Bord Gais Energy GAA Hurling All-Ireland U21 A Championship Final – Waterford 5-15 Galway 0-14

Waterford defeated Galway by 5-15 to 0-14 in the Bord Gais Energy GAA Hurling All-Ireland U21 A Championship Final on Saturday September 10th at Semple Stadium Thurles.

Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland U-21 Hurling Final


By John Harrington at Semple Stadium for

Waterford won this evening’s Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland U-21 Hurling Final in five-star style as the swept Galway aside at Semple Stadium. In the first-half especially it looked like men against boys as a bigger, stronger, faster, and more skilful Deise outfit cut loose.

The Tribesmen battled back in the second-half to make a contest of it, but then Waterford simply put their foot on the accelerator again and zoomed off into the sunset. The writing was already on the wall for Galway after just 45 seconds when Waterford scored their first goal of the match.

A long ball from defence was broken past the Galway half-back line and DJ Foran raced onto it, soloed towards goal, and then smashed the sliotar to the back of the net. Foran played a key role in Waterford’s second goal 12 minutes later when his hand-pass sent Patrick Curran clear and the corner-forward cleverly improvised to bat the ball past Galway goalkeeper Cathal Tuohy.

That put Waterford 2-3 to 0-3 ahead, and a bad situation for Galway then got much worse when they conceded another goal a minute later. Curran was the creator this time as a delicious reverse hand-pass sent Stephen Bennett clear and Waterford full-forward lanced his drive to the top corner via Tuohy’s hurley.

Galway were already looking like a beaten docket, but team-captain Brian Molloy at least kept carrying the fight to a superior Waterford. He was up against the mighty Austin Gleeson, but was getting the better of their own personal duel as he hit two nice points from play. Molloy couldn’t do it all on his own though, and Galway were being beaten in too many other areas of the pitch.

Michael Kearney was the third member of the on-fire Waterford full-forward line to get in on the scoring act as two sweet points in a row form him stretched their advantage to 12 points. Tom Devine came very close to scoring Wateford’s fourth goal of the day, but his driven shot was superbly tipped over the bar by Tuohy. By now Waterford centre-back Gleeson was warming to the task and a typically brilliant point from him brought the curtain down on the first-half as Wateford went into their dressing-rooms leading by 3-10 to 0-6.

There was little expectancy that Galway would be able to make a match of it from there, but to their credit they tried their very best. Perhaps Waterford thought the match was already won, but for the first ten minutes of the second-half they were very much second-best as Galway slung over five unanswered points in a row.

Brian Molloy was still doing some classy work, but now he was ably assisted by Seán Linnane and Eanna Burke who had both suddenly thundered into the game. A Patrick Curran free finally got Waterford off the mark, but Galway still smelled blood and it was no surprise that Molloy went for goal from a 25-yard free. Unfortunately for him, he drove it well wide.

Galway kept trying to work the ball into goal-scoring positions, and might have been better off had they continued to take their points because they were creating the sort of opportunities that were marked absent in the second-half. All their good work was then undone when Waterford struck for their fourth goal of the match, and it was something really special.

Stephen Bennett zoomed onto a long clearance into the left corner and immediately dove a low ball across goal where his brother Shane slid in connected with a one-handed swipe to the back of the net. Waterford were in full flow again all of a sudden, as Patrick Curran swept over two great long-range points in a row.

Then came the fifth goal, and it was the most spectacular of the lot. Stephen Bennet reached high to snatch an Austin Gleeson sideline ball and roofed the ball to the net from what seemed an impossible angle. A couple more points from Shane Bennett and Curran rounded off the scoring before the final whistle finally went and the blue and white hordes invaded the pitch to hail their heroes. This generation of Waterford hurlers is something special. It’s surely only a matter of time before they deliver big in the senior grade too.

Scorers for Waterford: Patrick Curran 1-9 (6f), Stephen Bennett 2-0, Shane Bennett 1-1, DJ Foran 1-0, Michael Kearney 0-2, Austin Gleeson 0-2 (1f) T Devine 0-1.

Scorers for Galway: Brian Molloy 0-6 (3f), Eanna Burke 0-3 Seán Linnane 0-2, Conor Whelan 0-2, Kevin McHugo 0-1.

Waterford: Jordan Henley; William Hahessy, Conor Gleeson, Darragh Lyons; Michéal Harney, Austin Gleeson, Conor Prunty; Mark O’Brien, Shane Bennett; Colm Roche, Tom Devine, DJ Foran; Patrick Curran, Stephen Bennett, Michael Kearney
Subs: Adam Farrell for Tom Devine (56), Dermot Ryan for Darragh Lyons (58), Billy O’Keefe for Mícheál Harney (60), Peter Hogan for Shane Bennett (61), Barry Whelan for William Hahessy (61)

Galway: Cathal Tuohy; Conor Jennings, Darragh O’Donoghue, Declan Cronin; Vincent Doyle, Shane Cooney, Seán Loftus; Dan Nevin, Darragh Dolan; Kevin McHugo, Brian Molloy, Seán Linnane; Thomas Monaghan, Éanna Burke
Subs: Eamon Brannigan for Thomas Monaghan (ht), Jack Grealish for Kevin McHugo (43), Fintan Burke for Dan Nevin (55), Cian Burke for Seán Linnane (60)

Ref: Seán Cleere (Kilkenny)

Attendance: 14410

Fixture Details

10.09.2016 (Sat)
Bord Gais Energy GAA Hurling All-Ireland U21 Championship Final
Semple Stadium, Thurles 17:00
Gaillimh v Port Láirge
(E.T. if Necessary)

Team News

The Waterford Team to face Galway tomorrow in the Bord Gais Energy All Ireland Under 21 Hurling Final against Galway at 5pm in Semple Stadium has being named!

1. Jordan Henley (Tallow)
2. William Hahessy (Clonea)
3. Conor Gleeson (Fourmilewater)
4. Darragh Lyons (Dungarvan)
5. Míchéal Harney (Bunmahon)
6. Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion)
7. Conor Prunty (Abbeyside)
8. Mark O’Brien (Ferrybank)
9. Colm Roche (Shamrocks)
10. Shane Bennett (Ballysaggart)
11. Tom Devine (Modeligo)
12. DJ Foran (Portlaw)
13. Patrick Curran (Dungarvan) – (Jt Capt.)
14. Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart)
15. Michael Kearney (Ballyduff Upper)


1. Cathal Tuohy (Tommie Larkins)
2. Conor Jennings (Loughrea)
3. Darragh O’Donoghue (Kilnadeema Leitrim)
4. Declan Cronin (Cappataggle)
5. Vincent Doyle (Turloughmore)
6. Shane Cooney (St Thomas)
7. Sean Loftus (Turloughmore)
8. Darragh Dolan (Cappataggle)
9. Dan Nevin (Cappataggle)
10. Kevin McHugo (Tommie Larkins)
11. Brian Molloy (Kilnadeema Leitrim – Capt.)
12. Sean Linnane (Turloughmore)
13. Thomas Monaghan (Killimordaly)
14. Conor Whelan (Kinvara)
15. Eanna Burke (St Thomas)

Semple Stadium, Thurles will host the Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling All-Ireland U-21 finals next Saturday when Mayo and Meath clash in the ‘B’ decider at 3.0, followed by Galway v Waterford in the main event at 5.00.

Waterford won the Munster title by beating Clare (3-23 to 1-11) and Tipperary (2-19 to 0-15), landing the provincial prize for the first time since 1994. They had an easy win over Antrim (5-25 to 1-8) in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Patrick Curran (2-25, 0-16 frees, 0-2 ‘65s’) is top scorer for Waterford, who are bidding to win the All-Ireland U-21 title for the first time since 1992. That was their only All-Ireland success in the grade while Galway, who were last successful in 2011, are bidding for their 11th title. They qualified for the final by beating Dublin (0-21 to 0-19) after extra-time. Team captain, Brian Molloy scored 0-10 (0-5 frees, 0-1 ‘65’) for the winners.

Meath beat Wicklow in the quarter-final and Kerry in the semi-final of the ‘B’ competition while Mayo beat Kildare and Roscommon.

11: Cork (1966-68-69-70-71-73-76-82-88-97-98)
11: Kilkenny (1974-75-77-84-90-94-99-2003-04-06-08)
10: Galway: (1972-78-83-86-91-93-96-2005-07-11)
9: Tipperary (1964-67-79-80-81-85-89-95-2010)
5: Limerick (1987-2000-01-02-15)
4: Clare (2009-2012-13-14)
1: Waterford (1992)
1: Wexford (1965)