Waterford dispatch Antrim to advance to U21 hurling final

Waterford dispatch Antrim to advance to U21 hurling final

Waterford 5-25 Antrim 1-8

Waterford eased past Antrim this afternoon to book their place in a first All-Ireland U21 hurling final since 1992, writes Eoghan Cormican.

Waterford made little of the stiff breeze they played into in the first period and held a commanding 3-10 to 0-6 interval advantage.

Antrim failed to get on the board until the 18th minute, by which stage the Munster champions had racked up 2-5.

Tom Devine registered the opening major of the contest on 11 minutes and Waterford had a second when Antrim corner-back Eoin McManus touched a DJ Foran shot into his own net.

Saul McCaughan had the northerners off the mark midway through the first period and while two more from McCaughan and a point a piece Maoi Connolly and Domhnail Nugent did marginally reduce the gap, a third Déise goal courtesy of Patrick Curran and a point each from Curran (free) and Foran had Seán Power’s charges 13-points clear at the break.

A Saul McCaughan goal opened the second-half brightly for Antrim, but they would add to their tally on only two further occasions in the remaining 28 minutes.

Stephen Bennett blasted in goal number four on 44 minutes, with Patrick Curran providing their fifth. Waterford, in the end, had 29 points to spare.

Scorers for Waterford: P Curran (2-7, 0-4 frees); T Devine (1-2); Stephen Bennett (1-1); M Kearney (0-1 sc), DJ Foran (0-4 each); A Gleeson (0-2); M O'Brien, Shane Bennett, A Farrell, P Hogan, J Fagan (0-1 each).

Scorers for Antrim: S McCaughan (1-4, 0-3 frees); M Connolly (0-2, 0-1 free); D McMullan (0-1 free), D Nugent (0-1 each).

Waterford: G Power (Dungarvan); W Hahessy (Clonea), C Gleeson (Fourmilewater), D Lyons (Dungarvan); M Harney (Bunmahon), A Gleeson (Mount Sion), C Prunty (Abbeyside); Shane Bennett (Ballysaggart), C Roche (Shamrocks); Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart), T Devine (Modeligo), M O’Brien (Ferrybank); P Curran (Dungarvan), DJ Foran (Portlaw), M Kearney (Ballyduff Upper).

Subs: P Hogan (Ballygunner) for Shane Bennett (16 mins, inj); A Farrell (De La Salle) for Roche (38); B O’Keeffe (Ballygunner) for Lyons (41); J Fagan (De La Salle) for Devine 44); D Ryan (Fourmilewater) for A Gleeson (50).

Antrim: R Elliott (Dunloy); G Walsh (O’Donovan Ross), T Burns (Glen Rovers), E McManus (Cushendall); D McMullan (Loughgiel Shamrocks), P Burke (Cushendall), R McCambridge (Cushendall); C Ross (Whitehall Colmcille’s), A Delargy (Cushendall); M Connolly (Loughgiel Shamrocks), D Nugent (Lámh Dhearg), J O’Connell (Clooney Gaels); TT Butler (Ballycastle McQuillan), S McCaughan (Ballycastle McQuillan), R McKee (Loughgiel Shamrocks).

Subs: J Connolly (O’Donovan Rossa) for Ross (28 mins); R Gillan (Naomh Éanna) for Walsh (40); C McNaughton (Cushendall) for Nugent (43); C McAllister (Cushendall) for O’Connell (46); R Delargy (Cushendall) for McManus (51).

Referee: D Hughes (Carlow).

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