McGrath Cup 2016
Thomas Keane reports
Waterford will go into their National Football League campaign in fine fettle having recovered from the heavy reversal to Cork on Wednesday last to see off Limerick in Rathkeale’s Mick Neville Park on Sunday afternoon last.
Goals in either half from Donie Breathnach, on his competitive senior inter-county debut with and Paul Whyte proved to be the decisive scores at the wet and windy Rathkeale venue.
For the opening half-hour, it looked as if Limerick, who had run Cork to a point in the first round, would maintain that form line as they held together at the back and showed more purpose with the possession that came their way.
But the wheels came off from the host’s perspective minutes before the break when the defence opened up like the Red Sea for Breathnach to bang home an equalising goal which ensured the sides went in level (1-1 to 0-4).
While Waterford rallied well, Limerick never regained their poise and, once they had soaked up whatever was thrown at them, McGlinchey’s men were strolling to a largely untroubled victory long before David Grogan sounded his final whistle.
Limerick had chances to take an early lead at the start of the second half which they failed to take and they were punished when Waterford took the lead through a converted free from the outstanding Paul Whyte.
The Kilrossanty man shortly afterwards further extended Waterford’s lead when he was spotted unmarked by Gavin Crotty who laid off the ball, and the Kilrossanty Club man blasted high into the top corner of the Limerick net.
Building on the momentum, Breathnach then struck from distance and Whyte sent over a free to stretch the gap to six before Limerick regained some shape.
Captain Iain Corbett broke the Deisemen’s scoring sequence and when James Naughton and Stephen Kelly added frees, just a single goal separated the sides.
But with 11 minutes still on the clock, it was clear that Waterford was running out of shape and conviction and the wheels came off for Limerick when Ray Ó Ceallaigh finished off a move up the left.
Whyte and Prendergast then polished off their performances with the game’s two closing scores to leave Waterford in fine stead ahead of their Division Four opener away to Wicklow on January 31st.
Speaking afterwards to WLRfm when asked about the apparent non-availability of Stradbally players to the panel, Deise manager Tom McGlinchey said that he didn’t know where the controversy had come from, stating it was a case of “paper never refusing ink”.
He confirmed that between October and December, contact had been made with 51 players, 32 of whom committed to be panel.
McGlinchey confirmed that some couldn’t commit for one reason or another and not just players from Stradbally. He said that there were plenty of other counties in the country where the county champions don’t necessarily have sizeable representations, adding that the so-called controversy had baffled him.
* With thanks to the Limerick Leader for additional coverage
Limerick: Donal O’Sullivan; Seán O’Dea, Garrett Noonan, Colm Moran; Stephen Cahill, Iain Corbett, Paul Hannan; Brian Fanning, Darragh Tracey; Danny Neville, Jamie Lee, Cian Sheehan; Seán McSweeney, Ian Ryan, James Naughton.
Scorers: Seán McSweeney (0-2; 0-1f), Danny Neville (0-2), Iain Corbett (0-1), James Naughton and Stephen Kelly (0-1f each).
Substitutes: Seán Flanagan for Garrett Noonan (HT), Tommy Childs for Seán McSweeney (Black Card, 41 mins), Stephen Kelly for Ian Ryan (43 mins), James Kelly for Jamie Lee (58
mins) and Brian O’Donovan for James Naughton (58 mins).
Waterford: Stephen Enright; Tadhg Ó hUallacháin, Thomas O’Gorman, Maurice O’Gorman; Michael Curry, James McGrath, Stephen Prendergast; Conor Prunty, Tommy Prendergast; Donie Breathnach, Michael O’Halloran, Declan Allen; Shaun Corcoran, JJ Hutchinson, Paul Whyte.
Scorers: Paul White (1-3; 0-1f), Donie Breathnach (1-1), Ray Ó Ceallaigh and Tommy Prendergast (0-1 each) and Shaun Corcoran (0-1f).
Substitutes: Gavin Crotty for JJ Hutchinson (43 mins), Patrick Hurney for Shaun Corcoran
(49), Peter Crowley for Maurice O’Gorman (61), Lorcán Ó Corraoin for Michael O’Halloran (64 mins), Brad Carroll for Donie Breathnach (71 mins).
Referee: David Grogan (Tipperary).
Rebels atone for their 2015 reversal
Waterford’s competitive interest in this years McGrath Cup came to an end on Thursday evening last when they suffered a 20-point defeat against Cork at Mallow.
The Rebels now advance to Friday’s Final against Clare at the same venue having atoned for last year’s surprise defeat to the Deisemen at Clashmore.
Cork struck three goals in the opening half, two from Peter Kelleher and one from Andrew O’Sullivan which helped them to a 3-10 to 0-4 lead at the break.
Waterford used five of their six subs at the break and lost Liam Lawlor through injury five minutes after the restart meaning.
So when Maurice O’Gorman was flashed a Black Card and when Tommy Prendergast picked up a subsequent injury, it meant the men in white and blue finished with just 13 players on the paddock.
Cork’s forwards somewhat eased up on the scoresheet during the second half, and while
Shaun Corcoran struck a goal for the Déise side in the second half, it was nothing more than a consolation score.
Cork: Brendan O’Connell; Kieran Histon, Jamie O’Sullivan, Colm O’Driscoll; Tomás Clancy, James Loughrey, Bart Daly; Ian Maguire, Andrew O’Sullivan; Mark Collins, Luke Connolly, Ruairí Deane; Daniel Goulding, Peter Kelleher, Brian Hurley.
Scorers: Peter Kelleher (2-0), Daniel Goulding (0-6; 0-1f), Brian Hurley (0-4; 0-3f), Andrew O’Sullivan (1-0), Mark Collins (Castlehaven) and Ruairí Deane (0-2 each), Bart Daly, Luke Connolly, Séamus Hickey, Brian Coughlan and Jamie Davis (0-1 each).
Substitutes: Jamie Davis for Kieran Histon and Brian Coughlan for Luke Connolly (both HT), Séamus Hickey for Ian Maguire (48 mins), Killian O’Hanlon for Ruairí Deane (53), Lorcan Harrington for James Loughrey (57) and Mark Collins for Colm O’Driscoll (62)
Waterford: Seán Barron; Tadhg Ó hUallacháin, Thomas O’Gorman, Brian Looby; Michael Curry, James McGrath, Ray Ó Ceallaigh; Conor Prunty, Tommy Prendergast; Michael O’Halloran, Donal Breathnach, Declan Allen; David Power, Paul Whyte, Shaun Corcoran.
Substitutes: David Whitty for Séan Barron, Gavin Crotty for David Power, JJ Hutchinson for Declan Allen, Liam Lawlor for Donie Breathnach and Maurice O’Gorman for Ray Ó Ceallaigh (all HT) and Lorcán Ó Corraoin for Liam Lawlor (40 mins)
Scorers: Shaun Corcoran (1-1; 0-1f), Paul Whyte (0-3; 0-1 45) and Michael O’Halloran (0-1).
Referee: Seán Lonergan (Tipperary).