Two Shane Ryan goals proved crucial in keeping alive Waterford’s title defence in this entertaining All-Ireland MHC quarter-final clash.
The Waterford captain provided the equalising goal on the stroke of full-time in the drawn Munster final and was again on hand yesterday afternoon to deliver the game-defining scores.
Dublin, to their credit, never threw in the towel but were forced to chase the game from the second minute and while the gap was reduced to the minimum early in the second-half, the net is something they could not find.
On 10 minutes, the defeated Munster finalists pounced for the opening goal of the contest. Patrick Curran laid the foundations with a searing run through the heart of the Dublin rearguard. With sufficient defenders drawn, the full-forward offloaded to the unmarked Shane Ryan. Roll of the wrists. Goal.
The score moved Waterford 1-4 to 0-2 in front, and the scoreboard advantage they would take to the break – the aforementioned Patrick Curran scoring three points during the opening half-hour.
Dublin, for their part, relied heavily on the dead-ball accuracy of corner-forward Chris Bennett who pilfered five points (four frees) in the opening half hour.
Goal number two arrived on 41 minutes, a more crucial juncture of the game as points courtesy of Eoghan McHugh and Bennett had narrowed the deficit to 1-9 to 0-11. Waterford steadied the ship through Colm Roche, Patrick Curran and Cormac Curran. Then came Ryan’s second, put through as he was by Roche and the corner-forward drilled low beyond Jonathan Treacy, their lead now standing at 2-12 to 0-13.
Dublin sub Séan Gray, Con O’Callaghan and Eoin Ó Conghaile all found the target to ensure a close finish, but Waterford, guided by two late Shane Bennett points, held out.
Scorers for Waterford: S Ryan (2-1); P Curran (0-3 frees), S Bennett (0-4 each); C Curran, P Hogan (0-3 each); D Lyons (0-2), C Roche (0-1).
Scorers for Dublin: C Bennett (0-8, 0-2 frees); E Ó Conghaile, S Gray (0-1 ’65), T Fox, C O’Callaghan (0-2 each); R McBride, E McHugh, S Ryan (0-1 each).
WATERFORD: B Nolan (Roanmore); D Prendergast (Lismore), E Hayden (Ballygunner), M Cronin (Ardmore); C Prunty (Abbeyside), C Gleeson (Fourmilewater), J Mullaney (Stradbally); D Lyons (Dungarvan), A Molumby (Cappoquin); S Bennett (Ballygunner), C Curran (Brickey Rangers), C Roche (Shamrocks); P Hogan (Ballygunner), P Curran (Dungarvan), S Ryan (De La Salle).
Subs: S Murray for (Cappoquin) for Prendergast (32 mins), MJ Sutton (Ferrybank) for Murray (44), E Meaney (De La Salle) for Sutton (51), J Allen (Dungarvan) for Ryan (56), A O’Sullivan (Cappoquin) for P Curran (59 mins).
DUBLIN: J Treacy (Na Fianna); M McCallion (Kilmacud Crokes), D Butler (Kilmacud Crokes), S Barrett (Na Fianna); C O’Sullivan (St Brigid’s), J Malone (Cuala), C Brady (Faughs); R McBride (St Vinvent’s), E Conroy (St Maur’s); S Ryan (Na Fianna), E McHugh (Na Fianna), E Ó Conghaile (Lucan Sarsfields); E Dunne (Naomh Mearnóg), C O’Callaghan (Cuala), C Bennett (Faughs).
Subs: P O’Dea (Na Fianna) for Brady (27 mins), T Fox (Kilmacud Crokes) for O’Sullivan (30), S Gray (Whitehall Colmcille) for Dunne (45), F Whitley (Kilmacud Crokes) for O’Dea (60).
Referee: J Heffernan (Wexford).