Waterford cut loose as Offaly offer little resistance
Waterford manager Derek McGrath gets the performance he was looking for
Offaly’s David King challenges Colin Dunford of Waterford. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
Waterford 1-35 Offaly 0-14
It was shooting practice for Waterford as they got their season back on track with a predictable run away win over a woefully outclassed Offaly in O’Connor Park.
The Munster side went on a scoring rampage, chalking up 1-35 and resisting the temptation to go for goals.
It was impressive stuff by Waterford with 13 players contributing on the score sheet, including three of their substitutes, all of whom were full of running when they were introduced.
Waterford manager Derek McGrath insisted afterwards that his side didn’t feel they had a point to prove after their surprise Cork defeat, as he gave his players credit for their display.
“We weren’t looking for a response, we were just looking for a performance,” he said. “We felt that everything we did in the run-up to the game against Cork just didn’t materialise because Cork are just a very good team.”
He also expressed satisfaction at the quality of their hurling.
“After an edgy start we found our way,” he added. “We worked the ball well and fellas got a run off the bench and that was good - albeit it was very loose at that stage. Playing with the breeze was almost a disadvantage in terms of chasing the game and keeping the pressure off ourselves in terms of how we chased it. If you told me this morning that we’d score 1-35, I’d have taken the hand and all off you, so happy enough.”
For Offaly, it was another thought provoking afternoon. Once Waterford settled down after a sluggish opening period, they were miles off the pace. Offaly competed well against the wind early on, and led by 0-4 to 0-2 after 12 minutes and were only pegged back (0-6 each) after 19 minutes.
After this, however, Waterford opened up full throttle and Offaly were swept aside. Waterford scored eight points without reply to pull away while a 32nd minute goal from Shane Bennett helped them into a half time lead of 1-18 to 0-8.
Even with the wind to come, the only issue at stake was Waterford’s winning margin and they showed no mercy. With Austin Gleeson and Pauric Mahony among the many Waterford players in fantastic form, they continued to drive forward relentlessly.
Offaly just couldn’t compete in any facet as their very defensive set-up was ripped asunder time and again. Waterford reached the 30-point milestone when sub Patrick Curran stroked over a 59th minute score and they didn’t ease up after this as they laid out an emphatic statement of intent.
OFFALY: J Dempsey; B Conneely (0-1), D Shortt, P Camon; S Gardiner, A Treacy, D King; S Reyan, J Bergin (0-3, two frees); P Murphy, S Kinsella (0-1), E Nolan (0-1); J Mulrooney (0-1), S Dooley (0-5, five frees), O Kelly (0-1).
WATERFORD: S O’Keeffe; S Fives, B Coughlan, N Connors; T de Burca (0-1), P Mahony, D Fives (0-2); J Barron (0-2), C Gleeson; K Moran (0-2), A Gleeson (0-6), P Mahony (0-11, eight frees); S Bennett (1-0), M Walsh (0-1), M Shanahan (0-2).
Subs: J Dillon (0-1) for Shanahan (48 mins), C Dunford (0-2) for Walsh (48 mins), S Daniels for Moran (51 mins), T Ryan (0-1) for Bennett (54 mins), P Curran (0-4, two frees, one 65) for Mahony (59 mins).
Referee: A Kelly (Galway).