A LATE GOAL from Patrick Curran helped Waterford defeat Galway 1-21 to 0-16 in the All-Ireland minor hurling final at Croke Park this afternoon.
Waterford had led for much of the match, though Galway threatened to launch a fightback, having brought the scores level early in the second half.
However, the Déise prevailed amid an exciting finish to ensure they lifted the title for the first since 1948.
Curran got his side off to an encouraging start, registering the first two points of the game, but points from Conor Whelan and Darragh Dolan levelled the scores at 0-3 apiece.
Adrian Morrissey added a point that put Galway into the lead for the first and only time in the game, before two scores each from Colm Roche and Curran respectively enabled Waterford to regain a healthy 0-8 to 0-4 lead.
Galway finished the half strongly, however, leaving the score at 0-12 to 0-9 going in at the break.
Waterford’s Michael Kearney then got the first score of the second half, before Galway enjoyed arguably their best spell of the match, as points from Ronan O’Meara and Brian Molloy helped level the scores at 0-15 each.
Nevertheless, Waterford were not to be denied, as late points from Roche, Michael Kearney and Cormac Gleeson, coupled with Curran’s decisive goal, ensured the Déise won their first minor title for 65 years and third in total.
Scorers for Waterford: Patrick Curran 1-7 (4f, 165), Stephen Bennett 0-4, Michael Kearney 0-4, Colm Roche 0-3, DJ Foran 0-1, Tom Devin 0-1, Austin Gleeson 0-1, (1f),
Scorers for Galway: Brian Molloy 0-5 (4f), Ronan O’Meara 0-4, Darragh Dolan 0-3, Conor Whelan 0-1, Adrian Morrissey 0-1, Brian Burke 0-1, Shane Cooney (0-1)
Waterford: Gavin Power; William Hahessey, Kevin Daly (C), Cian Leamy; Michéal Harney, Austin Gleeson, Shane Bennett; Mark O’Brien, Tom Devine ; Stephen Bennett, DJ Foran, Michael Kearney; Adam Farrell , Patrick Curran, Colm Roche.
Subs: Cormac Curran for Foran (37), Conor Gleeson for Farrell (44), Paul O’Connor for Roche (57), Brian Whelan for Shane Bennett (59), Sam O’Neill for Hahessey (59).
Galway: Cathal Tuohy; Maidhc Ó Conghaile, Darragh O’Donoghue, Michael Connelly; Sean Linnane, Shane Cooney, Richard Doyle; Eanna Burke, Darragh Dolan (c); Conor Whelan, Ronan O’Meara, Adrian Morrissey; Brian Molloy, Jack Hastings, Conor Shaughnessy.
Subs: Vincent Doyle for Richard Doyle (24), Eamon Brannigan for Linanne (HT), Brian Burke for Whelan (37), Ronan Bellew for Hastings (52), Shane Burke for Eanna Burke (57).