Abbeyside see off last year’s finalists to reach first Waterford decider in a decade
De La Salle 0-13
Tomás McCarthy reports from Fraher Field
JUBILANT SCENES GREETED Tommy O’Sullivan’s final whistle in Fraher Field this evening as Abbeyside squeezed through to their first Waterford senior hurling final in 10 years.
Top scorer Mark Ferncombe hit the winner five minutes from the end for Peter Queally’s charges after the teams were deadlocked on nine occasions.
The Villagers trailed 0-13 to 0-12 with 12 minutes left but a wasteful De La Salle didn’t score again. The Gracedieu outfit finished with 15 wides on a blustery evening, 12 in the second period.
James Beresford, Conor Prunty, Sean Whelan-Barrett and Ferncombe propelled an aggressive Abbeyside to victory. They can look forward to a county final against either Ballygunner or Passage at the same venue in a fortnight’s time.
The underdogs registered the last five points of the opening half to earn a 0-10 to 0-7 half-time cushion. Four Shane Ryan points (three frees) and one apiece by Adam Farrell, Eddie Meaney and Cormac McCann left Salle 0-7 to 0-5 ahead after a lively opening quarter.
Wind-assisted Abbeyside responded with the next five. Dangerman Ferncombe struck five in total, including two from play. A long-distance strike from David Collins snuck them in front.
Conor Prunty tracked Waterford team-mate Kevin Moran and charged forward for a point. Wing-back Darragh McGrath added another in injury time.
Salle levelled the contest again within eight minutes of the restart via McCann, Paidi Nevin and Ryan (free). A brilliant block from Jake Dillon denied Ferncombe a certain goal.
The full-forward nailed the resultant 65 (0-12 to 0-11). Nevin tied the match again at the end of the third quarter. Stephen Enright thwarted Eddie Meaney before Ryan’s seventh point of the evening gave Salle a slender advantage.
Ferncombe, who has scored 2-37 so far this season, equalised from a free and then sent Abbeyside into the lead with a super point from the stand sideline.
Neil Montgomery spurned a goal chance but they hung on. Ryan missed the opportunity to force a replay and Abbeyside jumped for joy when O’Sullivan blew the whistle.
Scorers for Abbeyside: Mark Ferncombe 0-8 (4fs, 1 65’), Sean Whelan-Barrett 0-2, Conor Prunty, David Collins, Darragh McGrath, Patrick Hurney 0-1 each.
Scorers for De La Salle: Shane Ryan 0-7 (4fs, 1 65’), Paidi Nevin, Cormac McCann 0-2 each, Adam Farrell, Eddie Meaney 0-1 each.
1. Stephen Enright
2. Brian Looby
3. Sean O’Hare
4. John Elstead
8. James Beresford
6. David Collins
7. Darragh McGrath
9. Maurice Power
5. Conor Prunty
13. Patrick Hurney
15. Tiernan Murray
25. John Hurney
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12. Sean Whelan-Barrett
14. Mark Ferncombe
10. Neil Montgomery
29. Richie Foley for Murray (44)
18. Tom Looby for Power (49)
22. Eoin Kiely for Patrick Hurney (58)
19. Sean Daly for John Hurney (62)
De La Salle
1. Shaun O’Brien
2. Conor Giles Doran
17. Ian Flynn
4. Michael Doherty
5. Shane McNulty
6. Jake Dillon
7. Tom Moran
8. Eddie Barrett
11. Adam Farrell
10. Kevin Moran
14. Thomas Douglas
9. Paidi Nevin
13. Eddie Meaney
12. Cormac McCann
15. Shane Ryan
22. Eoin Madigan for Douglas (HT)
20. Sean Carton for McCann (60)
Referee: Tommy O’Sullivan
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