Sport Gaelic Football

Saturday 20 September 2014

Ahearne strike crucial for battling Waterford

Tomas McCarthy

Published 10/02/2013 | 04:00

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Waterford made it two wins from two in Division 4 as they shaded a tight battle under the Fraher Field floodlights last night. A goal from Robert Ahearne early in the second half ultimately proved decisive, giving Niall Carew's charges a head start in the race for promotion.

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Tipperary 0-9

Waterford made it two wins from two in Division 4 as they shaded a tight battle under the Fraher Field floodlights last night. A goal from Robert Ahearne early in the second half ultimately proved decisive, giving Niall Carew's charges a head start in the race for promotion.

The rain came sheeting down just before throw-in and had an impact on proceedings as players on both sides struggled to keep their footing.

Waterford had to plan without captain Gary Hurney as he served the second game of his suspension, but they began brightly as Paul Whyte opened the scoring for the hosts from a free after three minutes.

In the sixth minute, Waterford were awarded a penalty when Darren Guiry was hauled to the ground. Whyte stepped up to the spot and he sent Paul Fitzgerald the wrong way to establish an early four-point cushion. Tipperary were finding it difficult to break down the hosts' defensive wall but Brian Fox opened their account on nine minutes when he burst forward from wing-back to slot the ball over.

The sides swapped two points apiece before Patrick Hurney kicked Waterford's first point from play to leave them 1-4 to 0-3 ahead on the half-hour mark. The Premier men went through a purple patch before the break, however, to put themselves back in contention. They struck three unanswered points through Barry Grogan, George Hannigan and Peter Acheson to leave Peter Creedon's side just one point adrift at the break (1-4 to 0-6).

On the restart, substitute Conor Sweeney levelled matters for the first time from a placed ball. Against the run of play, Waterford seized control in fortunate circumstances on 43 minutes. Ahearne's high delivery deceived Tipperary No 1 Paul Fitzgerald and hopped into the net. Minutes later, the same player blasted wide with the goal at his mercy.

Whyte and Grogan then traded frees before the latter reduced the arrears to two. With the game in the balance, Waterford pushed on with well-struck points from Tony Grey, Guiry and Whyte to grab the two points on offer.

Scorers – Waterford: P Whyte 1-4 (1-0 pen, 4f), R Ahearne 1-1 (1f), P Hurney, T Grey, D Guiry 0-1 each. Tipperary: B Grogan 0-4f, P Acheson, B Fox, M Quinlivan, G Hannigan, C Sweeney (1f) 0-1 each.

Waterford: S Enright; C Phelan, S Prendergast, M O'Gorman; T Grey, S Briggs, J Hurney; S Ahearne, T Prendergast; L Ó Lonáin, C McGrath, P Hurney; D Guiry, R Ahearne, P Whyte. Subs: G Nugent for McGrath (30), S O'Hare for T Prendergast (65), J Veale for P Hurney (67), S Dempsey for Guiry (70).

Tipperary: P Fitzgerald; J Coughlan, P Codd, A Morrissey; A Campbell, C McDonald, B Fox; G Hannigan, H Coughlan; P Acheson, L McGrath, D Leahy; A Moloney, B Grogan, M Quinlivan. Subs: B Jones for H Coughlan (23), C Sweeney for Moloney (h-t), R Kiely for Morrissey (41), B O'Brien for Leahy (50), A Matassa for McGrath (50).

Referee: A Nolan (Wicklow).

Irish Independent

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