Waterford 0-14 Dublin 0-19
Waterford’s two year unbeaten run in the Allianz Hurling League came to an end when Ger Cunningham’s Dublin had five points to spare over their hosts in the Division 1A clash at Walsh Park.
Ironically Waterford’s previous league defeat was also on home soil to Dublin in the 2014 relegation play-off.
No relegation worries this time round for either side with both teams safely into the quarter-finals after this weekend’s results.
Waterford opened the game in fine style with points from Patrick Curran (2) and Colin Dunford to lead 0-3 to nil after only three minutes. However the visitors began to dominate hitting 6 points without rely, including 2 excellent efforts from the impressive Eamon Dillon to lead by double scores 0-6 to 0-3 after the first quarter.
Shane Bennett with a point on the run after a slick Jake Dillon pass broke the Dubs momentum before Eamon Dillon with a replica point from the touchline, his third from play in the opening half restored Dublin’s three-point advantage.
The league champions responded with two monster point’s from Austin Gleeson, one from play and one from a free, both from inside his own half. Patrick Curran was also successful with 2 points from placed balls to leave Waterford leading 0-08 to 0-07 at half time.
Eamon Dillon who was a constant thorn in the side for the home defence had Dublin level inside a minute of the restart. The sides were still deadlocked at the end of the third quarter 0-11 apiece. At this stage Dublin began stamping their authority on the game. Cian O’Callaghan and Liam Rushe anchored their defence superbly, Johnny McCaffrey and Darragh O’Connell were in control at centre-field while Dots O’Callaghan and David Treacy were attacking with menace.
Niall McMorrow, Johnny McCaffrey, Chris Crummey and Darragh O’Connell all hit long distance points and when David Treacy landed a monster free from 90 yards Dublin were in the driving seat 0-15 to 0-11 after 55 minutes. Not even the arrival of All-Star Maurice Shanahan could bring about a change of fortune for Derek McGrath’s heretofore unbeaten side.
Waterford have found goals hard to come buy this year and rarely looked like raising a green flag that might have reignited their challenge.
When did they did threaten to breech the Dublin rear-guard after 56 minutes Shane Bennett had his effort smothered by goalkeeper Conor Dooley at the expense of a 65 which Patrick Curran converted. Dublin were not to be denied as they outscored Waterford four to two over the remaining ten minutes to record an impressive 0-19 to 0-14 victory.
Speaking after the game their manager Ger Cunningham paid tribute to a fine team performance: "It was great to come here to Walsh Park and put two wins back to back.
"It's 23 months since Waterford were beaten in a league game, funnily enough that was by Dublin as well. It was a great challenge for us today but our players showed great composure and intelligence to win here today."
Waterford: Stephen O’Keeffe, Shane Fives, Barry Coughlan, Noel Connors, Philip Mahony, Tadhg De Búrca, Kevin Moran, , Jamie Barron, Colin Dunford, Jake Dillon, Patrick Curran, Michael Walsh, Shane Bennett , Tom Devine,Austin Gleeson.
Subs: Maurice Shanahan for Tom Devine (51mins), Mickey Kearney for Colin Dunford (62mins). Shane O’Sullivan for Shane Bennett and Tommy Ryan for Austin Gleeson (both 70mins).
Dublin: Conor Dooley, Eoghan O’Donnell, Cian O’Callaghan, Oisín Gough, Chris Cummey, Liam Rushe, Shane Barrett, Darragh O’Connell, John McCaffrey, Daire Plunkett, Niall McMarrow, David Treacy, David O’Callaghan, Eamon Dillon, Fionntán McGibb.
Subs: Sean Treacy for Fionntan McGibb (53mins), Sean McGrath for Shane Barrett (61mins), Colm Cronin for Darragh O’Connell (70mins).
Scorers: David Treacy (0-9, 0-8f), Eamonn Dillon (0-4), David O’Callaghan, Niall McMorrow, Johnny McCaffrey, Chris Crummey, Darragh O’Connell and Sean Treacy (0-1 each).
Referee: Padraig O’Dwyer (Carlow)