By Tomás McCarthy
Waterford 0-20 Galway 0-12
Waterford booked their place in the league semi-finals as they weathered a Galway revival in the second half to emerge as eight-point victors.
Pauric Mahony compiled ten points as Derek McGrath’s side advanced to a last four meeting with Tipperary.
Waterford sprinted 0-5 to 0-1 ahead after seven minutes. Tadhg De Burca acted as spare defender for the hosts as they started with a two man full forward line.
Joe Canning sent over his second free in response but uncharacteristically hit two wides in a row. Pauric Mahony punished Galway discipline from frees with Colin Dunford and Brian O’Halloran causing trouble with their pace.
Andy Smith got a point back for the Tribesmen but the next three belonged to Waterford. Mahony landed two further frees with Kevin Moran firing in a point from his own 65 (0-11 to 0-3).
A crowd pleasing sideline by Austin Gleeson helped them nine in front (0-14 to 0-5) at the midway point.
Galway resumed with five points in succession to cut the gap to four. It took fourteen minutes for Pauric Mahony to buck the trend from a free.
In a crucial phase, Waterford knocked over four in a row including one from substitute Maurice Shanahan to surge 0-18 to 0-10 clear.
The visitors failed to register for 21 minutes. Ian O’Regan saved well when Joseph Cooney shot low. Joe Canning recovered two frees for Galway but Waterford finished the job.
Points from Tom Devine and Michael Walsh secured their semi-final berth.
Scorers for Waterford: P Mahony 0-10 (9fs); K Moran, B O’Halloran, A Gleeson (1 s-l) 0-2 each; J Dillon, T Devine, M Shanahan, M Walsh 0-1 each.
Scorers for Galway: J Canning 0-8 (6fs, 1 65’); C Mannion, A Smith 0-2 each.
Waterford: I O’Regan; S Fives, B Coughlan, N Connors; A Gleeson, T De Burca, Philip Mahony; J Barron, K Moran; M Walsh, J Dillon, Pauric Mahony; B O’Halloran, S Bennett, C Dunford.
Subs: M Shanahan for Bennett (48); T Devine for O’Halloran (61); S O’Sullivan for Dunford (64); G O’Brien for Dillon (68); M O’Neill for Pauric Mahony (68).
Galway: C Callanan; D Collins, P Killeen, J Coen; J Hanbury, P Mannion, G McInerney; A Smith, I Tannian; J Cooney, J Glynn, J Canning; J Flynn, J Regan, C Mannion.
Subs: G Lally for Killeen (H-T); N Healy for Regan (H-T); A Harte for Flynn (49);
Referee: B Gavin (Offaly)