Nigel Dunne blasted eight points in the absence of Niall McNamee as Offaly bridged a four year gap for a championship win at a sun soaked Fraher Field today.
Pat Flanagan’s side outgunned their hosts by 1-11 to 0-2 in the second period to advance confidently to round two. Ten different scorers contributed for the runaway winners.
Offaly bossed the opening quarter and established a five point gap after six minutes. The Faithful posted six wides however and Waterford arrived with a scoring burst before the break. On 33 minutes, a swift counter attack was finished low to the net by full forward Joey Veale. Mark Ferncombe and Patrick Hurney added points as Tom McGlinchey’s men only trailed by a single at the midway point (0-9 to 1-5).
Dunne and Veale traded points at the start of the second half but the Déise ran out of gas in the ferocious heat. The Shamrocks attacker punished persistent fouling from the home side and the visitors started to pile on the points. Johnny Moloney and Peter Cunningham added stunning long range efforts. With five minutes remaining, Anton Sullivan’s long range point effort deceived Waterford net minder Sean Barron and Dean Crowley couldn’t prevent the ball from crossing the line. Waterford only recorded two second half points courtesy of Veale and Liam Lawlor.
Scorers – Waterford: J Veale 1-1, M Ferncombe 0-2, P Hurney, JJ Hutchinson, L Lawlor, T Prendergast 0-1 each.
Offaly: N Dunne 0-8 (4fs), A Sullivan 1-1, G Guilfoyle 0-3, B Allen 0-2, E Carroll, W Mulhall, J Moloney, J O’Connor, C McNamee, P Cunningham 0-1 each.
Waterford: S Barron; D Crowley, P Crowley, T Ó hUallacháin; S Briggs, P Whyte, S Prendergast; T Prendergast, C Guiry; JJ Hutchinson, M Ferncombe, M O’Halloran; L Lawlor, J Veale, P Hurney.
Subs: D Guiry for Hutchinson (24), L Ó Lonáin for O’Halloran (47), C O’Keeffe for Hurney (51), M Curry for C Guiry (59), K Murphy for T Prendergast (66), J Curry for Veale (66).
Offaly: A Mulhall; B Darby, P McConway, C Donohue; N Darby, J Moloney, J O’Connor; C McNamee, N Smith; P Cunningham, G Guilfoyle, A Sullivan; B Allen, N Dunne, W Mulhall.
Subs: N Bracken for Mulhall (H-T, B-C), E Carroll for Allen (H-T), J Evans for Guilfoyle (62), N Geraghty for Smith (66), D Brady for B Darby (66), P McPadden for Moloney (71).
Referee: F Kelly (Longford)