Waterford 2-19 Dublin 1-17
By Paul Keane
Stephen Bennett netted twice at Croke Park as Waterford claimed a significant two points in Division 1A of the Allianz hurling league.
Visiting Waterford, the 2015 champions, were level on points with Dublin beforehand and trailed by two points at half-time after a slow start.
But Bennett's second goal after the restart put the Munster outfit into a lead they would hold onto and their second win from three games leaves them sitting pretty in the race for a knock-out place.
Free-taker Pauric Mahony was excellent too and weighed in with a dozen points while Hurler of the Year Austin Gleeson chipped in 0-2.
It was also Waterford's first win at Croke Park since the 2008 All-Ireland semi-final success against Tipperary though there was some disappointment late on with Stephen Daniels picking up a second yellow card.
Ger Cunningham's young Dublin side are in trouble now with two losses from three and faded out after a bright start from the likes of Donal Burke, who hit 1-7 overall, and Eamonn Dillon.
Waterford burst out of the traps with 1-1 inside the opening six minutes including a clever goal from Stephen Bennett when he swept home from close range after Mahony's rebound off the post.
But five Dublin points on the trot was a sign of their young team's resolve with Burke and Dillon contributing a brace of scores each.
Dillon, wearing number 14 but starting at centre-forward, used his pace to trouble Waterford while Burke, with 0-11 from his two previous games, started brightly.
The Na Fianna teenager poked a 20th minute goal home among a group of players following a long ball in from Chris Crummey and Dublin suddenly led by five, 1-7 to 1-2.
The remainder of the half was all Waterford's though and Derek McGrath's men outscored Dublin by 0-6 to 0-3 in the run up to half-time.
Kevin Moran displayed his captain's credentials with back to back long range points and Hurler of the Year Austin Gleeson intercepted a puck-out before splitting the posts.
Dillon did win a free for Burke to convert on the stroke of half-time but Dublin led narrowly now, 1-10 to 1-8.
It was all Waterford after the break and Bennett's second goal in the 37th minute, when he beat Dublin 'keeper Conor Dooley to a loose ball, put them ahead again.
They didn't look back after that with Bennett adding two more points and there were excellent scores from Gleeson and substitute Maurice Shanahan also.
Mahony continued to punish indiscipline in the Dublin defence with a succession of points from frees and Waterford cruised to a comfortable win ahead of ties against Cork and Clare.
Scorers for Waterford: P. Mahony (0-12, 10 frees); S. Bennett (2-2); K. Moran, A. Gleeson (0-2 each); M. Shanahan (0-1).
Scorers for Dublin: D. Burke (1-7, 7 frees); E. Dillon (0-4); R. O'Dwyer, R. McBride (0-2 each); C. Crummey, N. McMorrow (0-1 each).
Waterford: I. O'Regan; N. Connors, B. Coughlan, S. Fives; C. Gleeson, T. de Burca, S. Daniels; J. Barron, K. Moran; M. Walsh, Shane Bennett, Pauric Mahony; A. Gleeson, Stephen Bennett, P. Curran.
Subs: M Shanahan for Curran 49, M Kearney for Barron 50, B O'Halloran for Shane Bennett 61, J Dillon for Stephen Bennett 67, D Lyons for C Gleeson 68.
Dublin: C. Dooley; J. Madden, E. O'Donnell, S. Barrett; B. Quinn, L. Rushe, C. Crummey; N. McMorrow, C. Conway; R. McBride, E. Dillon, E. Conroy; D. Burke, R. O'Dwyer, F. MacGib.
Subs: C Boland for Conway 47, C MacGabhann for Madden 55, C Bennett for Conroy 61, C O'Sullivan for Quinn 69, F O Riain Broin for Barrett 72.
Referee: J. Ryan (Tipperary).