Waterford resist late Galway battle

Updated: Thursday, 14 Jun 2007 16:18

Paul Flynn came off the bench to score the Waterford goal at Walsh Park this afternoon
Paul Flynn came off the bench to score the Waterford goal at Walsh Park this afternoon

Waterford, helped by the return of Eoin Kelly, had enough firepower to beat Galway by 1-25 to 2-20 in today's All-Ireland SHC Group A qualifier at Walsh Park.

Kelly announced his return from suspension with four points as he helped Waterford to their eighth championship victory over the Tribesmen in eight encounters. Deise captain Paul Flynn came off the bench to crash a 20-metre free to the net in the 55th-minute.

A Ger Farragher free squeezed Galway 0-14 to 0-13 in front by the first half's end. The Deise pushed five points clear before Damien Hayes goaled for Galway, who had midfielder David Collins sent off for his second bookable offence.

Galway substitute Cathal Connolly added another major in injury-time, but Waterford held firm to go top of the table.

The sides were level on an amazing ten occasions in the first half as the crowd of over 12,000 enjoyed a pulsating affair. There were moments of brilliance at either end as Liam Donoghue produced a stunning save from a goal-bound Michael Walsh shot.

Kelly hit over three outstanding points - his third squaring up the game at 0-13 apiece towards the end of the opening half. Farragher's late free provided the difference.

Walsh and Farragher traded blows at the start of the second half before three points on the bounce from Dave Bennett, who finished with seven, and Ken McGrath (two 65s) pushed Justin McCarthy's men in front.

Another Bennett score cancelled out David Forde's third of the afternoon for Galway before the visitors had Collins dismissed on 51 minutes for a high challenge on Eoin McGrath.

Flynn's goal, after Walsh had been fouled, sent Waterford 1-19 to 0-18 ahead, and although Dan Shanahan swept over two magnificent scores, a Fergal Healy point and Hayes' goal put just two points between the sides, with only seven minutes to go.

Waterford looked far from under pressure as strikes from Bennett, Kelly, Walsh and Mullane stretched them clear again.

Connolly managed to flick past Clinton Hennessy in the third minute of injury-time but time ran out on Galway, who are still second in the standings ahead of next weekend's visit of Westmeath.

Waterford see out the qualifiers away to Laois.

Waterford: C Hennessy; D Prendergast, T Feeney, E Murphy; T Browne (0-01), J Murray, B Phelan; K McGrath (0-04 (3 '65s)), D Bennett (0-07 (5f)); D Shanahan (0-02), E Kelly (0-04), S O'Sullivan (0-01); J Mullane (0-04), M Walsh (0-02), E McGrath.
Subs used: P Flynn (1-00)

Galway: L Donoghue (capt); D Joyce, T Og Regan, O Canning; D Hardiman (0-01), S Kavanagh, David Hayes; F Healy (0-01), D Collins; G Farragher (0-07 (5f)), D Forde (0-03), A Keary (0-01); Damien Hayes (1-04), N Healy (0-02), A Kerins (0-01).
Subs used: C Connolly (1-00)

Referee: Seanie McMahon (Clare).