Allianz HL Div 1A: Waterford claim encouraging win
Allianz Hurling League Division 1A
WATERFORD 1-15 KILKENNY 0-17
Patrick Curran’s first half goal proved to be the decisive score as Derek McGrath’s side got the better of the Cats at a bitterly-cold Nowlan Park, scoring their first win over Brian Cody’s side in Kilkenny since 2004.
Waterford were up and running in the early stages, Pauric Mahony (2) and Conor Gleeson pushing their side 0-3 to 0-1 up inside the opening 10 minutes.
T.J. Reid narrowed the gap with a pointed free, but the hosts were rocked when Curran broke through to blast his side into a strong lead when he gathered Tom Devine’s 12th minute pass and rattled the net (1-3 to 0-2).
The goal proved to be the big score of the half, but a crucial part of Waterford’s display was Mahony’s accuracy from frees. He posted eight points in the first half from placed balls, a run which kept the Deise in front.
T.J. Reid led the Kilkenny charge, grabbing six points in that opening half (five from frees), but Curran’s goal was a hurdle they couldn’t clear. Ollie Walsh sniped the last point of the half, but the Cats still trailed by four at the break (1-11 to 0-10).
Waterford didn’t hang about in the second half, stretching their lead to six points thanks to early scores from Mahony and Jamie Barron. Kilkenny fought hard to narrow the gap, shooting the next four scores through T.J. Reid (0-3) and sub Walter Walsh, but they couldn’t get the goal they craved to reel in the long-time leaders.
While Waterford endured something of a barren spell in the second half – they went 17 minutes without troubling the scoreboard operator – they did get back on track when Mahony and Barron put four points back between the sides late on.
Still Kilkenny wouldn’t give up. Spurred on by frees from Reid and goalkeeper Eoin Murphy they battled on, making it a one-point game when Kieran Joyce fired over a good score following Richie Hogan’s injury-time pass, but the Deise held out to make a winning start to their League campaign.
Scorers for Waterford: Pauric Mahony 0-10 (7fs, 265s); Patrick Curran 1-1; Jamie Barron 0-3; Conor Gleeson 0-1.
Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ. Reid 0-10, (7fs, 265s); Eoin Murphy (0-1, free); Ollie Walsh, Pat Lyng, Richie Hogan, Liam Blanchfield, Walter Walsh, Kieran Joyce 0-1 each
KILKENNY: Eoin Murphy; Joey Holden, Padraig Walsh, Conor O’Shea; Paul Murphy, Kieran Joyce, Cillian Buckley; Ollie Walsh, Conor Fogarty; Pat Lyng, T.J. Reid, Sean Morrissey; Jonjo Farrell, Liam Blanchfield, Richie Hogan. Subs: Walter Walsh for Sean Morrissey (36), Paddy Deegan for Ollie Walsh (52), Richie Leahy for Pat Lyng (55), Shane Prendergast for Cillian Buckley (60), Conor Martin for Liam Blanchfield (70).
WATERFORD: Ian O’Regan; Shane Fives, Barry Coughlan, Noel Connors; Tadhg de Burca, Stephen Daniels, Mikey Kearney; Jamie Barron, Conor Gleeson; Kevin Moran, Pauric Mahony, Michael Walsh; Patrick Curran, Tom Devine, Shane Bennett. Subs: Austin Gleeson for Mikey Kearney (52), Brian O’Halloran for Shane Bennett (55), Jake Dillon for Tom Devine (62), Gavin O’Brien for Patrick Curran (69), Shane McNulty for Stephen Daniels (70).
REFEREE: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary).