Dermody stars as Faithful put on show
Offaly put the disappointment of last year's final defeat firmly behind them as they ran out comprehensive winners in yesterday's decider.
Experience played a significant role as Waterford started very nervously in their first appearance at Croke Park and Offaly raced to 1-11 to 0-4 interval lead.
Elaine Dermody starred for the winners, scoring a goal and six points, the goal coming in the 20th minute and executed under intense pressure.
Michelle Davis and Siobhan Flannery also weighed in with two points apiece and Offaly were full value for their lead at the break.
Waterford resumed in determined fashion, and Patricia Jackman gave Andy Moloney's side real hope when profiting from good work by Karen Kelly and Nicola Morrissey to hit the Offaly net.
That put six points between the sides and by that stage, Faithful goalkeeper Audrey Kennedy had already made a smart stop from Kelly. She was to make another brilliant save late on from another Kelly shot.
However two goals from Siobhan Flannery and Arlene Watkins killed off any hope of a Deise revival.
Flannery's goal was the key score and she could thank Tina Hannon, who fought doggedly to win possession. When Watkins finished clinically two minutes later, Joachim Kelly's crew were home and dry.
But credit to Waterford, even with the result no longer in doubt they never stopped battling. Aine Lyng got some consolation when netting four minutes from time at close range.
Scorers -- Offaly: E Dermody 1-6 (0-4fs), S Flannery 1-2, A Watkins 1-1, M Davis 0-3, T Hannon, K Nugent 0-1 each. Waterford: A Lyng 1-3 (0-2fs); P Jackman 1-1; K Kelly, N Morrissey 0-2 (1f) each.
Offaly-- A Kennedy; F Stephens, L Keena, K Brady; S Sullivan, M Morkan, L Sullivan; A Watkins, M Crean; A Kelly (A Corrigan 60), E Darmody, M Davis (E Dunne 60); T Hannon, K Nugent, S Flannery (J Brady 56).
Waterford-- A O'Brien; V Gaffney (M Russell 59), S O'Grady, KM Hearne; G Kenneally, M O'Donnell, S Kiernan; M Murphy, C Raher; S Curran (J Simpson h-t), K Kelly, N Morrissey; P Jackman, A Lyng, A Breathnach (A Kelly 53).
ReF -- P Walsh (Armagh).