herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Kelly on fire as dogged Déise reel in the Rebels

EOIN Kelly launched himself on a glorious scoring spree in the Walsh Park sunshine yesterday, landing 1-17 against Cork which steered Waterford to a dramatic 2-20 to 3-17 draw in a game that at times seemed to be sprinting away from them.

However, they're nothing if not dogged and, with Kelly pointing frees from all angles and distances, they kept Cork in their sights before finishing with a flourish which ended Cork's 100pc record.

Cork led by five points after 50 minutes, but Waterford continued to pour as much energy as they could muster into their efforts, and when Tomas Ryan whipped home their second goal in the 61st minute, it re-ignited their survival effort. They took the lead in the 64th minute before Cork countered with two points to take the narrowest advantage into stoppage-time.

Waterford plugged on and won a free out on the left which Kelly steered over the bar with the last puck of the game.

Kelly scored 0-15 from placed balls and 1-2 from open play, the goal coming in the 23rd minute.

"A fair result really. I felt both sides deserved to take something out of it, which happened in the end. Waterford hurled very well in the second half but I thought we put some nice passages of play together too," said Cork manager Denis Walsh.

If Justin McCarthy thought he was under serious pressure walking into the Gaelic Grounds yesterday afternoon, it had multiplied three-fold by the time he left it.

His fate as Limerick manager was already hanging precariously on a confidence vote at tomorrow night's County Board meeting and that thread was stretched further towards breaking point by yesterday's 2-24 to 0-8 drubbing by Tipperary.

Pádraic Maher, the only one of Tipp's four current All Stars to play, was imperious at centre-back and Shane McGrath was brilliant in midfield. But apart from Seamus Hennessy, who scored 0-6 from play, the rest of Tipperary's forwards were far too wasteful and will need to sharpen their sights before facing Waterford next week.

John McIntyre acknowledges that his Galway side have plenty of work to do, but he is confident they are heading in the right direction after their 1-22 to 1-18 win over Offaly.

"If we had everything right in the middle of March with nothing left to learn for the rest of the league, then we'd be in trouble," he said after the Tribesmen got back on track at Pearse Stadium on Saturday.

But they could have been caught had Offaly managed to convert several late goal chances.

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