Kilkenny 1-21 Waterford 0-24
Kilkenny had to rely on a Walter Walsh goal to help them avoid a first championship defeat to Waterford since the 1959 All-Ireland final, writes John Fogarty.
Propelled by remarkable displays by Pauric Mahony and Austin Gleeson, Waterford looked set for victory until Walsh and Colin Fennelly combined for a 69th minute goal to level the game.
Although Mahony converted a free won by Jamie Barron, Conor Fogarty fired over from distance to draw the game for a 10th and final time.
Waterford were left to regret five straight wides in the closing stages when they had the initiative and beating Kilkenny almost everywhere on the field, especially in their own half when only Richie Hogan was truly performing.
Kilkenny led just once in the first half scorefest, the sides level on seven occasions. Waterford recovered quickly and were back in front within two minutes with a Pauric Mahony free and an Austin Gleeson point that came straight from a puck-out.
Shane Bennett’s running caused bother for the Kilkenny cover at times but the end product wasn’t sufficient. Jake Dillon struck wide in the 15th minute after a mazy sprint by Bennett.
Richie Hogan, so elusively good in the first half, responded but the next three scores came at the other end as Waterford’s superior work-rate told its tale.
Kilkenny reacted with a hat-trick of points of their own yet Waterford cancelled that out with another purple spell, Gleeson finding the posts and the impeccable Mahony adding two frees from distance.
Kilkenny saw out the half with a trio of Reid frees and Waterford managed just one further point from another Mahony placed ball but Waterford deservedly remained ahead at the break, 0-13 to 0-12.
Scorers for Kilkenny: T.J. Reid (0-11, 10 frees, 1 65); R. Hogan (0-4); W. Walsh (1-1); C. Fogarty (0-2); C. Fennelly, M. Fennelly, E. Larkin (0-1 each).
Scorers for Waterford: Pauric Mahony (0-14, 9 frees, 1 65); A. Gleeson (0-5); J. Dillon (0-2); K. Moran, M. Shanahan, P. Curran (0-1 each).
KILKENNY: E. Murphy; P. Murphy, J. Holden, S. Prendergast (c); P. Walsh, K. Joyce, C. Buckley; C. Fogarty, M. Fennelly; T.J. Reid, R. Hogan, W. Walsh; J.J. Farrell, J. Power, C . Fennelly.
Subs for Kilkenny: E. Larkin for J.J. Farrell (46); L. Ryan for K. Joyce (52);
WATERFORD: S. O’Keeffe; S. Fives, B. Coughlan, N. Connors; C. Gleeson, T. de Burca, Philip Mahony; J Barron, K. Moran (c); M. Walsh, A. Gleeson, Pauric Mahony; C. Dunford, Shane Bennett, J. Dillon.
Subs for Waterford: M. Shanahan for C. Dunford (h-t); P. Curran for Shane Bennett (53); B. O’Halloran for J. Dillon (66).
Referee: J. Owens (Wexford).