DUBLIN 6-19 WATERFORD 5-13
Dublin minor hurlers have reached the All-Ireland MHC final for the first time since 1983 when they outclassed Waterford in Sunday’s semi-final at Croke Park.
The game was effectively settled in the opening half after Dublin led 4-12 to 0-7 at the interval. It was an advantage they had extended to 21 points, 5-14 to 0-8, six minutes after the restart and with 20 minutes to go were 5-14 to 0-11 clear.
However, Dublin feell asleep as the Decies throw caution to the wind over the remainder of the game and their route one methods paid rich rewards as they amassed 5-2 over the conclusion of the clash to make it far closer than the young Dubs should have allowed.
The 1983 Leinster MHC decider is referred to as the Niall Quinn Final because of his individual scoring heroics that day against Wexford, well Sunday’s All-Ireland MHC semi was very much a day to remember for Cormac Costello who tallied 4-2, 2-2 coming in the opening half.
In the opening half the Dublin forwards took Waterford apart with the ball winning of Aodhan Clabby, Emmet O Conghaile and Ciaran Kilkenny the platform for their more productive attacks while at the back the Waterford attack failed to make much inroads against a powerful half-back line and Sean McClelland at left full-back.
Kilkenny set the tone for a lot of what was to follow when he glided through the heart of the Waterford defence in the fifth minute before applying the finishing touch to raise the first of six green flags.
Seven minutes later O Conghaile fetched a fine ball before placing Costello for a clinical finish and by the 22nd minute it was 3-8 to 0-6 after Paul Winters was on hand to goal after O Conghaile’s original effort had been parried by Waterford keeper, Paddy Cooke.
By the break Costello’s 30th minute goal when he got a touch to a Kilkenny point effort dropping short ensured the Dubs led by 17 points at half-time, 4-12 to 0-7 to see Dublin lead 6-14 to 1-11.
However, after that Waterford were the better side as a lack of concentration crept in Dublin’s play. Nevertheless their lead was never fully threatened as they progressed to face Galway in the final, a repeat of the 1983 decider.
Waterford’s day to this point was encapsulated by Dublin’s fith goal when their keeper Cooke presumed Colm Cronin’s shot was drifting wide as the netminder turned to retrieve his puckout hurley only for the sliotar to rebound off an upright for Costello to tidy to the net.
With 15 minutes remaining Costello cracked home a venomous drive to the far corner of the net at the Hill 16 end to make it 6-14 to 1-11. From there to the finish Waterford were the better side as they punished a lack of concentration in the Dublin team.
Shay Boland’s young Dubs face Galway in the final, a repeat of the 1983 decider.
SCORERS – Dublin: C Costello 4-2, C Kilkenny 1-5 (0-1f), P Winters 1-3 (0-2f), E Ó Conghaile, A Clabby 0-2, J Desmond (65), G Whelan, M McCaffrey, C Cronin, B McCarthy 0-1 each. Waterford: G OBrien 1-3 (0-1 65), S Bennett 1-1 (1-0 pen) C Heffernan, A OSullivan, S ONeill (free) 1-0, J Dillon 0-3 (0-1f), D Breathnach 0-2, P OKeeffe, C Curran, J Barron, C Chester 0-1 each.
DUBLIN: C Ryan; E Lowndes, C OCallaghan, S McClelland; C Crummy, J Desmond, M McCaffrey; G Whelan, C Cronin; C McHugh, C Kilkenny, A Clabby; C Costello, E Ó Conghaile, P Winters. Subs: O ORorke for Winters (45), B McCarthy for McHugh (48), C Boland for Cronin (52), D Gormley for McCaffrey (59), R Tierney for Lowndes (61).
WATERFORD – P Cooke; I Kenny, D Ahern, C Walsh; J Barron, D Foley, J Power; S McNulty, R Barry; J Dillon, G OBrien, D Breathnach; P OKeeffe, S Bennett, C Curran. Subs: S ONeill for Ahern (22), C Heffernan for Foley (26), D OBrien for OKeeffe (half-time), A OSullivan for Breathnach (38), C Chester for Curran (38).
REF – G Duffy (Antrim).