Waterford on the way to semi after sterling second half

Waterford 2-21 Dublin 1-19

By Eoghan Cormican, Semple Stadium

A blistering second-half start – in which Derek McGrath’s charges outscored Dublin by 1-5 to 0-1 – secured Waterford a first All-Ireland semi-final appearance in four years.

Not since 2011 have Dublin appeared in the championship’s penultimate round, their ticket to the last four this summer secured by a superb second-half showing at Thurles.

Kevin Moran levelled proceedings at 0-13 apiece within a minute of the restart and then arrived the crucial score of this All-Ireland quarter-final fixture. Maurice Shanahan robbed Cian O’Callaghan of possession, sprayed the ball inside to the unmarked Shane Bennett and the Ballysaggart teenager rattled the net with a fantastic groundstroke.

Mark Schutte replied with Dublin's first score of the second period, but momentum rested with Waterford and the Déise tacked on a further three points through Shanahan (0-2, one free) and Jake Dillon.

Come the 46th minute Waterford led 1-17 to 0-14.

Dublin had made very little inroads on their opponents lead when Mark Schutte handed Dublin a lifeline on 53 minutes. Joey Boland supplied the delivery, Ryan O’Dwyer threw the sliotar across the danger area where Schutte rose highest and buried - 1-19 to 1-15 read the scoreline.

The next four scores were shared, quelling hope of a Capital revival, and the issue was done and dusted when Shanahan, having been put through by Shane Bennett, bagged Waterford’s second goal on 66 minutes.

Dublin efforts to cut the gap in the closing stages would prove in vain.

Neither side have been posting particularly high tallies this summer and so it was somewhat of a surprise that the first-half produced 25 scores, Dublin shading the issue by the minimum, 0-13 to 0-12.

The opening period was level on no fewer than seven occasions and although Waterford had forged out a two-point advantage on 32 minutes, Ger Cunningham’s men finished the stronger with points from Paul Ryan (free) and two from the stick of the impressive Danny Sutcliffe.

Waterford, or rather Colin Dunford to be precise, had shot two poor wides when holding a 0-12 to 0-10 lead. Indeed, Derek McGrath’s charges had due cause to feel aggrieved at the interval scoreline for they enjoyed the upper hand throughout most of the opening 35 minutes.

Two Maurice Shanahan placed ball efforts and a Dunford white flag made for an encouraging start for Waterford, but Dublin, as they would for the entire first-half, dug in and pared back the margin.

Paul Ryan nailed his first free, while Dotsy O’Callaghan also wrote his name onto the scoresheet – the Dublin corner-forward would cause awful bother for Noel Connors, the latter was moved off his marker after 20 minutes and substituted on 30 minutes.

For Dublin, Ryan O’Dwyer, Schutte and Nial McMorrow would add to their tally, while Austin Gleeson, Kevin Moran would contribute for Waterford – Shanahan accounted for 0-8 of their 0-12 first-half tally.

Teams and scorers

Scorers for Waterford: M Shanahan (1-12, 0-8 frees, 0-2 ’65); A Gleeson (0-4, 0-1 sc); S Bennett (1-0); C Dunford, K Moran (0-2 each), J Dillon (0-1).

Scorers for Dublin: P Schutte (1-2), P Ryan (0-5, 0-5 frees); D O’Callaghan, D Sutcliffe (0-3); D Treacy (0-2, 0-1 ’65), R O’Dwyer (0-2 each); C Crummey, N McMorrow (0-1 each).

Waterford: S O’Keeffe; S Fives, B Coughlan, N Connors; D Fives,T de Búrca, P Mahony; A Gleeson, J Barron; K Moran, S Bennett, M Walsh; M Shanahan, J Dillon, C Dunford.

Subs: S Daniels for Connors (30 mins), P Curran for Dunford (55), T Devine for Dillon (68), Stephen Bennett for Shane Bennett (70), E Barrett for Gleeson (70).

Dublin: G Maguire; S Bennett, C O’Callaghan, P Schutte; C Crummey, L Rushe, J Boland; J McCaffrey, N McMorrow; P Ryan, R O’Dwyer, D Sutcliffe; D O’Callaghan, C Keaney, M Schutte.

Subs: P Kelly for Bennet (47), C Boland for McMorrow (54), D Treacy for Ryan (64), E Dillon for Keaney (67), O O’Rourke for Sutcliffe (70).

Referee: J Ryan (Tipperary).

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