By Micheal Moynihan
Visitors Kilkenny took the points in this NHL 1A clash with Waterford at a damp Walsh Park, with 5,859 in attendance.
Kilkenny defended the dressing-room end in the first half and opened the score through John Donnelly, Waterford replying with a Pauric Mahony free.
Two TJ Reid frees had Kilkenny ahead and Maurice Keoghan made it 0-4 to 0-1 on 12 minutes – the visitors were the sharper team early on, winning most of the breaks in the middle of the field, while Waterford hit three wides in a row before Mahony (free) got their second point on 16 minutes.
The gap stayed at two points until the 24th minute, when a Reid 65 made it 0-7 to 0-4. Waterford struggled to make the ball stick up front and Kilkenny worked well from the back. A good Keoghan score made it 0-8 to 0-4 on the half-hour and was followed by a terrific Eoin Murphy save from Tom Devine- Kilkenny surged downfield for a TJ Reid point, 0-9 to 0-4.
Waterford’s Patrick Curran and Conor Delaney of Kilkenny. Photo: INPHO/Bryan Keane.
Reid (free) and Donnelly added points before the break to leave Kilkenny; Austin Gleeson’s long-range free made it 0-11 to 0-5.
Mahony (free) and sub Patrick Curran had two points on the resumption for Waterford before Keoghan responded; another Mahony free and it was 0-12 to 0-8. Waterford were far sharper, pinning Kilkenny back, and Curran made it a three-point game on 50 minutes.
TJ Reid then struck for goal – Waterford had a case for a free out in the build up – to jump them six ahead.
Curran was floored in the Cats’ square almost from the puck-out; penalty Waterford. Sub Stephen Bennett didn’t connect well with the penalty, however, and Eoin Murphy saved easily.
Without a goal at that point Waterford were never going to win, and Kilkenny closed the game out with relative ease, eventually having to spare. Tommy Ryan’s late, late goal had little effect on the proceedings.
Scorers for Waterford: P. Mahony (0-7)(6 frees, 1 65); T. Ryan (1-0); P. Curran (0-2); A. Gleeson (free), T. de Burca, T. Devine (0-1 each).
Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid (9 frees, 1 65)(1-11); M. Keoghan (0-5); J. Donnelly (0-2); L. Scanlon, J. Maher (0-1).
WATERFORD: I. O’Regan, S. Fives, B. Coughlan, N. Connors, C. Gleeson, T. de Burca, Philip Mahony, J. Barron, A. Gleeson, K. Moran, Pauric Mahony, J. Dillon, T. Devine, M. Shanahan, M. Kearney.
Subs: P. Curran and C. Dunford for A. Gleeson and M. Kearney (HT); S. Bennett for J. Dillon (45); DJ Foran for M. Shanahan (57); T. Ryan for Pauric Mahony (60).
KILKENNY: E. Murphy, J. Holden, P. Walsh, P. Deegan, C. Delaney, C. Buckley (c), E. Morrisey, L. Ryan, C. O’Shea, M. Keoghan, TJ Reid, P. Lyng, B. Ryan, W. Walsh, J. Donnelly.
Subs: L. Blanchfield for B. Ryan (33); J. Maher for C. O’Shea (41); L. Scanlon for L. Ryan (51)
Referee: F. Horgan (Tipperary).