Wicklow’s second-half scoring surge leaves Waterford well adrift in Tailteann Cup

Goals just after the break from Kevin Quinn and Eoin D’Arcy prove crucial

Wicklow 3-16 Waterford 1-10

Sweet goals from the boots of Wicklow's Kevin Quinn and Eoin D'Arcy early in the second half of the inaugural Tailteann Cup clash in Aughrim on Saturday sent the Garden County on to a comprehensive and fully deserved 12-point victory over Waterford.

The home side produced a fine second period with the wind at their backs and also dealt well with the black carding of team captain Dean Healy after 54 minutes, while the wasteful visitors added six wides to their total tally of 13 before finishing with a flourish when bagging a late 1-3.

If the GAA were hoping for a scintillating opening half of the first ever Tailteann Cup game to capture the public’s hearts and minds, they were unfortunately left wanting as a small crowd watched a cagey and tense opening 35 minutes.

Wicklow headed for the dressingrooms in a relatively healthy state, leading by 0-8 to 0-5 having played against the wind, but Waterford had kicked seven wides and left two efforts short into the arms of Mark Jackson in the home goal.

The home side opened up a 0-3 to 0-1 lead after 12 minutes, Healy, D'Arcy (free) and Pádraig O'Toole on target while Brian Lynch opened Waterford's account.

It was 0-6 to 0-3 on the half hour with two Jackson missiles the pick of the Wicklow scores as the home side started to find ways through the Waterford rearguard, but a fine Dermot Ryan effort off his right for the visitors left it 0-8 to 0-5 at the break.

Wicklow started brightly with the wind at their backs, a fine point from Mark Kenny and a Jackson free followed by those two scorching goals from Quinn and D'Arcy to leave it 2-11 to 0-6 after 10 minutes of the second half and Waterford were never going to recover.

Quinn’s late penalty was the final straw and Wicklow now march on to face either Wexford or Offaly next Sunday in the first-round proper.

WICKLOW: Mark Jackson (0-4, four frees); Malachy Stone, Patrick O'Keane, Tom Moran; Nicky Devereux, Zach Cullen, Oisín Cullen; Pádraig O'Toole (0-1), JP Hurley; Arran Murphy, Dean Healy (0-2), Darragh Fitzgerald; Mark Kenny (0-4, one mark), Kevin Quinn (2-1, 1-0 pen), Eoin D'Arcy (1-3, two frees).

Subs: Rory Stokes for JP Hurley (h-t), Oisín McGraynor (0-1) for D Fitzgerald (52 mins), Jack Kirwan for N Devereux (55), Jack Treacy for A Murphy (64), Mark Cullen for E D'Arcy (64).

WATERFORD: Aaron Beresford; Liam Fennell, Darragh Ó Cathasaigh, Michael Kiely; Dermot Ryan (0-1), David Hallihan, Brian Looby (1-0); Jason Curry (0-4, two frees), Michael Curry; Conor Murray, Darragh Corcoran (0-2, two frees), Jordan O'Sullivan; Stephen Curry, Tom O'Connell, Brian Lynch (0-2).

Subs: James Walsh for S Curry (40 mins), Tholom Guiry for B Lynch (47), Conor Ó Corráin for J O'Sullivan (53), Gareth Duffy (0-1) for T O'Connell (53), Jack Keane for C Murray (61).

Referee: David Coldrick (Meath).