Allianz HL D1: Galway triumph in Salthill
Allianz Hurling League Division 1A
GALWAY 4-28 WATERFORD 3-23
By Cian O'Connell at Pearse Stadium
Lively and loose, an entertaining encounter unfolded in the Salthill sun as Galway gleaned the Allianz League spoils.
There was plenty to admire about Galway's approach with Conor Whelan and Brian Concannon summoning the grace notes in attack.
Waterford, who had been so impressive early on, were eventually pegged back by the defiant locals.
A wild and exciting opening period packed with scores illustrated the attacking ability in both panels.
Initially Waterford, all power and pace, inflicted significant damage to edge seven points clear, but Galway came thundering back to lead by four at the interval.
It was that sort of fluctuating match with Waterford, prompted by the brilliant Calum Lyons, settling briskly.
The first goal arrived in the third minute when goalkeeper Shaun O'Brien's delivery was gathered by Shane Bennett, who put Jack Prendergast away to score.
Ahead 1-9 to 0-5 by the 22nd minute Waterford had assumed a commanding position before Galway summoned a rally.
Adrian Tuohey batted a goal following splendid work from Brian Concannon in the 24th minute. That major arrived either side of Joe Canning frees as Galway trimmed the gap to two.
Waterford replied themselves with Shane Bennett's gorgeous 28th minute goal quickly followed by a Dessie Hutchinson point. Suddenly Waterford led by six again, but the game continued to move along at a good clip.
In a purposeful burst before the break Galway reeled off 2-4 without reply. Joe Canning and Brian Concannon rattled the Waterford net ensuring Galway went in 3-13 to 2-12 in front at the turnaround.
After the restart Dessie Hutchinson mined a goal for Waterford, who reduced the gap to one, but Galway were unperturbed.
Shane O'Neill's charges struck six of the next eight points to move 3-20 to 3-15 ahead by the 48th minute.
An insurance goal for Galway was planted in the 56th minute when Whelan's enthusiasm and Canning's skill enabled Concannon to make the Waterford net dance.
Galway prevailed in the west.
Scorers for Galway: Joe Canning 1-8 (4fs, 1 sideline), Brian Concannon 2-2, Conor Whelan 0-6, Evan Niland 0-4, Adrian Tuohey 1-0, Conor Cooney 0-3, Seán Loftus and Cathal Mannion 0-2 each, Daithí Burke 0-1.
Scorers for Waterford: Stephen Bennett 0-8 (6fs, 1 65), Dessie Hutchinson and Jack Prendergast 1-2 each, Calum Lyons 0-5, Shane Bennett 1-1, Jamie Barron, Kieran Bennett, Neil Montgomery, Jamie Barron, and Patrick Curran 0-1 each.
GALWAY: Eanna Murphy; Shane Cooney, Gearóid McInerney, Darren Morrissey; Padraic Mannion, Daithí Burke, Fintan Burke; Johnny Coen, Joe Canning; Sean Loftus, Cathal Mannion, Adrian Tuohey; Conor Whelan, Conor Cooney, Brian Concannon.
Subs: Evan Niland for Coen (30), Aidan Harte for S Cooney (35+4), Jack Fitzpatrick for Harte (38), Joseph Cooney for Tuohey (48), TJ Brennan for F Burke (60), Seán Linnane for Loftus (61), Kevin Cooney for Canning (63), Conor Walsh for Fitzpatrick (70+2).
WATERFORD: Shaun O'Brien; Conor Gleeson, Conor Prunty, Shane McNulty; Calum Lyons, Austin Gleeson, Seamus Keating; Jamie Barron, Jake Dillon; Neil Montgomery, Jack Prendergast, Kieran Bennett; Shane Bennett, Stephen Bennett, Dessie Hutchinson.
Subs: Jack Fagan for Montgomery (51), Patrick Curran for Dillon (54), Darragh Lyons for Shane Bennett (54), Billy Power for K Bennett (58), Kevin Moran for Gleeson (58), Peter Hogan for Prendergast (62), Shane Fives for Keating (67).
REFEREE: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary).