conor Gleeson, and as the wides began to pile up for the Deise men Conor McDonald was able to get off the mark with a free and help stem the tide a bit for Liam Dunne’s charges.
David Dunne cut the deficit to three with a point from an acute angle but the Waterford were always able to keep their opponents at bay in this quarter-final. Mahony’s third free was backed up by Bennett and Jamie Barron each raising white flags ahead of a free from McDonald being erased by Mahony’s first from play.
The six-point lead should have been stretched considerably by McGrath's men but they’d 13 chances land the wrong side of the posts by the interval.
Barron’s second put a halt to the inaccuracy before Chin grabbed a sorely needed score for the Model County and Bennett closed the half at 0-12 to 0-5 in the Munster side’s favour.
Waterford's Austin Gleeson reacts to missing a point.
Given their counterparts’ poor shooting display during the opening 35 minutes, Wexford would have believed they were still very much in contention at half-time but points from Mahony, Austin Gleeson and Shanahan early in the restart had the difference at double figures.
Corner-back Liam Ryan journeyed forward to stop the rot for the Leinster outfit and it was the start of his team’s purple patch as they shot over four more unanswered points to keep the heat on Waterford.
Three McDonald points (2 frees) and a single from Eanna Martin made it 0-15 to 0-10 with 15 minutes left on the clock in which time a couple of McGrath’s substitutes managed to impress.
Both Brian O’Halloran and Jake Dillon came off the bench to lash over points either side of a brace of frees from Mahony, putting this game to bed and ultimately Wexford's season to an end.
O’Halloran notched a second prior to Mahony sailing over his eighth point of the afternoon and Jack O’Connor reducing the deficit before the last whistle sounded.
Waterford - S O’Keeffe; S Fives, B Coughlan, N Connors; D Fives, T de Burca, Philip Mahony; K Moran, J Barron (0-2); Pauric Mahony (0-8, 6f), A Gleeson (0-2), Shane Bennett (0-2); M Walsh (0-2), M Shanahan (0-2), P Curran. Subs: C Gleeson for D Fives, J Dillon (0-1) for M Shanahan, B O’Halloran (0-2) for P Curran, Stephen Bennett for Shane Bennett, C Dunford for M Walsh.
Wexford - M Fanning; E Moore, M O’Hanlon, P Foley; E Martin (0-1), L Ryan (0-1), D O’Keeffe; Jack O’Connor (0-1), E Conroy; L Og McGovern; L Chin (0-2), D Dunne (0-1); H Kehoe, C McDonald (0-5, 4f), P Morris. Subs: A Kenny for E Conroy, N Kirwan for H Kehoe, S Donohoe for E Moore, A Nolan for P Morris, Joe O’Connor for L Og McGovern.
Referee - A Kelly.