Allianz HL D1A: Kilkenny defeat Waterford
Allianz Hurling League Division 1A
KILKENNY 1-20 WATERFORD 1-12
By Tomas McCarthy at Walsh Park
2015 hurler of the year TJ Reid directed Kilkenny to their first league victory in this relegation four-pointer as Waterford’s Walsh Park woes continued. In front of 5,859 spectators, the black and amber talisman returned 1-11 as they outfought the home side on a muddy surface.
A Reid goal on 51 minutes quelled a third quarter comeback from the Déise. The outstanding Eoin Murphy then saved a penalty from Stephen Bennett to guarantee an away win. The Kilkenny custodian pulled off four vital saves over the 70. Martin Keoghan also impressed among a new look attack with five points.
The Waterford strike force only mustered 1-3 from play with the goal arriving two minutes into stoppage time from Thomas Ryan. Five members of the starting sextet were substituted. Tadhg De Burca was the heartbeat of the home effort along with Jamie Barron and Tom Devine. The hosts closed within three points during the third quarter before Reid’s green flag. The Déise haven’t recorded a league win at the city venue since February 2016.
John Donnelly struck first for the visitors after just 21 seconds. Two Reid frees and Keoghan from play gave them a 0-4 to 0-1 cushion.
Mahony and Reid traded frees before Déise centre back De Burca landed a magnificent score from 70 metres. Keoghan’s second of the afternoon near the stand sideline established a four-point buffer.
On 31 minutes, Eoin Murphy thwarted Tom Devine superbly from close range and Reid raised a white flag at the other end. A four-point swing. The Ballyhale Shamrocks man completed the half on 0-7. Donnelly pushed it out to seven before Austin Gleeson converted an injury time free from distance. The hosts trailed 0-11 to 0-5 at the break and only registered a solitary point from play.
Derek McGrath made a double switch at half time as Colin Dunford and Patrick Curran replaced Austin Gleeson and Michael Kearney as Waterford nibbled away at the lead.
Two Mahony frees and singles from both substitutes reduced the deficit to three. On 51 minutes, Reid brushed aside De Burca and buried the sliotar to the top corner (1-12 to 0-9). At the city end, Eoin Murphy hauled down Curran, after a fine move involving Tom Devine and Stephen Bennett, and Fergal Horgan awarded a penalty. Bennett struck his effort into the ground however and Murphy parried it away to safety.
Two Reid frees offered Brian Cody’s charges comfort before subs Luke Scanlon and James Maher got in on the act. Impressive rookie Keoghan increased his tally to five as Kilkenny ran out cosy winners. Ryan’s late major was no more than consolation for the Déise.
Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid 1-11 (9fs, 1 65’), Martin Keoghan 0-5, John Donnelly 0-2, Luke Scanlon, James Maher 0-1 each.
Scorers for Waterford: Pauric Mahony 0-7 (6fs, 1 65’), Thomas Ryan 1-0, Tadhg De Burca, Austin Gleeson (f), Patrick Curran, Colin Dunford, Tom Devine 0-1 each.
KILKENNY: Eoin Murphy; Joey Holden, Padraig Walsh, Paddy Deegan; Conor Delaney, Cillian Buckley, Enda Morrissey; Lester Ryan, Conor O’Shea; Martin Keoghan, TJ Reid, Pat Lyng; Billy Ryan, Walter Walsh, John Donnelly.
Subs: Liam Blanchfield for Ryan (33), James Maher for O’Shea (42), Luke Scanlon for Ryan (55).
WATERFORD: Ian O’Regan; Shane Fives, Barry Coughlan, Noel Connors; Conor Gleeson, Tadhg De Burca, Philip Mahony; Jamie Barron, Kevin Moran; Austin Gleeson, Pauric Mahony, Jake Dillon; Michael Kearney, Maurice Shanahan, Tom Devine.
Subs: Colin Dunford for Gleeson (H-T), Patrick Curran for Kearney (H-T), Stephen Bennett for Dillon (45), DJ Foran for Shanahan (58), Thomas Ryan for Mahony (62).
REFEREE: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)