Waterford 4-23 Kilkenny 2-22
Waterford got their first win over Kilkenny in the hurling championship for the first time since 1959 in a remarkable seven point win at Thurles on Saturday evening. In an enthralling encounter both sides went at it hammer and thongs and it was a great spectacle. Waterford needed extra time to end the 58 year famine but they came good when it mattered most with Jamie Barron and Maurice Shanahan superb in the additional 20 minutes.
Waterford made a superb start to the game and were ahead 0-06 to 0-02 after 18 minutes, Pauric Mahony showing his class from frees. TJ Reid, responded on 25 minutes for Kilkenny, but 2016 hurler of the year Austin Gleeson showed why is he is one of the best in the game with a superb point two minutes later. The game was still in the melting pot despite Waterford have a nice cushion of a five point lead with half time approaching. TJ Reid however decreased the gap the two after he drilled a penalty past Stephen O’Keeffe to the net after Richie Hogan was fouled on 33 minutes. Waterford hit back with a goal of their own though, as Shane Bennett assisted Michael Walsh who finished past Eoin Murphy, the goal came on the back of point from Kevin Kelly.
Kilkenny came storming out of the traps after the break and Clara club man Lester Ryan scored a terrific point, before Reid closed the gap even further. Conor Fogarty then had a goal chance but it was well saved by O’Keeffe. Reid converted the resulting 65 and the Cats now narrowed the gap to two points. However, Jamie Barron added a point, before Austin Gleeson stepped up and fired over tow from play. It looked like the game was over then minutes later when Shane Bennett found the back of the net with 16 minutes left, but Kilkenny as they so often do fought back with TJ Reid, Cillian Buckley and Conor Fogarty leading the charge.
Extra time was needed to separate the sides and in the opening half of extra time, Jamie Barron came to the fore netting a fine goal, to give Waterford a four point lead, 3-19 to 2-18. The game was sealed then in the second period when Maurice Shanahan netted after 3 minutes to bat the ball past Murphy in the Kilkenny goal. For Waterford now it’s a quarter final tie with Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford in two weeks’ time, while for Kilkenny, they exit the championship and will now have to begin preparations for 2018.
Player of the Match: Jamie Barron