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Saturday 16 December 2017

Tribesmen overcome barren spell to take points off Déise

Galway went from devastating to dreadful and back again before securing their second league win in a week by beating Waterford 4-15 to 1-15.

John McIntyre's men hit Waterford for 2-3 in the opening 15 minutes, the goals coming from Iarla Tannian and Niall Healy, but failed to score again before half-time, leaving them trailing by two points as they headed for the dressing-room where, no doubt, McIntyre was less than complimentary about their uneven efforts.

"We didn't score for 23 minutes which, at this level of hurling, is criminal," said McIntyre.

Their response to that long period of inertia was swift and effective as they fired over three points in the opening two minutes of the second half. Richie Foley equalised in the 39th minute but Waterford were crushed (2-7 to 0-2) over the next 15 minutes.

Galway scored some excellent points in that spell and embellished them with goals from Tannian and Aidan Harte. Tannian's 49th-minute goal was down to an error by Waterford 'keeper Adrian Power who, in attempting to control a long-range shot for a point, allowed the ball to squirm over the line. Harte's goal in the 54th minute was finished with a sweet ground-stroke after the ball broke loose in the Waterford square, putting Galway 4-13 to 1-11 ahead.

Waterford seemed set for an embarrassingly heavy defeat but they dug in from there on and pared two points back.

"The half-time break came at exactly the right time for us as it gave us a chance to re-focus and address what was going wrong. We got the response early in the second half, which made all the difference," said McIntyre.

Underfire McCarthy won't panic

JUSTIN McCarthy insists that his players are "going in the right direction" despite crashing to a second league defeat at the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday night as Cork ran out winners by 2-21 to 1-14.

Limerick played with commendable fight and heart, but Cork -- inspired by a man-of-the-match display from debutant full-forward Michael Cussen -- were far superior.

The towering Cussen was making his first start for the hurlers after being involved with the county footballers over the last few years and he showed huge potential in firing 1-5 from play in a fantastic performance.

Cussen's scoring return helped Cork to a victory that leaves Limerick rooted at the bottom of the table, but the hosts' under-fire manager McCarthy was in positive form afterwards.

"Overall, I was very happy with how the team played. We were in the game for 55 to 60 minutes, but were lacking that little bit of experience and physical strength to carry the thing on," he said.

"The second goal took a lot out of them as they were going well at that stage. The experience will come in time but overall I feel they're going in the right direction."

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