By Eoghan Cormican, Semple Stadium
Waterford 0-21 Wexford 0-11
A decent first-half showing in which they built up a seven-point interval advantage secured Waterford a second successive All-Ireland semi-final meeting with Kilkenny.
More important from a Waterford viewpoint today was that the horse was successfully remounted following their 21-point drubbing at the hands of Tipperary in the Munster final.
And while their 17-minute barren spell midway through the second-half will have left management with plenty to ponder ahead of the Kilkenny meeting, this quarter-final assignment was completed with not too much fuss at all.
Waterford had their homework done in that once the free count in their own half was kept relatively low, Wexford would struggle to post a significant tally.
Come half-time, Liam Dunne’s charges had managed a pretty meagre 0-5, two of which were Conor McDonald dead balls.
The writing was on the wall for the underdogs from a very early juncture with Waterford speeding 0-6 to 0-1 clear by the ninth minute.
Maurice Shanahan fired over within 56 seconds, with Pauric Mahony (0-2), Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh (0-2) and Austin Gleeson also on the mark.
A McDonald free and a fine David Dunne point brought the gap back to three, but no closer would Wexford come.
Two apiece from Mahony, Shane Bennett and Jamie Barron had Derek McGrath’s side seven clear at the break – 0-12 to 0-5 - and how greater that lead could have been but for 12 first-half wides.
Three early second-half points from Mahony, Gleeson and Shanahan stretched their lead into double-digit territory and it was looking game over. Wexford, to their credit, responded with five on the bounce to halve the deficit.
A fine individual score from sub Brian O’Halloran brought to an end Waterford’s scoring drought and the Déise outscored their opponents by 0-5 to 0-1 thereafter to run out convincing 10-point winners.
Scorers for Waterford: Pauric Mahony (0-8, 0-6 frees); Shane Bennett, M Walsh, J Barron, A Gleeson, B O’Halloran, M Shanahan (0-2 each); J Dillon (0-1).
Scorers for Wexford: C McDoanld (0-5, 0-4 frees); L Chin (0-2); D Dunne, J O’Connor, E Martin, L Ryan (0-1 each).
Waterford: S O’Keeffe; S Fives, B Coughlan, N Connors; D Fives, T De Búrca, Philip Mahony; K Moran, J Barron; S Bennett, A Gleeson, Pauric Mahony; M Shanahan, P Curran, M Walsh
Subs: C Gleeson for Fives (11 mins, inj); J Dillon for Shanahan (49, inj); B O’Halloran for Curran (54); Stephen Bennett for Shane Bennet (59)
Wexford: M Fanning; L Ryan, E Moore, M O’Hanlon; E Martin, P Foley, D O’Keeffe; J O’Connor, E Conroy; L Óg McGovern, L Chin, D Dunne; P Morris, C McDonald, H Kehoe.
Subs: A Kenny for Conroy (26 mins); N Kirwan for Kehoe (44); S Donohoe for Moore (51); A Nolan for Morris (64); J O’Connor for Óg McGovern.
Referee: A Kelly (Galway).