Sport Gaelic Football

Monday 24 July 2017

Owens pays tribute to Prendergast

Waterford 1-17, London 0-13

ALL-IRELAND SFC QUALIFIER

John Owens praised his Waterford forwards after they downed 13-man London at Ruislip, and dedicated the win to a player who was unable to make the trip. Tommy Prendergast, who kicked two points in the Munster semi-final loss to Cork, is currently in Waterford Regional Hospital.

"Tommy Prendergast played for us all through the league and against Cork," Owens said. "He's in hospital and is going to be there for a wee while. He's only a young fella, 22, but he's six foot five and his heart is nearly bigger than this team. We had to leave him at home, but it helped push us on."

Paul Whyte, Prendergast's club-mate, was in unstoppable form against the Exiles, kicking seven points, three of which came from play. He was aided by a colossal performance from Gary Hurney, who fired 1-3. Hurney's goal came inside two minutes, the Ballinacourty man reacting quickest when an attempt from Sean Fleming came back off the post.

Waterford led 1-10 to 0-5 at half-time, six unanswered points midway through the half ensuring they profited from the strong breeze on their backs. London went 20 minutes without a score, and although Tony Gaughan gave them hope with two late points, the dismissal of key forward Paul Geraghty for striking was a devastating blow.

London started the second half with intent and cut the gap to six points, but their hopes of a second successive qualifier win were over when Ciaran McCallion picked up a second yellow on 49 minutes for a needless lunge.

Waterford used their two-man advantage to close the game out, and although London fired five points in the final quarter, the visitors were able to offer a quick response on each occasion.

"London losing two men made our job that bit easier," said Owens. "They have had a good run but we'd be hoping we can do something similar."

Scorers -- Waterford: P Whyte 0-7 (4f), G Hurney 1-3, W Hennessy 0-3, S Fleming, B Wall (2f) 0-2 each. London: T Gaughan, E O'Neill (3f) 0-3 each, K Phair 0-2f, P Geraghty, S McVeigh, P McGoldrick (1f), S Kelly (1f), M Gottsche ('45') 0-1 each.

Waterford --K Cotter 7; M O'Gorman 8, T O'Gorman 7, K Connery 6; T Grey 7, E Walsh 6, W Hennessy 8; M Aherne 7, S Dempsey 7; C O'Keeffe 6, S Fleming 8, P Whyte 9; B Wall 7, G Hurney 8, P Hurney 6. Subs: C Phelan 7 for Walsh (h-t); JJ Hutchinson 6 for P Hurney (52), B Phelan 6 for Dempsey (58), J Phelan 6 for Grey (61), C McGrath 6 for Wall (61).

London -- E Byrne 6; B Comer 5, M Moloney 5, D McGreevy 6; S Doolan 6, T Gaughan 8, D ONeill 7; D Hagan 5, M Gottsche 6; C McCallion 5, K O'Leary 5, S McVeigh 7; P McGoldrick 5, P Geraghty 5, E ONeill 7. Subs: S Browne 6 for Hagan (27), K Phair 6 for McGoldrick (44), S Kelly 6 for Comer (52), C O'Sullivan 6 for O'Neill (59); J Collins 6 for McVeigh (65).

Ref -- S Doyle (Wexford)

Irish Independent

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