Waterford 1-11 Wexford 0-12
Seamus Prendergast’s goal was the enough to give Waterford victory over their near neighboours, in this national hurling league tie played at Wexford Park on Sunday.
Despite the defeat the hosts will have taken plenty of encouragement from their performance. After an opening day hammering from Galway, Colm Bonnar’s men were playing for their pride here and certainly emerged with that intact. They led early and still held an advantage at the break. If they had made more of the chances they had, especially in the second half, they could well have taken full points.
Waterford have been rebuilding this season and continue to catch the eye under manager Davy Fitzgerald. The Deise battled after the restart and just about deserved to win the match on overall performance.
Wexford began brightly and Jim Berry opened the scoring from a free in the fifth minute but Waterford were ahead three minutes later when Prendergast flicked a Shane Casey pass to the net.
Waterford led 1-3 to 0-2 after fifteen minutes, with Richie Foley getting on the scoresheet. Stephen Banville kept Wexford in touch. The hosts then hit four unanswered points from Jim Berry, Rory Jacob, Gary Sinnott and Harry Kehoe to draw level (0-6 to 1-3) after 24 minutes.
Richie Foley and David Redmond swapped scores points, before Thomas Ryan and Rory Jacob did likewise. Colm Farrell pointed a 65 near the death to leave Wexford 0-9 to 1-5 ahead at half time.
Padraig Mahony the sides level shortly after the resumption when he knocked over a nice point from play. Waterford eventually got off the mark for the second half when Foley pointed a free, but 30 seconds later Wexford were back level, through Rory Jacob.
Points from Thomas Ryan and sub Maurice Shanahan gave the visitors a 1-9 to 0-10 lead entering the final quarter before a PJ Nolan point cut the deficit again.
Shanahan and Jim Berry swapped pointed frees, before a pointed 65 from Shanahan on 69 minutes secured victory for the Munster champions.
Waterford manager Davy Fitzgerald was happy with the result : “It’s a good positive start to the league with three points out of a possible four. It gives the lads a little bit of confidence but we have to improve, we have to develop more from here.”
Colm Bonnar also had cause to be satisfied: “The players showed more passion, more commitment, while their hurling also improved. We have to learn from this and learn quickly, for the games will be coming thick and fast. We now must seek out wins to protect our status. But this gives us much to work on.”
Scorers for Waterford: R. Foley (0-5, 0-4f), S. Prendergast (1-0), T. Ryan (0-2), Padraig Mahony (0-1).
Scorers for Wexford: R. Jacob (0-3), J. Berry (0-3 frees). C. Farrell (0-1,’65), D. Redmond (0-1); H. Kehoe (0-1), G. Sinnott (0-1), S. Banville (0-1).
Subs for Waterford: M. Shanahan (0-3, 0-1f, 0-1, ‘65) for Molumphy (55); S. Walsh for Ryan (61); S. Power for Casey (70).
Subs for Wexford: M. Jacob for Farrell (50); P.J. Nolan (0-1) for Redmond (59); D. Kehoe for Rossiter (62); P. Atkinson for H. Kehoe (63).
Referee: J. Ryan (Tipperary).