National Hurling League Division 1B
Brian Flannery Reports
Waterford had little difficulty in dispatching the challenge of neighbours Carlow in round three of the Allianz National Hurling League.
The fourteen point margin by games end was a fair reflection on proceedings with Carlow having two players dismissed in the second period.Pauric Fanning’s side now sit alone at the top of Division 1B with a 100 per cent record, three wins from three and an impressive plus 57 in the score difference column.
The conditions were truly awful at Fraher Field with driving rain and a swirling breeze endured by both players and an official attendance of 2,478. It mattered little to Waterford who managed the difficult conditions far better than their opponents.
A goal for each Waterford’s deadly full-forward line of Thomas Ryan, Stephen Bennett and Shane Bennett laid the foundations for the expected victory.
Carlow who grabbed the headlines with a home draw to Galway in the precious round were well off the mark here and never found the rhythm or success they enjoyed against the tribesmen at Dr. Cullen Park.Two goals within a minute of each other in the opening half allowed Waterford wrestle control at an early stage. In the 10th minute Thomas Ryan flicked a Shane Bennett line-ball to the net for goal number one and just moments later Shane Bennett was again provider this time finding his brother Stephen who found the corner of the net from fourteen metres, 2-1 to 0-3.
Waterford players held their feet better in the treacherous conditions and had excellent first period points from Jamie Barron, Colin Dunford and D. J. Foran to lead by six points, 2-7 to 0-7 at the break. Carlow’s chances suffered a major blow just before half-time with the influential Martin Kavanagh limping out of action after 33 minutes.Shane Bennett the goal chief in the opening half turned goal scorer in the 44th minute when benefited from a searing run and pass from Jack Prendergast to shoot goal number three, 3-8 to 0-7. Any linger hope for a Carlow had of getting something from this game expired when substitute Diarmuid Byrne was sent off for a reckless pull after 52 minutes.
With the advantage of the extra man Waterford was able to coast to the full-time whistle. Former All-Stars Jamie Barron and Austin Gleeson excelled on their return to the team as it became all too easy for the Déise. Captain Noel Connors and Shane McNulty were also both foot perfect with Mikey Kearney and Jack Prendergast getting through an amount work. It took Carlow twenty five minutes to register their first score of the second when substitute Chris Nolan landed a point after 60 minutes. Indeed the Leinster side managed a partly three points in the second half.
There was further misery for the Colm Bonnar managed Carlow men when they had a second player, Ger Coady sent to the line in the 62nd minute for a second bookable offence. With the ‘Carlow Rising halted, Waterford sit alone with full points at the top of Division 1B ahead of next Sunday’s trip to Dublin (Parnell Park, 2pm).