Last-gasp Moran point sees Deise sneak title
A last-minute point from centre-forward Kevin Moran gave Waterford a scarcely deserved victory over UCC in Dungarvan yesterday.
Indeed, had UCC taken even a fraction of their chances, they would have walked away with the trophy. Their tally of 14 wides tells its own story and gives them food for thought ahead of their Fitzgibbon Cup clash with GMIT on Wednesday.
UCC were the first to settle and led by 0-4 to 0-0 in the early stages, thanks largely to the unerring accuracy of free-taker Eoghan Murphy.
Waterford didn't get their first point of the game until the 17th minute when Moran fired over from distance.
Further points from Maurice Shanahan kept the Deise in touch and at half-time the students held a rather unflattering three-point lead, 0-7 to 0-4.
Two more Shanahan frees left the minimum between the sides until Tomas Ryan set up Martin O'Neill for the game's only goal in the 36th minute.
This scrappy encounter boiled over in the 40th minute when Waterford's star midfielder, Eoin Kelly, was sent off for lashing out at UCC's Eoghan Murphy as they tussled on the touchline.
The sides traded points for the remainder of the game with Moran and Shanahan being the main protagonists for Waterford. Substitute Luke O'Farrell and Robert White found the range for the students to leave the sides level with time almost up. However, it was not to be for UCC as Moran's late point denied them victory.
The win was not without its negatives for Waterford manager Davy Fitzgerald. Besides the sending-off of Kelly, corner-back Mark O'Brien was carried off on a stretcher with a serious-looking injury.
Scorers -- Waterford: M Shanahan 0-6 (0-6f), M O'Neill 1-0, K Moran 0-3. UCC: E Murphy 0-5 (0-4f 0-1 '65), E Martin, S Burke, T Og Murphy, L O'Farrell, R White, S Moylan (0-1f) 0-1 each.
Waterford -- C Hennessy; J Meagher, L Lawlor, M O'Brien; D Prendergast, M Walsh, J Nagle; E Kelly, J Murray; S Walsh, K Moran, M Shanahan; M O'Neill, G Hurney, T Ryan Subs: O Whelan for T Ryan, B Phelan for J Murray, A Kearney for D Prendergast, M Doherty for M O'Brien.
UCC -- A Nash; D Kearney, R Foley, W Kearney; S Corry, K Hartnett, J Jordan; E Martin, B O'Sullivan; T Og Murphy, R White, S Burke; D Honan, E Murphy, S Moylan Subs: L O'Farrell for E Murphy, J Halbert for S Burke, S O'Farrell for E Martin, C O'Sullivan for D Kearney.
Ref -- D Richardson (Limerick).