Late Shane Bennett goal helps Waterford fight back from 10 points down to topple the Tribesmen
Waterford 1-18 Galway 2-13
Shane Bennett's injury-time goal completed a storming second half comeback for Waterford against Galway in Walsh Park as they finished runners-up in the Allianz Division 1B.
Bennett, a threat all day to the Galway full-back line with his clever running and control, initially lost control from Peter Hogan's pass inside to him after Austin Gleeson's booming clearance but recovered to touch past Fergal Flannery almost four minutes into added time.
The home side were 10 points down at the break, 2-11 to 0-7, but the conditions were a major factor and as it became more of a battle in the second half they showed more hunger for it in the exchanges that developed.
Waterford had managed well early on against the breeze with Stephen and Shane Bennett continuously winning ball and making incisions.
They were 0-5 to 0-3 ahead after only seven minutes, making almost every attack count before Galway could get a foothold.
By the 10th minute however, Galway were in front when Jason Flynn pounced on a Stephen O'Keeffe puck-out ahead of Shane McNulty and raced in for the opening goal and a 1-4 to 0-5 lead.
Waterford got back to within a point but the second quarter belonged to Galway, the highlight being Brian Concannon's goal in the worst of the conditions after a magnificent charge through the heart of the Waterford defence by Joe Canning.
To maintain such control in the driving wind and rain was a testament to the former "hurler of the year".
By the break, Galway were 10 clear with Conor Whelan sparking into life but Galway scored only twice in the second half, through Niall Burke and a Canning free as the wind strengthened to the point where Flannery couldn't get his puck-outs across the half-way line.
Jamie Barron was immense at midfield for Waterford while Stephen Bennett hit 10 points, nine from frees, as they laid down a marker for their summer visitors to Walsh Park.
Scorers - Waterford: Stephen Bennett 0-10 (9fs), Shane Bennett 1-1, J Barron 0-3, Pauric Mahony, M Kearney 0-2 each .
Galway: J Canning 0-7, J Flynn 1-1 (0-1f), N Burke 0-3, B Concannon 1-0, C Whelan 0-2.
Galway: F Flannery; R Burke, A Harte, J Grealish; K Hussey, P Mannion, G McInerney; C Mannion, S Loftus; N Burke, J Canning, B Concannon; C Whelan, J Flynn, D Glennon. Subs: S Bleahene for Flynn (53), S Linnane for C Mannion (55), P Killeen for Grealish (63), S Kilduff for Linnae inj (69), J Hanbury for R Burke (73).
Waterford: S O'Keeffe; D Lyons, S McNulty, N Connors; C Lyons, Philip Mahony, K Moran; C Dunford, J Barron; M Walsh, M Kearney, Pauric Mahony; P Hogan, Shane Bennett, Stephen Bennett. Subs: J Henley for D Lyons (46), A Gleeson for Walsh (51), S Roche for Dunford (52), C Roche for Connors inj (63), J Prendergast for C Lyons (66)
Referee: D Hughes (Carlow)