Thursday 21 November 2019

Deise dig deep to make light of early Walsh red

Waterford 1-13 Dublin 1-10

Waterford captain Michael Walsh with referee Cathal MacAlastair before he was sent off
Waterford captain Michael Walsh with referee Cathal MacAlastair before he was sent off
Jamie Nagle, Waterford, in action against Mark Schutte, Dublin
Colm Cronin, Dublin, in action against Shane O'Sullivan, Waterford

Waterford surmounted the first-half dismissal of Michael Walsh to defend their home territory through heroic defensive endeavour.

"There was no masterplan to it," said Derek McGrath (below). "It was about work rate and application, and the boys themselves made a promise at half-time that it could be a point in your season where, when you are down to 14 men, you can just dig in and look back on it later in the year.

"A lot of leadership comes from within the actual squad. We made a decision to go with six against five and see could we go to the 60 minute without conceding or them getting ahead and then go back to locking it up at the back.

"It was just about hard work. All the games come down to attitude and hard work and we are just delighted with it."

They led by five at the break but held Dublin scoreless for 28 minutes of the second period.

Pauric Mahony racked up 1-8 in another productive 70, including an opportunistic goal on 23 minutes.

In an outstanding back-line, Stephen O'Keeffe pulled off an audacious close-range block from Eamon Dillon at a crucial juncture of the second half.

The last line of Tadhg Bourke, Shane Fives and Noel Connors revved up the home faithful with marvellous defensive moments. Kevin Moran filled in capably at the centre of the rearguard action.

After a sluggish start, Waterford reached half-time five in front. A bright Dublin opening with two frees from Alan McCrabbe and one each through Conal Keaney and David O'Callaghan put them three points to the good within seven minutes (0-4 to 0-1).

Mahony and O'Callaghan traded blows before the Déise settled. A Moran point and a Mahony brace tied the contest at five points apiece.

Back-to-back Seamus Prendergast white flags nudged Waterford ahead for the first time.

On 23 minutes, Mahony sniffed around after an inconclusive scramble between Peter Kelly and Seamus Prendergast to break free into open road and blast past Gary Maguire (1-8 to 0-7).

Ryan Donnelly suddenly made that a five-point lead before the locals were stunned by Walsh's straight red. What looked like an accidental clash with McCrabbe on 29 minutes left the No 11 on the deck. After consulting with his umpires, Cathal McAllister dished out the red.

"I had a perfect view of it," McGrath said. "Michael was trying to gather possession with his left hand and his right hand came back just give himself balance and I don't think that he saw the man on his blind side. I think there is grounds for appeal there definitely."

An exchange between Mahony and Colm Cronin gave McGrath's men the breathing space of five points. Mahony stretched that to six within four minutes of the restart through another placed ball.

The Sky Blues struggled to adapt to the new environment with their shooting and hit three wides in succession. Stephen O'Keeffe minded the house and collected a host of balls under the crossbar.

With each passing minute, Waterford grew in stature. They were evidently frustrating the visitors.

O'Keeffe then saved a point blank effort from substitute Eamon Dillon on 55 minutes when he came in dangerously from the left. McGrath complimented his No 1.

"He's been with me in the school since 12 years of age and I've seen him make saves like that. He is a top class goalkeeper. He was very focused and it was a possible turning point. He would be disappointed if didn't save it," he said.

The home side ended the 19-minute scoreless spell as a brilliant block by Tadhg Bourke teed up substitute Brian O'Sullivan to make it 1-12 to 0-8.

McCrabbe finally opened Dublin's second half account from a '65' after 63 minutes. Conor McCormack then saw a straight red for a wild swing on Jamie Nagle towards the stand sideline.

Dublin came with a late charge. Defensive confusion allowed Conal Keaney to finish to the net in the final minute. Dillon then tacked on an injury-time point.

However, that Deise layer of protection stopped any comeback momentum.

Scorers – Waterford: Pauric Mahony 1-8 (6fs, 1 '65'), S Prendergast 0-2, B O'Sullivan, R Donnelly, K Moran 0-1 each. Dublin: C Keaney 1-1, A McCrabbe 0-3 (2fs, 1 65'), D O'Callaghan 0-2, J McCaffrey, J Boland, C Cronin, E Dillon 0-1 each.

Waterford – S O'Keeffe 8; T Bourke 8, S Fives 7, N Connors 8; J Nagle 7, M Walsh 6, Philip Mahony 7; K Moran 7, S McNulty 6; R Barry 6, S Molumphy 7, S O'Sullivan 7; R Donnelly 6, S Prendergast 7, Pauric Mahony 8. Subs: B O'Sullivan 7 for Donnelly (46), S Roche 6 for McNulty (46), E Barrett 6 for Barry (56), B Coughlan for Prendergast (58), G O'Brien for Molumphy (63).

Dublin – G Maguire 6; C O'Callaghan 6, P Kelly 6, N Corcoran 6; S Durkin 6, L Rushe 6, M Carton 6; J Boland 7, J McCaffrey 7; R O'Dwyer 5, A McCrabbe 6, C Cronin 6; D O'Callaghan 6, C Keaney 7, M Schutte 5. Subs: E Dillon 7 for Schutte (44), S McGrath for O'Callaghan (59), C McCormack for Cronin (59).

Ref – C McAllister (Cork)

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