/ GAA

Waterford 1-21 Galway 0-16

Updated: Sunday, 08 Sep 2013 20:46 | Comments

Waterford beat Galway by eight points All-Ireland MHC champions 2013
Waterford beat Galway by eight points All-Ireland MHC champions 2013

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Patrick Curran inspired Waterford to a first All-Ireland MHC triumph in 65 years with a 1-07 tally in a thrilling final at Croke Park, the Déise winning out by 1-21 to 0-16.

Curran steered over six points to give Waterford the edge, and they led by 0-12 to 0-09 at half-time, with Darragh Dolan and Ronan O’Meara scoring three each for Galway.

Brian Molloy brought Galway level midway through the second half, but it was Waterford who had the big finish, and Curran settled it with a 56th-minute goal.

Waterford slipped into an early rhythm, with two frees from Patrick Curran, one of them a massive 85 metre effort, settling the big match nerves.

But Galway drew level in the ninth minute, drawing strength from a well struck point from skipper Darragh Dolan, before Conor Whelan finished off a flowing move.

And they went in front for the first time with an exquisite sideline cut, sent sailing between the posts at the Canal End by Adrian Morrissey.

Waterford tightened up at the back, with Micheal Harney and Austin Gleeson closing down their direct opponents, and they strung together a breath-taking passage of play which saw them shoot six points on the spin, including three from Curran and a huge effort from Colm Roche.

Galway goalkeeper Cathal Tuohy had to pull off excellent saves from Michael Kearney and Stephen Bennett to keep his side in the game, and some solid defending from full back Darragh O’Donoghue helped get the Connacht lads back on track.

Ronan O’Meara moved to full forward and slotted over three points, while skipper Darragh Dolan also found the target as the deficit was trimmed back to two.

DJ Foran’s angled score in stoppage time sent the Decies in with a 0-12 to 0-09 lead at the end of riveting first half, and they were denied for a third time by Tuohy, who saved again by Stephen Bennett, with Kearney despatching the rebound over the bar.

Curran stretched the lead out to five, but once again their opponents dug deep, with Brian Molloy converting a couple of frees, before O’Meara slotted over his fourth to make it a two point game.

Molloy added two more to his tally, one from play, to bring Galway level in the 46th minute, but Waterford centre back Austin Gleeson stepped up his game to push his side on in a resounding finish.

They outscored Galway by 1-06 to 0-01 in a dominant final 10 minutes to sweep to a historic first minor title win since 1948.

Curran punished a defensive error with the only goal of the game on 56 minutes, while Bennett and Kearney both completed four point tallies as the Tribal challenge faded.

Waterford: G Power, W Hahessy, K Daly, C Leamy, M Harney, A Gleeson (0-01, f), Shane Bennett, M O'Brien, T Devine (0-01), Stephen Bennett (0-04), DJ Foran (0-01), M Kearney (0-04), A Farrell, P Curran (1-07, 0-04f, 0-01 ’65), C Roche (0-03).

Subs: C Curran for Foran, C Gleeson for Farrell, P O’Connor for Roche, Sam O’Neill for Hahessy.

Galway: C Tuohy, M Ó Conghaile, D O'Donoghue, M Conneely, S Linnane, S Cooney (0-01, f), R Doyle, E Burke, J Hastings, C Whelan (0-01), R O'Meara (0-04), A Morrissey (0-01, s/l), B Molloy (0-05, 4f), D Dolan (0-03), C Shaughnessy.

Subs: V Doyle for R Doyle, E Brannigan for Linnane, B Burke (0-01) for Whelan, R Bellew for Hastings, S Burke for E Burke.

Referee: C McAllister (Cork)

Highlights and analysis of all the weekend’s action on The Sunday Game from 21:30 on Sunday 8 September on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie (Ireland only).

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