Saturday 23 March 2019

Fanning hails Walsh Park green light as Déise march on

Waterford 3-15 Carlow 0-10

Stephen Bennett: Scored 1-8. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Stephen Bennett: Scored 1-8. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Tomás McCarthy

Waterford boss Paraic Fanning has welcomed the news that the redevelopment of Walsh Park has been approved by An Bord Pleanála.

"It's great that it's going to happen. It's going to be exciting times. We see others with their stadiums and we all know that we've a bit of work to do on that," he said.

"I'd encourage everyone to get behind it now. There's a lot of good things happening in hurling in Waterford. It's great for the county."

Before that work starts, Fanning firmly believes that they will entertain Clare and Limerick at the city venue in the Munster championship this summer.

"I'm expecting that they'll be in Waterford, quietly confident on that. I've always said it, we deserve the same chance as everybody else to try and win our championship games."

2,478 supporters came out on a wretched Saturday night to watch the Déise advance to the last eight of the NHL with their third double-digit win of the campaign.

Goals by Thomas Ryan, Stephen Bennett and Shane Bennett killed off 13-man Carlow.

They have raised nine green flags so far.

"We've been focusing on that and we had one or two other chances there today," added Fanning.

Shane Fives, Darragh Fives, Conor Gleeson, Tadhg de Burca, Kevin Moran and Patrick Curran were all absent, but the Ballygunner players will return to training during the week, with Dublin and Galway to come over the next two Sundays.

Carlow led 0-3 to 0-1 after eight minutes, but quickfire swift goals by Ryan and Stephen Bennett swung the game Waterford's way.

Shane Bennett found the top corner on 44 minutes.

The visitors only managed three second-half points and had two men dismissed.

Sub Diarmuid Byrne received a straight red for a reckless pull, just seven minutes after his introduction. Ger Coady also departed on a second bookable offence.

"That was disappointing because that's not what Carlow are about," remarked manager Colm Bonnar. "These lads have worked so hard and made a lot of sacrifices not to put themselves under that type of pressure.

"We're hugely disappointed that we ended up with 13 players. It's not acceptable really. It's something that we have to work on."

Bonnar also lost Martin Kavanagh, John Michael Nolan and Gary Bennett to injury.

Key man Kavanagh, who has contributed 27 points in three matches, is a worry for their last two group games against Laois and Offaly.

"It's not looking good. Marty was holding his hamstring coming off and John Michael was holding his knee," said Bonnar.

Scorers - Waterford: Stephen Bennett 1-8 (0-7fs), T Ryan 1-1, Shane Bennett 1-0, J Barron 0-2, C Dunford, DJ Foran, M Kearney, C Lyons 0-1 each. Carlow: M Kavanagh 0-4 (3fs), D Murphy (1f), E Byrne 0-2 each, R Coady, C Nolan 0-1 each.

Waterford - B Nolan 6; S McNulty 7, C Prunty 6, N Connors 7; A Gleeson 6, M Walsh 6, J Henley 7; J Barron 7, C Dunford 7; DJ Foran 6, M Kearney 6, J Prendergast 7; T Ryan 7, Stephen Bennett 7, Shane Bennett 8. Subs: C Lyons 6 for Henley (49), S Ryan for T Ryan (53), M Harney for Dunford (59), S Roche for Shane Bennett (65).

Carlow - D Jordan 6; A Corcoran 6, M Doyle 6, G Bennett 5; G Coady 5, D English 5, R Coady 6; J Kavanagh 5, J Murphy 5; JM Nolan 5, R Smithers 5, S Murphy 5; J Doyle 5, D Murphy 6, M Kavanagh 7. Subs: E Byrne 7 for M Kavanagh (33), C Nolan 6 for JM Nolan (38), D Byrne 4 for S Murphy (45), T Joyce for Bennett (49), S Whelan for J Murphy (53).

Ref - J Keenan (Wicklow).

Irish Independent

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