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Kelly guides Waterford to hard-earned victory

Waterford 2-14 Limerick IT 1-16 (aet)
FORMER All-star Eoin Kelly put a transfer controversy behind him to guide his county to a hard-earned extra-time victory in the Waterford Crystal quarter-final at Fraher Field, Dungarvan.

Kelly who has switched from Mount Sion to Passage produced a performance that will have pleased team manager Justin McCarthy. His clinically taken goal in the 52nd minute when Seamas Prendergast provided him with the pinpoint pass, had all the hallmarks of a player fully believing in himself.

The result was tough luck on the students who lost Galway teenage star Joe Canning through a hamstring injury in the pre-match warm up while Kilkenny’s All-Ireland winning captain Jackie Tyrell was dismissed on a second yellow card midway through the second half.

They subsequently fell eight points behind with only as many minutes of normal time remaining, but somehow forced extra time with an equalising goal from a 25-metre Iarlaith Tannion free with the second last puck of normal time.

And there was drama aplenty in additional time with the game deadlocked, until Conor Carey brilliantly rifled over the winning point in the final minute and booked a semi-final with Cork next weekend.

There was only the minimum between them at end of the first half too. The students had raced into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead, but trailed 0-5 to 0-4 at the breaks thanks to some fine scores from Kelly and Ken McGrath at centre back. The 44th minute proved to be a turning point with Tyrell’s dismissal and, from the resultant semi-penalty, McGrath blasted the ball to the net to give Waterford a 1-7 to 0-7 lead. When they stretched the points advantage to eight (2-9 to 0-7), thanks in the main to Kelly’s great 52nd minute goal, it looked as if the hosts would advance.

Despite playing a second game in 24 hours, Limerick IT staged a super rally, climaxed by Tannion’s last gasp equalising goal to force two ten-minute periods of extra time before it fell to Carey to snatch Waterford’s late, late winner.

Scorers for Waterford: E. Kelly (1-5); K. McGrath (1-4); J. Hartley (0-2); J. Kennedy, D. Shanahan. C. Carey (0-1) each.

Scorers for Limerick IT: B. Earley (0-7); I. Tannian(1-1); C. O’Mahony (0-2); E. Cadogan (0-2); S. McGrath, A. Murphy, R. Sherlock, K. Murphy (0-1) each.

WATERFORD: C. Hennessy; E. Murphy, D. Prendergast, A. Kearney; J. Kennedy, K. McGrath, J. Murray; M. Walsh, S. Molumphy; S. Prendergast, B. Mullane, E. Kelly; C. Carey, D. Shanahan, E. McGrath.

Subs: J. Hartley for Mullane; K. Stafford for E. McGrath; M. McGrath for Stafford; B. Phelan for McGrath.

LIMERICK IT: J. Skehill; M. Walsh, J. Tyrell, A. Byrne; S. McGrath, C. O’Mahony. M. O’Brien; J. Clancy, K. Murphy; E. Cadogan. A. Murphy. P. Ryan; J. McInerney. I. Tannion. B. Earley.

Subs: S. Scully for Clancy; C. Mullane for Ryan; R. Murphy for Scully; E. Kelly for Skehill; R. Sherlock for McInerney.

Referee: S Roche, Tipperary.