Waterford are through to the All-Ireland SHC quarter-finals after a thrilling game at Semple Stadium that saw the Déise survive an almighty scare.

Liam Cahill's men were 16 points to the good at one interval after a wonderful first half, but with the Déise down to 14 men, Galway battled back to within three points on two occasions.

Two late Jason Flynn goals proved not enough for the Tribesmen, as late points from Stephen Bennett and Michael Kiely proved vital for Waterford who had four points to spare.

Waterford’s simply stunning first half display began with just 16 seconds on the clock, with Shane Bennett showing super skill before splitting the posts from distance.

Peter Hogan then laid off for Jack Fagan to point, as the Déise’s strong support running was evident from the offset.

Conor Whelan got the Tribesmen off the mark from the left flank, before a Patrick Curran effort and a fine point from Jamie Barron made it 0-4 to 0-1 to the Déise early on.

A contentious Conor Whelan effort was deemed to have gone over by the umpires, before Jack Prendergast also got his first score. Joe Canning made his first dent on the scoreboard with a free, before Conor Cooney punished a poor clearance to make it a one point affair.

Stephen Bennett, Dessie Hutchinson and Calum Lyons combined for the latter to score from distance, before two Canning frees levelled proceedings for the first time on 10 minutes.

A fantastic point from Jack Prendergast gave Liam Cahill’s men impetus, before Canning and Bennett traded dead balls. Austin Gleeson had an effort toward goal saved by debutant Darach Fahy, and it was 0-09 to 0-07 at the first water break.

Stephen Bennett gathers possession ahead of Brian Concannon

Either side of the water-break, the Déise clicked into cruising gear hitting seven points without response.

An outstanding free from Bennett made it three on the spin, before he got his first from play. His brother Kieran then punished a loose touch from Sean Linnane, before a monster point from Jamie Barron and another from Kieran Bennett had the Déise seven ahead.

Galway struggled to get Canning involved but he was chipping away at the scoreboard with frees, before Patrick Curran added his second. Cathal Mannion found Whelan to clip over his third, before a Shane Cooney pass went straight to Lyons who pushed his side further ahead.

Waterford’s dominance drew a deserved green flag on 32 minutes, a sideline cut from Barron well controlled by Dessie Hutchinson, he played it to Patrick Curran who slipped a pass to Jack Fagan and he clipped a composed finish over Fahy to make it 1-16 to 0-09.

Jack Fagan scores his first-half goal

A beautiful sideline cut from the right flank by Gleeson was followed by his first from play to hand the Déise a 12-point lead at the interval. With Canning seemingly injured and the scoreboard not in their favour, Galway faced into a mammoth task for the second period.

Joe Canning went down injured after an off-the-ball incident

Canning returned to the field after the break but Conor Gleeson did not as he was handed a straight red card for a late first half incident. A brawl broke out which saw Shane Cooney enter the referee’s book for lashing out at Shane Bennett, but the numerical disadvantage didn’t phase the Déise.

Conor Gleeson is sent to the stands by referee Sean Stack

The first score of the second half from the right sideline by Austin Gleeson was one of the scores of the championship, and Peter Hogan then pointed to put the Munster men 14 to the good.

Joseph Cooney sent over a great score while falling, before Stephen Bennett added another from a free. A trademark pair of points from man of the match Jamie Barron had the Déise in dreamland with 20 minutes of normal time remaining, before Shaun O’Brien denied a Cathal Mannion effort with a brilliant save.

Coen and Fagan traded efforts before a Bennett free, and Waterford led 1-25 to 0-12 going into the final quarter, knowing little of the onslaught that was to come in their direction.

Cathal Mannion moved into the square and Galway caught fire. A Canning free set the wheels in motion, before Mannion was found in space and shot from distance with his effort nestling into the bottom right corner. An Evan Niland point was then followed by a record-equalling effort by Canning with the gap down to ten.

Substitute Michael Kiely was denied a goal by a good save from Darach Fahy, and Bennett notched over the requisite '65. Jason Flynn and Evan Niland put the pressure back on, before Joe Canning broke Henry Shefflin’s championship scoring record with a close-range effort from play to leave eight between the sides.

A Brian Concannon wonder-point had Galway fans wondering if a miracle was on the cards, with a Canning dead ball leaving just two pucks of the sliotar in the balance. Canning then played a mesmeric pass into Jason Flynn, and he rattled the net. Three points was the difference and there were seven minutes of added time.

Michael Kiely sent over a superb score under pressure from Evan Niland to wipe Waterford’s sweat, before two well-won frees saw Stephen Bennett stand up and deliver two well-needed scores.

Jason Flynn scores Galway's third goal

The scare was well and truly on with two minutes of additional time left as Flynn drove at the Déise and again plundered to the roof of the net, but an inspirational score from Stephen Bennett with his team under severe pressure gave Waterford a four-point cushion.

Canning saw a late effort blocked by Gleeson and that was that. A mammoth effort from Galway falling just short as they hit 2-8 in the final quarter, with Waterford progressing to next weekend’s All-Ireland quarter-finals.

Waterford: Shaun O’Brien, Conor Gleeson, Conor Prunty, Ian Kenny, Calum Lyons (0-02 each), Shane Bennett (0-1), Kieran Bennett (0-1), Jamie Barron (0-04), Peter Hogan (0-1), Jack Fagan (1-02), Jack Prendergast (0-02 each), Stephen Bennett (0-11, 7f, 1 '65), Dessie Hutchinson, Austin Gleeson (0-03, 1 sdl), Patrick Curran (0-02 each).

Subs: Michael Kiely (0-1) for Patrick Curran (58); Darragh Lyons for Peter Hogan (60); Billy Power for Jack Prendergast (63); Colin Dunford for Jack Fagan (68); Shane McNulty for Dessie Hutchinson (70)

Galway: Darach Fahy, Shane Cooney, Gearoid McInerney, Darren Morrissey, Pádraic Mannion, Daithi Burke, Aidan Harte, Sean Loftus, Cathal Mannion (1-00), Joseph Cooney (0-01), Conor Whelan (0-03), Conor Cooney (0-01), Sean Linnane, Joe Canning (0-09, 8f), Brian Concannon (0-01).

Subs: Johnny Coen (0-01) for Sean Loftus (25); Adrian Tuohy (0-01) for Sean Linnane (28); Evan Niland (0-02) for Conor Cooney (46); Jack Fitzpatrick for Darren Morrissey (51); Jason Flynn (2-01) for Joseph Cooney (57)

Referee: Sean Stack (Dublin)