Waterford get the job done
Offaly beaten in Tullamore as Shanahan claims a 13-point personal total for Waterford
Waterford goalkeeper Stephen O’Keefe catches a high ball while under pressure from Colin Egan and Joe Bergin of Offaly. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Waterford 0-21 Offaly 1-14: A lively Tullamore tussle was decided by the splendid accuracy of Maurice Shanahan. The gifted Lismore attacker scored 0-13 including eight delightful efforts from play as Waterford dealt with Offaly’s enthusiasm.
Ollie Baker’s charges, who opted to play into the teeth of a strong wind in the first half, bagged a seventh minute goal courtesy of Shane Dooley. At that stage it seemed as if Offaly’s direct approach could vex the visitors, but Waterford were willing and able to contain the locals.
At centre back Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh was calm and assured as Waterford, prompted by the crafty Shanahan, recovered from the early concession.
By the 24th minute Waterford had edged 0-8 to 1-3 ahead and Offaly were suddenly encountering difficulty getting sufficient possession inside to a powerful full forward line. That was chiefly because Walsh was safe and solid anchoring the defence, while there was also a commendable spirit to this Waterford display.
When the interval rolled around Waterford were 0-13 to 1-6 in the ascendancy, but Offaly were backed by the wind after the restart. The Faithful used it wisely for a spell too as some excellent long range scores from Brian Carroll edged them level by the 47th minute.
In the closing stages, though, it was Shanahan’s skill that decided the game as Offaly’s challenge was shoved away. Offaly nearly nicked a late goal, but Waterford custodian Stephen O’Keefe blocked Dan Currams attempt. Waterford head for Mullingar and a clash with Westmeath next weekend, Offaly won’t hurl again this year.
Waterford: S O’Keefe; S Fives, L Lawlor, N Connors; J Nagle, M Walsh, D Fives; P Prendergast (0-1), K Moran (0-1); J Dillon (0-2), S Prendergast, S O’Sullivan (0-1); J Barron, M Shanahan (0-13, 5fs), B O’Sullivan (0-3). Subs: P Mahony for Barron (36 mins), M O’Neill for S Prendergast (58 mins), R Foley for D Fives (62 mins), R Barry for Nagle (69 mins).
Offaly: J Dempsey; C McDonald, D Kenny, D Mooney; R Hanniffy, G Healion, D Morkan; B Carroll (0-2) K Brady (0-2); C Egan, D Molloy, C Slevin; S Dooley (1-4, 4fs), D Currams (0-2), J Bergin (0-2). Subs: C Mahon (0-1) for Molloy (12 mins), P Cleary for Mooney (36 mins), S Cleary for Slevin (51 mins), S Gardner for P Cleary (56 mins), S Ryan for Brady (70 mins).
Referee: J McGrath (Westmeath).