Waterford rue missed chances as Gallagher seals Antrim win

AN inability to translate first-half territorial dominance into scores contributed significantly to Waterford’s defeat in this NFL 2B game at windswept Fraher Field, Dungarvan yesterday.

The home county dominated for lengthy spells in the opening half but their forwards missed numerous chances from play and frees and paid dearly.

The most glaring of those misses came in the 10th minute when Andy Hubbard found himself clear with only goalkeeper Sean McGreevey to beat. Admittedly, the ‘keeper produced a fine stop, but from less than 10 metres Hubbard should have done better.

Another glorious goal chance went begging in the 27th minute — Liam Ó Lionain the guilty party — and the Glensmen went into the break trailing by a point, 0-5 to 0- 4, after playing into a howling wind.

The writing was clearly on the wall for the Decies and Paddy Cunningham’s pointed free had Antrim level.

Although Gary Hurney briefly raised Waterford hopes with a brace of quality points, that was the last time they would lead. The visitors hit a purple patch between the 45th and 62nd minutes, chalking up 1-5 without reply to ease into a 1-10 to 0-7 lead. Aodhan Gallagher’s 61st- minute goal was worthy of being a match-winner at any level, and it sealed Waterford’s fate.

After defeats against Wicklow and Meath in the earlier rounds, Antrim faced into the long journey home last night believing that they may have belatedly kick-started their league campaign. For Waterford, the road ahead looks difficult in the extreme.

Scorers: Antrim: P Cunningham (0-5, frees); A Gallagher (1-0); K Niblock (0-2); M McCann (0-2); C McGoldrick (0-2); C Brady, M Rea (0-1) each. Waterford: G Hurney (0-3); B Wall (0-2, 0-1 free); L Ó Lionain, M Aherne (sideline), R Ryan (free), 0-1 each.

ANTRIM: S McGreevey; P Doherty, C Lynch, N Warden; C McGoldrick, G Bell, T Scullion; D Martin, S McVeigh; C Brady, K Brady, A Gallagher; K Niblock, M McCann, P Cunningham.

Subs: C Close for Ward; M Rea for K Brady; A McClean for Bell; C McGourty for C Brady.

WATERFORD: T Wall; S Briggs J Phelan E Walsh; D Hickey E Rockett P Ogle; M Aherne(0-1) J Hurney; B Wall G Power W Hennessy; G Hurney A Hubbard L Ó Lionain.

Subs: L Lawlor for J Hurney; S Cunningham for O’Lionain; T O’Gorman for Phelan; J Ryan for Hennessy.

Referee: Sean O’Shea (Wexford).

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