Championship dream over for 13-man Exiles

London 0-13 Waterford 1-17

London 0-13 Waterford 1-17

London had two players sent-off as their Championship challenge ran aground at Ruislip.

Paul Geraghty and Ciaran McCallion were dismissed for their second bookable offences as Waterford had a comfortable passage into the third round.

The visitors built a 1-10 to 0-5 half-time lead, racing ahead after full-forward Gary Hurney had grabbed a third minute goal.

Free-taker Paul Whyte chipped in with some impressive scores, from a variety of angles, and there was no way back for the Exiles.

Waterford set the tone with a determined first half display, showing the benefit of their recent challenge match outings against Limerick and Leitrim. And while not setting the world alight, John Owens’ charges were solid enough in all facets of play.

Paul Coggins’ unchanged London team were odds-on favourites to win this encounter and claim back-to-back Championship victories for the first time ever.

But the early concession of that goal left them chasing the game and their frustration grew with poor passing and some moments of indiscipline.

Cillian O’Keeffe and Paul Whyte were added to the Waterford attack for their county’s first competitive match since losing to Cork five weeks ago.

Kieran Connery switched to centre-back to cover for Shane Briggs, who is away on holidays in Australia, and Seamus Dempsey was a late introduction to their midfield.

Brian Phelan was the player to make way with veteran attacker Gary Hurney slotting into the full-forward berth.

A foul on Galway youngster Mark Gottsche saw free-taker Eoin O’Neill kick London ahead, but Hurney landed the first real blow of this game with a third minute goal.

Sean Fleming intercepted a pass and watched his point attempt bounced off an upright and Hurney was on hand to finish the rebound to the net.

Paul Geraghty, the former Galway panellist, doubled London’s tally before Brian Wall knocked over a free, giving the Déise men a 1-1 to 0-2 advantage.

With the breeze behind them, the visitors laid solid foundations and rattled off five more unanswered points by the 19-minute mark.

Kerryman Michael Moloney, London’s overworked full-back, was struggling to cope with Hurney’s ability on the ball on and off it. The Ballinacourty clubman fisted a point, Fleming added another, Whyte landed a free and Wall claimed his second score.

Whyte made it 1-6 to 0-2 with a neatly-taken left-footed point and although Tony Gaughan got on the scoresheet for London, they could not break Waterford’s stranglehold on this game.

The Exiles were reduced to 14 men late in the first half when Geraghty received his second yellow card for an off-the-ball incident. A fisted point followed from Wayne Hennessy, keeping Waterford ahead by eight.

Into the second period, the Londoners looked to be recapturing some of the form that saw them overcome Fermanagh in the previous round.

O’Neill had a couple of points and with the wind behind them, players like Gottsche, captain Sean McVeigh and Padraig McGoldrick came more into the game.

However, their comeback bid skidded to a halt when Ciaran McCallion lunged in on Waterford skipper Tony Grey, with referee Syl Doyle producing his yellow card and then the red.

Whyte kept the scoreboard ticking over and wing back Hennessy raided through for the second of his three points.

It was a double scores lead - 1-13 to 0-8 - with just under 20 minutes remaining. Whyte moved his personal haul to seven points and McVeigh and Gottsche replied for London, just on the hour.

Indeed, Whyte from the Kilrossanty club landed three of the final six points as Waterford broke their All-Ireland SFC qualifier duck with a deserved away victory.

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