Waterford rally to beat Offaly in Tullamore

Visitors opening blitz counts for nothing as Shane Dooley inspires impressive come back

Shane Dooley inspired Waterford’s come back against Offaly. Photograph: Inpho

Shane Dooley inspired Waterford’s come back against Offaly. Photograph: Inpho

 

Waterford 2-18 Offaly 1-14

Fifteen minutes into Saturday’s Allianz Hurling League Division 1B, there was a sense of disbelief in Tullamore as Offaly led by 0-7 to no score and Waterford were left wondering what had hit them.

Waterford, hot favourites to take the two points on offer, were shell shocked as Offaly tore into them with rare abandon from the start but by half time, normality resumedand the second half went along predictable lines.

Offaly were in great form in the opening fifteen minutes. Their sharp shooter Shane Dooley accounted for six poins, five from frees, as they stormed into that seven point lead and they were on top across the park.

But Waterford soon began to creep back into it. They got three points before Shane Bennett got a tap in goal which was the signal for the hosts to kick on. By half time Waterford had edged in front, 1-7 to 0-9.

Waterford came flying out of the blocks at the start of the second half, registering three quick fire points to go four clear but there was still life in Offaly. An opportunist Shane Dooley goal sparked life back into them and it looked like the game would go down to the wire.

Twelve minutes into the second half, the sides were level at 1-11, but this was as good as it got for Offaly. Waterford began to produce their best hurling and a scrambled Michael Walsh goal helped them into a 2-14 1-11 lead with fifteen minutes left.

The result had an air of inevitability after this as Waterford won with a degree of ease had looked unlikely in that sensational opening quarter.

WATERFORD: S O’Keefe; N Connors, B Coughlan, S Fives (0-1); P Mahony, T De Burca, A Gleeson (0-1); J Barron, K Moran; C Dunford (0-2), P Mahony (0-7, 6f), M Walsh (1-1); B O’Halloran (0-1), J Dillon (0-3), S Bennett (1-1). Subs: M O’Neill (0-1) (for A Gleeson 31m inj), G O’Brien (for B O’Halloran 52m), S O’Sullivan (for J Barron 58m), S Bennett (for C Dunford 61m), M Shanahan (for P Mahony 67m)

OFFALY: J Dempsey; D King, D Shortt, S Wynne; C Parlon (0-1), E Murphy, D Mooney; S Ryan, E Nolan; J Bergin, D Currams, S Cleary; J Mulrooney (0-1), S Dooley (1-10, 8f), B Carroll (0-2). Subs: S Quirke (for J Bergin 53m), C McDonald (for E Murphy 63m), C Mulrooney (for S Cleary 67m).

Referee: J Owens (Wexford)

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