Déise do the damage early to delight Ryan

An odd game in Fraher Field yesterday, Dublin arriving with half an eye on their upcoming Division 1A relegation play-off, and Waterford wary of involvement in same.

Déise do the damage early to delight Ryan

The home side took matters into their own hands by carving out a good four-point win, consigning Galway and Dublin to the game deciding who drops to Division 1B.

Waterford boss Michael Ryan, who had Ken McGrath and Sean Cullinane replacing Nicky Cashin and Br. Philip Ryan as selectors last week, was happy to put relegation worries behind him and look ahead to the Munster championship clash with Clare.

“We’ve improved the last few games and we can concentrate now on a gigantic Munster semi-final against Clare. The big thing is we’ve a stronger available panel now than what we had earlier in the season. It’s all systems go now but there’s a lot of work to be done between now and June 17, it’s 10 weeks away, it’s work, work, work.

“I was very happy with Nicky Cashin and Br. Philip but Ken has a lot to offer, he’s a leadership figure, and Sean knows how to play in defence better than anyone else. He’ll help tighten up our defence but it’s not about the management team, it’s about the entire set-up and everybody working hard.”

Waterford worked hard yesterday, scoring first with a Maurice Shanahan point, though they then had to hold off a Dublin flurry of attacks which yielded two wides and a David Treacy point.

The Dubs then endured a scoreless 17 minutes, during which their hosts hit six points — Pauric Mahony (free), Gavin O’Brien (two), Tony Browne, Shanahan and Shane Walsh.

Eamonn Dillon finally got Dublin’s second point on 20 minutes, but Waterford responded with another Mahony free and a superb O’Brien point, the Roanmore youngster killing a Browne delivery superbly before scoring. Dillon and Treacy (free) had Dublin’s other two points before John Mullane, Mahony (free) and another neat O’Brien point left Waterford eight points to the good, 0-12 to 0-4 at the half.

Kevin Moran hit the opening score of the second-half to put nine between them but Dublin struck for four unanswered points in the following quarter of an hour. Niall McMorrow, sub Ross O’Carroll and Treacy (free) cut the deficit to six entering the final quarter.

John Caffrey landed a monster point from a free in his own half on 51 minutes but Waterford had a Shanahan point from a free on the puckout. Soon afterwards Dean Curran got a second yellow for a loose challenge, which put paid to Dublin’s hopes.

They finished strongly, Treacy, Eamonn Dillon, Danny Sutcliffe exchanging points with Mullane, sub Eoin Kelly and Shanahan (free), but they couldn’t close the gap, with the home side finishing four points to the good.

“I think he was booked just after half-time,” said Dubs boss Anthony Daly afterwards about Curran’s sending-off.

“I don’t know what we did to Diarmuid Kirwan, or whatever someone from Dublin did to him at some stage of life, I don’t know. They were two of the most harmless things, and to be put off the field for it ... we have to get on with it, the result is the result, it is what it is.”

The former Clare star was already thinking of his side’s relegation play-off with Galway in a fortnight: “Galway beat us by seven points in the first league game, so we have a point to prove, certainly.

“We’ve performed against every other team bar Galway this year, so our lads have all the incentive to prove they can compete with Galway. We’ll look forward to that.”

His opposite number was looking to the morale boost that top-flight survival would give his side.

“If we’d gone down to 1B it’d have been a downer on the confidence,” said Ryan. “Confidence comes from playing well and winning matches, it was very important we won but there’s still a long road ahead.

“We’re a long ways away from where we need to be for the championship, there’s loads of room for improvement in our fitness and in our hurling and that’s understandable but I’m confident we’ll be right for June 17 which will be a massive test.”

Clare, of course, are managed by former Deise boss Davy Fitzgerald which adds its own touch of spice.

“The only thing I’ll say about that is ye guys will try and make a field day out of it but as far as we’re concerned we’re playing Clare, we’re not playing Davy Fitz.”

Scorers for Waterford: M Shanahan (2f), G O’Brien 0-4 each, Pauric Mahony 0-3 (3f), J Mullane 0-2, T Browne, K Moran, S Walsh, E Kelly 0-1 each.

Waterford subs: S Daniels for Lawlor (39, inj), S Molumphy for Mauric Mahony (46), M O’Neill for McGrath (62), E Kelly for S Walsh (63), D O’Sullivan for Twomey (73).

Scorers for Dublin: D Treacy 0-4 (3f), E Dillon 0-3, R O’Carroll 0-2, N McMorrow, R O’Dwyer (f), J McCaffrey (f), D Sutcliffe 0-1 each.

Dublin subs: Peadar Carton for O’Brien (h-t), C Clinton for Lambert (h-t), R O’Carroll for O’Callaghan (45), D Plunkett for McMorrow (52), D Sutcliffe for Curtin (60).

Referee: Diarmuid Kirwan.

*A minute’s silence was observed before the game in memory of Mary Enright Walsh, who died last week.

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