Waterford ended their winless run in this season's Allianz Football League when stinging Sligo in a two-point win, 2-12 to 0-16, in harsh weather conditions at Markievicz Park.
Second-half goals from Seanie O’Donovan and the excellent Dylan Guiry helped give Waterford their first victory in four Division Four games.
Full-forward Darragh Corcoran landed two sweet points in stoppage time to end promotion-chasing Sligo’s hopes of salvaging a draw.
The Déise came to the north-west on the back of three successive losses in the basement tier.
But they remained resolute against a wasteful Sligo, who were reduced to 14 players in the 63rd minute when John Francis Carr received a second booking.
The home side, looking to bounce back from their loss against Wicklow in Aughrim last Sunday, were the better side only in sporadic patches.
Paul Taylor’s men paid the price for four wides in the opening 10 minutes of the second-half, having started the second-half with a three-point lead, 0-9 to 0-6.
The home side were first on the scoreboard with a point from Barry Gorman, who was making his first start of the 2020 AFL, and their three-point lead by the 20th minute, 0-5 to 0-2, was an indication of their relative control.
This lead could have been greater but Red Og Murphy drilled a shot wide from Sligo’s best goal chance after 11 minutes.
Among Sligo’s points at this stage were fine efforts from play by Sean Carrabine and Liam Gaughan, who would end up shooting six of his side’s 16 points.
Waterford, who were playing against the swirling breeze in that opening half, remained in contention thanks to points from Jason Gleeson and team captain Conor Murray.
The visitors’ best point of the opening half came from wing-back Robbie Flynn.
Sligo needed goalkeeper Aidan Devaney’s superb save to deny a certain Waterford goal in the 34th minute when Dylan Guiry shot goalwards.
Even with the interval lead and three substitutes contributing second-half scores, including a fine score from Cian Breheny, Sligo were never convincing in the second period.
Waterford’s two goals made the difference, of course. Seanie O’Donovan goaled in the 50th minute, when finishing off Dylan Guiry’s initiative, to cut the margin to a point, 0-11 to 1-7.
Their second goal was just as important – Dylan Guiry finding a way through with 64 minutes played to put Waterford a point up, 2-9 to 0-14.
The sides were level, 0-16 to 2-10, as stoppage time approached.
Liam Gaughan’s sixth point of the game was the equalising score but Sligo were stunned in the five minutes of time added on.
Waterford not only boosted their season, they dented Sligo’s hopes of getting out of Division Four at the first attempt.
Sligo: Aidan Devaney; John Francis Carr, Eddie McGuinness, Mikey Gordon; Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch, Paul McNamara, Sean Carrabine (0-1); Patrick O’Connor (c) (0-1, 1f), Paul Kilcoyne; Neil Ewing, Liam Gaughan (0-6, 4f), Keelan Cawley; Red Og Murphy (0-1, 1m), Barry Gorman (0-3, 2m), Cian Lally (0-1).
Subs: Darragh Cummins (0-1) for Neil Ewing (23), Pat Hughes (0-1) for Cian Lally (44), Cian Breheny (0-1) for Keelan Cawley (47), Eoin McHugh for Mikey Gordon (54), David Quinn for Paul Kilcoyne (65).
Waterford: Paudie Hunt; Brian Looby, Darrach O’Cathasaigh, Mike Kiely; Robbie Flynn (0-1), Seanie O’Donovan (1-0), Dermot Ryan; Donie Fitzgerald, Jason Curry (0-4, 4f); Conor Murray (c) (0-1), Dylan Guiry (1-0), Jason Gleeson (0-2, 2f); Brian Lynch, Darragh Corcoran (0-3), Stephen Curry (0-1).
Subs: Niall McSweeney for Jason Gleeson (52), James Beresford for Donie Fitzgerald (57), Adam O’Sullivan for Brian Lynch (69).
REF: K Faloon (Armagh).