Kelly holds nerve to earn Deise second bite
KAREN KELLY scored a last-minute point to earn a second chance for Waterford in this breath-taking decider.
The Deise full-forward kept her nerve to secure the replay as the clock ticked towards 60 minutes, which capped a fine second-half recovery.
Antrim led by 0-4 to 0-3 at the interval as defences stayed on top. All Star Jane Adams was limited to two frees, while Racquel McCarry and Michaela Convery added Antrim's other points. Aine Lyng and Kelly contributed points for Waterford.
McCarry took an Adams pass to raise the green flag four minutes after the break, and she and Adams then added points with only a solo Patricia Jackman pointed effort in reply for Waterford as Antrim took a commanding lead on a 1-6 to 0-4 scoreline.
But two Lyng frees and points from Jenny McCarthy and Kelly brought the gap back to just a point. Adams fed Natalie McGuinness for an Antrim point but Grainne Kenneally took McCarthy's high ball and found the back of the net to give Waterford the lead, 1-8 to 1-7.
Antrim reacted well and substitute Katie McAleese levelled the match before Adams sent over a point to retake the initiative.
However, Waterford remained calm and Kelly booked a second date to the massive disappointment of Antrim manager Michael McCollough.
"The mood here in the dressing room is a one of defeat. I'm sure Waterford know that they have got out of jail," McCollough commented afterwards.
"The fourth quarter just killed us, you can talk about a lack of experience in the form of it was there (for us) and sometimes the hardest thing to do is take it."
SCORERS -- Antrim: R McCarry 1-2, J Adams 0-4 (0-3f), M Convery, N McGuinness, K McAleese 0-1 each. Waterford: A Lyng 0-4 (0-3f), G Kenneally 1-0, K Kelly 0-3, P Jackman (0-1f), J McCarthy 0-1 each.
Antrim -- M Graham; R Torney, A Martin, A Jackson; C Doherty, E Connolly, B Orchin; K O'Neill, N Connolly; M Convery, N McGuiness, S Graham; R McCarry, J Adams, (capt), L Connolly. Subs: A McCall for Martin (7), C Hamill for N Connolly (27), K McAleese for L Connolly (36), M Connolly for B Orchin (48), L McMullan for C Hamill (57).
Waterford -- A O'Brien; E Hannon, S Curran, KM Hearne; P Cunningham, P Jackman, J Simpson; C Raher, M Murphy (capt); A Lyng, GKenneally, J McCarthy; N Rockett, K Kelly, N Morrissey. Subs: S Kiernan for Morrissey (39), D Fahy for Murphy (39).
REF -- D Leahy (Tipperary).