Waterford have comfortable win over Antrim as game ended early
Injury to Antrim player forces Ulster side to concede game
Waterford 4-20 Antrim 1-9
Waterford produced a comprehensive performance when comfortably accounting for Antrim by 4-20 to 1-9 in their All-Ireland MHC quarter-final in Ashbourne yesterday afternoon.
Sadly, the contest was curtailed prematurely with a serious-looking neck injury suffered by Antrim’s Christy McNaughton forcing the Ulstermen to concede the fixture, in agreement with referee Justin Heffernan.
Dominant centre-back Austin Gleeson opened the scoring with an excellent point from distance before Antrim replied positively through scores from Domhnail Nugent and Jude McCurdy.
After Conor Gleeson and Conor Johnson had traded scores by the 10th minute, Waterford assumed complete supremacy with Patrick Curran striking an excellent goal in the 14th minute as he raced through from the right before firing past Colin Heyden from ten yards.
That proved a pivotal moment as Waterford seized control with Curran firing over three points from placed balls while Micheál Harney adorned a tireless performance with an excellent point in the 24th minute.
With Antrim struggling to make any headway against a solid Deise defence, their deficit grew larger as corner-forward Micheal Kearney struck two points in ensuring a 0-11 to 0-4 interval lead for the warm favourites.
The second-half exchanges mirrored those of the opening half as Antrim resumed brightly through points from McNaughton, substitute Conrad McDonnell and Johnson but even by that stage, their value was of mere cosmetic nature.
Stephen Bennett availed of generous space to smash home a wonderful goal in the 40th minute and despite Nugent replying from a free at the end of the third quarter, Bennett found Curran close to goal for Waterford’s third goal in the 48th minute.
The classy Gleeson added two exceptional points as the half progressed and Bennett’s second goal, this time from a 20-metre free preceded McNaughton’s injury, which after twenty minutes of inactivity, the game was correctly conceded.
WATERFORD: G Power; W Hahessy, K Daly, C Leamy; S O’Neill, A Gleeson (0-4, one free), Shane Bennett; M O’Brien (0-1), M Harney (0-2) ; P O’Connor (0-1), C Curran, DJ Foran (0-2); Stephen Bennett (2-1, goal, free), P Curran (2-5,two frees, two 65s), M Kearney (0-4). Subs: T Devine for Shane Bennett (40 mins), S Hogan for O’Connor (43 mins), E O’Halloran for Curran (52 mins), MJ Sutton for Harney (55 mins).
ANTRIM: C Heyden; R Diamond, G Walsh, A Orchin; D O’Hara, M Connolly, P Burke; A Delargy, C Johnson (0-3, one free); E McFerran, D Nugent (1-2, goal and point from frees), C McAlister; C McNaughton (0-2, two frees), J McCurdy (0-1), S McCaughan. Subs: C McDonnell (0-1) for McFerran (33 mins), R McNulty for O’Hara (53 mins), J Connolly for McNaughton (58 mins).
Referee: J Heffernan (Wexford)