Monday 22 October 2018

'Comfortable' Waterford's warm-up

WATERFORD 2-17 ; WEXFORD 2-15 WATERFORD manager Gerard McCarthy will be the happier as his side emerged with a much more comfortable victory than the final scoreline suggests from this senior hurling tournament match at Wexford Park on Saturday.

Fielding just Eoin McGrath short of the starting 15 which rocked Cork, and with Ken McGrath still safeguarding his injured shoulder, Waterford were in control for lengthy periods, with the attack in particular been in impressive form, their full-forward trio of John Mullane, Seamus Prendergast and Davy Bennett emerging with a total of 1-11.

Wexford fielded short of defenders Colm Kehoe (calf muscle), Daragh Ryan (hamstring) and David O'Connor (broken finger), while also out nursing injuries were Rory McCarthy (ankle) and Larry Murphy (hamstring), leaving Manager Tony Dempsey with a mounting injury crisis in the lead up to the provincial final.

Waterford, with Tipperary in their sights, looked particularly sharp, leading 1-6 to 0-4 after 15 minutes, the goal a splendid effort from Dan Shanahan.

Wexford responded when their best forward Michael Jordan worked his way through on a 30 yards run for a great goal, but still Waterford led 1-11 to 1-7 at the break.

After Davy Bennett and Paul Flynn had extended their lead, it was Bennett who popped up for a delightful seventh minute goal to leave his side leading 2-14 to 1-7. As Wexford introduced a number of substitutes Wexford gradually clawed their way back into the game, with Michael Jordan adding a second goal at the end of the third quarter, but Waterford were clearly the superior and sharper side over the 70 minutes.

It was a promising work-out for Decise County who will have a full panel to choose from for their provincial final clash with Tipperary on Sunday week. Ken McGrath is expected to have fully recovered from his shoulder injury, while younger brother Eoin is just out of hospital following a bout on tonsillitis but will be fully fit for the big game.

ANTRIM 2-10 ; DOWN 1-11

ANTRIM completed the treble in hurling championships in Ulster with this deserved two point victory over Down in a closely contested JHC final in Clones yesterday.

Antrim led at half time by 1-4 to 0-4, Barry McCann getting the goal just before the break after the sides had been level on four occasions in a closely contested opening half.

In the early part of the second-half Antrim continued to hold an advantage and extended their lead at one stage to five points, but Down struck back for a goal and two in the final minutes of the third quarter, Dan Morgan whipping a loose ball to the Antrim net to level the scores at 1-7 apiece.

Within a minute of that strike, Antrim regained the lead with a point from Barry McCann and then five minutes later, struck for the match-winning goal through Stephen Burke.

Three points in quick succession from Jerome McCrickard brought Down to within a point just on the hour, but Antrim held out for victory and took a late point from Liam Burke to help them to a deserved result.

SCORERS Antrim: B McCann 1-4, S Burke 1-0, N McKenna 0-2, L Burke, P Nugent, D McToal, G Turley 0-1 each. Down: J McCrickard 0-10, D Morgan 1-0, C McCabe 0-1.

CAMOGIE: Tipperary's superiority in camogie was evident on Saturday as Munster romped home in the Gael-linn Interprovincial Final to take their 16th senior title when they beat Ulster 7-23 to 0-11 in St. Annne's Bohernabreena.

Captained by Tipperary centre-half back Ciara Gaynor, the defending champions overcame Leinster in the semi-final 5-13 to 1-10. The second semi-final which saw Ulster overcome Connacht 3-14 to 2-16 was an extremely close affair with the outcome in the balance up to the very end.

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