In a closely-contested game, the game’s only goal in the 35th minute proved decisive. The winners enjoyed an element of good fortune when an effort by Colm Coss bounced off the upright and fell kindly to Emmet Malone for an easy finish. Malone followed up with a point soon after to stretch WIT’s advantage to 1-7 to 0-4.
They were full value for that lead after an impressive first-half display had them 0-6 to 0-3 ahead at the break. Full-forward Colm Coss spearheaded their scoring drive while midfielder Tommy Prendergast struck a beautiful long-range effort. For IT Tralee, Barry John Keane was their best attacker in the first half but they struggled to break down the WIT rearguard, and faced an uphill struggle as they trailed by six points with 20 minutes remaining.
IT Tralee rung the changes and the moves helped them mount a spirited revival. Shane Carroll and Alan O’Donoghue were accurate from placed balls and had the deficit down to 1-7 to 0-8 by the 52nd minute. However WIT managed to weather the storm with Coss and Adam Brophy sealing their passage to the final with late points.
Scorers for Waterford IT: E Malone 1-2; C Coss 0-3 (two frees); A Brophy 0-2; T Prendergast, C O’Keeffe 0-1 each.
Scorers for IT Tralee: BJ Keane 0-4; S Carroll (two frees), A O’Donoghue (one free) 0-2 each; G O’Driscoll 0-1.
WATERFORD IT: M O’Donnell (Tipperary); S Fox (Limerick), S Prendergast (Waterford), B Rogers (Louth); M Molloy (Wexford), C O’Connor (Meath), B McGarr (Wicklow); T Prendergast (Waterford), E Malone (Laois); C McNally (Kildare), A Brophy (Waterford), C O’Keeffe (Waterford); J O’Donnell (Kerry), C Coss (Laois), P Burke (Wicklow).
Subs: D Tobin (Meath) for O’Donnell (38), F O’Leary (Cork) for McNally (44), J McGrath (Waterford) for Malone (54), C Doyle (Waterford) for O’Keeffe (60).
IT TRALEE: P O’Sullivan (Kerry); K Hartnett (Clare), D Culloty (Kerry), J Scully (Kerry); M Shanahan (Kerry), S Brosnan (Kerry), I Somers (Kerry); L Kavanagh (Limerick), P O’Donoghue (Kerry); BJ Keane (Kerry), G O’Driscoll (Kerry), M Brennan (Kerry); A O’Donoghue (Kerry), B Poff (Kerry), S Carroll (Kerry).
Subs: G O’Grady (Kerry) for Shanahan (half-time), M Kiely (Limerick) for Poff (half-time), E Murray (Meath) for Somers (half-time), A Hickey (Leitrim) for Kavanagh (38), C O’Driscoll (Kerry) for O’Donoghue (58).
Referee: Con Reynolds (Down).