Co. League Division 1
Waterville 1 - 04 V Milltown / Castlemaine. 0 - 07
@ Waterville 08 / 09/ 2013
In a tough, physical battle the spoils were shared between Waterville and Milltown / Castlemaine. It was the third game in a row that Waterville have drawn and it is a point which will keep them in Division One for next year.
Scores were hard to come by as both defences played very well and the tackles were coming in thick and fast. A Derek Twiss free in the third minute was cancelled out a few minutes later by a Gearóid O’Sullivan free for the home side. Milltown / Castlemaine had the lions share of possession in the first half but were finding it difficult to kick scores. Waterville went a point ahead after 15 minutes after another Gearóid O’Sullivan free. The visitors kept driving forward and were only denied a certain goal when Kevin O’Dwyer made a superb block to thwart Derek Twiss. Twiss pointed a free shortly after to level affairs. From then on to half time Waterville enjoyed a period of sustained pressure without threatening to score until Stephen O’Dwyer capitalised on some excellent. patient build up play to kick his side ahead on the stroke of half time, 0-03 to 0-02. The low scoreline belied the fact that is was an enthralling, absorbing encounter played with a fierce, championship like intensity.
Another Derek Twiss free early in the second half levelled affairs before Ian Twiss got in on the act to kick his side ahead after 13 minutes. As the teams were tiring more opportunites presented themselves and Ciarán Dennehy had to make a superb save before Stephen O’Dwyer kicked a ’40 yard free to level it with 15 minutes to go. Still the tackling was intense and full blooded and both sides were giving their all. Shane Murphy tapped over from close range with 8 minutes remaining to leave his side ahead by just a point. Ciarán Dennehy made another top class save shortly after to keep Waterville in the game. Then came what appeared to be the decisive moment of the game with 5 minutes remaining. A long ball by Gearóid O’Sullivan broke to Alan O’Shea in the Milltown / Castlemaine box and he managed to squeeze the ball through the forest of legs into the corner of the net leaving his side ahead by two points, 1-04 to 0-05. But two late late 14 yard frees from Ian Twiss ensured that, for the third game in succession Waterville finished on level scores, 1-04 to 0-07.
While it was disappointing not to hold on for the win it was a fantastic result in that it preserved our top flight status for the coming year. Given the very limited resources this was a fantastic achievement for John O’Dwyer, his selectors and all the players who put in such an effort for this years County League, and while up against the odds have performed with valour and commitment throughout. Best for Waterville were Ciarán Dennehy, Kevin O’Dwyer and Oran Clifford in the backs, Seamus O’Sullivan at midfield and up front Alan O’Shea, Gary Galvin and Stephen O’Dwyer worked tirelessly throughout. For a commanding, composed performance Ciarán Dennehy was man of the match.
Waterville team and scorers: Ciarán Dennehy, Fionán Clifford, Kevin O’Dwyer, Alan O’Dwyer, Odhran O’Mahony, Oran Clifford, Greg Gibson, Seamus O’Sullivan, Gearóid O’Sullivan (0-02, 2f), Alan O’Shea (1-00), Denis Dwyer, Gary Galvin, Barry O’Dwyer, Stephen O’Dwyer (0-02, 1f), Keith Moran.
Subs used : Mike O’Shea, Danny Walsh.
Co. League Division 1
Laune Rangers 1-08 ................ Waterville 1-08.
It was hard luck on Waterville who, having dragged themselves back into this game, conceded a last minute goal to leave this game ending all square. A long hopeful ball into the square was flicked to the net by Laune Rangers wing back Shane McSweeney in the very last action of the game. It means Waterville inch closer to safety in Division one but there is still considerable work to do to preserve that status.
The home side got off to a rip-roaring start racing into a 0-04 to no score lead after 10 minutes. It was a slow ponderous start from the visitors and it was to be the 13 th minute before they raised a white flag, Barry O’Dwyer doing the honours from 30 yards. The Waterville backs were under intense pressure during this opening period and only some stout last ditch defending from Kevin O’Dwyer and Gary Galvin prevented a certain score. The seemingly ageless Mike Frank Russell knocked over the ensuing ’45 with typical ease. Kevin then made a great run out of the back and, supported by Gearóid O’Sullivan, fashioned a chance for Stephen O’Dwyer from 25 yards who made no mistake. That concluded the scoring in a somewhat drab first half in which both sides kicked some poor wides. The half time score read Laune Rangers 0-05, Waterville 0-02.
A much better second half from the visiting team was called for but it was Mike Frank Russell again who kicked his side farther ahead from a 35 yard free kick. But Waterville lorded the next 15 or so minutes. Gearóid O’Sullivan kicked a massive free kick from near the sideline and Stephen O’Dwyer followed up with a superb score of his own, beating his man and rattling over from 40 yards. When Stephen was fouled soon after Gearóid O’Sullivan again stood up and with unerring accuracy split the posts. Waterville were now just a point behind and could smell blood. The outstanding Stephen O’Dwyer won possession just inside the ’45 yard line and after selling a sweet dummy leveled affairs. Soon afterwards came what appeared to be the decisive move of the game. Gearóid O’Sullivan kicked a superb ball into Barry O’Dwyer who punched over the top for Sam O’Dwyer to run on to. Sam gave the keeper the eyes and neatly rolled the ball into the corner to give his side a 3-point lead and a great boost. Pa Sheehan narrowed the gap once more but Stephen O’Dwyer was in fine form and he managed to intercept a defensive pass and blaze the ball over the bar from close in. Shane McSweeney narrowed affairs once more with about 10 minutes remaining but Stephen O’Dwyer once more got involved and kicked a quite superb point from distance following some great work from Barry O’Dwyer and Greg Gibson. With a three point lead coming down the final straight Waterville began to sit back and defend their position, which allowed the home side a bit of leeway. Kevin Flynn managed to work his way through to a clear goal scoring opportunity but Ciarán Dennehy made a magnificent save to keep his side ahead. Following a couple of lengthy stoppages for injuries the referee added on three minutes and it was in the final seconds of the third minute that Mike frank Russell floated and innocuous looking ball into the Waterville square. With the keeper advancing off his line Sweeney flicked it over his head and into the net for a hard won draw. It was a disappointing way to finish the game but overall and more than acceptable result for Waterville.
Best for Waterville were Odhran Clifford and Alan O’Dwyer in defence, Seamus and Gearóid O’Sullivan in midfield and up front the three Dwyers in the full forward line were lively and effective throughout. Man of the match was Stephen O’Dwyer.
Waterville team and scorers: Ciarán Dennehy, Fionán Clifford, Kevin O’Dwyer, Alan O’Dwyer, Odhran O’Mahony, Oran Clifford, Greg Gibson, Paul Galvin Gearóid O’Sullivan (0-02, 2f), Gary Galvin, Stephen O’Dwyer (0-05), Alan O’Shea, Barry O’Dwyer (0-01), Seamus O’Sullivan, Sam O’Dwyer (1-00).
Subs used: Denis Dwyer, Mike O’Shea.
Co. League Division 1.
Waterville 1 - 12 ....... V ......Dingle 3 - 05
@ Waterville 21/07/ 2013
Waterville won this back game of the Co. League in thrilling fashion when young Sam O'Dwyer scored a rasper of a goal in the final throes of an absorbing game in Waterville on Sunday. With Waterville down two points and time about to expire Sam found himself right on the end line and when he took a sidestep to make space be blasted the ball high into the roof of the net to win an invaluable pair of points for Waterville in their battle to stay in the division.
Both sides were guilty of kicking some wides when playing into the lake goal and it looked as if Waterville were going to kick away their chance with a few wides late on. Dingle were guilty of this in the first half but still managed to go in at the break four points to the good following an excellent goal from Cathal Bambury and a rather more fortuitous one from Donal O'Rian. Bambury scored low into the corner after about 20 minutes and When O'Rian hit a hopeful ball in towards the square just before the break it eluded everyone in both defence and attack and bounced into the net. Mark Evans with two and Cathal Bambury were Dingles point scorers in that half. Waterville's scores came from Gearaoid O'Sullivan (3 points, 2 frees) A magnificent free kick from Stephen O'Dwyer (50 yards into the teeth of the breeze) and a close range point from Barry O'Dwyer.
With the wind at their backs Waterville knew they were going to get some scoring chances and Alan O'Shea got them off the mark early on with a fine left footed point following some great play by Stephen and Barry O'Dwyer. A quick response fro Dingle saw them move the gap back out to four points again before they delivered what seemed like the killer blow, with a very soft goal. All the Waterville defence seemed drawn to Cathal Bambury as he approached goal, leaving Mark Evans free to take an easy goal. This now meant that there were seven points between the sides and a tough task for Waterville who hadn't played in a month against a team who were at Co. Championship pace just last week. The task was made even more difficult when the excellent Gearóid O'Sullivan had to be replaced by Mike O'Shea due to an injury sustained in the first half. Denis O'Dwyer got the home side going with a well taken free from distance and nephew Barry followed up with a delightful point from play after Sam and Stephen O'Dwyer worked well to give him the opportunity. Waterville were now beginning to exert some dominance on proceedings in the midfield sector with Seamus O'Sullivan and Paul Galvin both competing very well and the half backs and forwards beginning to pick up some breaks. But all the dominance of possession was not being converted into enough scores and some wides meant there was still 5 points between the sides. a brace of Stephen O'Dwyer points, one form a free and one from play, narrowed the gap to three once more. Dingle did manage to stem the tide a little bit and. against the run of play, went up field to kick a fine score to give them than extra bit of breathing space. Waterville were now beginning to throw everything into attack and Greg Gibson left his full back berth to try and drive his team forward to get the scores needed. Stephen and Barry O'Dwyer kicked two nice points to leave two points in it with time almost up, and with their team now in desperate need of a goal. Step up Sam O'Dwyer. He won the ball along the end line and darted towards goal before making a nice little angle for himself. Even still it seemed an extremely tight angle but Sams shot was hard and true and rattled the roof of the net, sending the home team and crowd into delirium. With about two minutes of stoppage time left there was still time for Dingle to salvage a draw. However from the kickout, Seamus O'Sullivan took responsibility and made a superb catch and form there on his team were able to keep possession to run down the clock and secure a vital victory.
Having started off a little rustily Waterville grew into this game and there were some eye catching performances from Greg Gibson, Gary Galvin and Odhran O’Mahony in defence, Gearóid O’Sullivan in midfield and Alan O’Shea, Stephen, Sam and Barry O’Dwyer up front. Barry worked tirelessly when brought out to the half forward line and was the man of the match, scoring three fine points in the process.
Waterville team and scorers ;: Ciarán Dennehy, Oran Clifford, Greg Gibson, Alan O’Dwyer, Odhran O’Mahony, Gary Galvin, Niall Fitzgerald, Gearóid O’Sullivan (0-03, 2f), Paul Galvin, Denis Dwyer (0-01, f), Stephen O’Dwyer (0-04, 2f), Alan O’Shea (0-01), Barry O’Dwyer (0-03), Seamus O’Sullivan, Sam O’Dwyer (1-00).
Subs used Mike O’Shea and Kevin O’Dwyer.
Co. League Division 1.
Kerins O’Rahillys 0 - 09 ........... Waterville 0 -08
@ Tralee 30/06/2013
Waterville left Strand Road on Sunday evening very disappointed not to come out with at least a point after this hard fought Co. League game. The strong wind blowing down the field made scoring into the goal at the car park end very difficult and meant Waterville suffered their third defeat of the campaign by the narrowest of margins, 0-09 to 0-08.
Playing with the wind in the first half the Waterville men would feel they didn’t make the most of this advantage and should have maybe gone in at the break with a greater cushion than the one point they had. Stephen O’Dwyer got his team off to a good start with a very early point following some terrific play from Seamus O’Sullivan and Sam O’Dwyer. Kerins O’Rahullys have some top notch forwards of their own and two men who have worn the Kerry senior jersey were creating difficulties for the visitors. First Declan Quill and then Barry John Walsh kicked scores take the lead against the run of play. Two frees then followed from the boot of Stephen O’Dwyer, the first after Sam O’Dwyer had his jersey pulled off the ball, the second after Gearóid O’Sullivan was pulled down 40 yards from goal. Waterville were good value for this lead but were not able to convert their relative dominance into scores. The Strand Road men were creating chances too but were not able to master the tricky wind and they had a few wides. They recognised that Waterville were having the lions share of possession and dropped men back into defence, Micheál Quirke spent a lot of the half in front of his own full back to negate the aerial threat of Waterville full forward, Seamus O’Sullivan. A couple of bad wides denied Waterville the bit of breathing space they needed facing into the wind and when Gearóid O’Sullivan pointed a free from a tight angle Barry John Walsh quickly cancelled it out to leave just a point between the sides at half time, 0-04 to 0-03.
It was always going to be a difficult task for the second period but they went about it manfully and Stephen got the perfect opportunity to get this going when presented with a 14 yard free early on which he duly tapped over. Barry John Walsh then knocked over a neat point after 6 minutes before Barry O’Dwyer scored a superb point on the run, beating his man before belting it over from 25 yards. But the home side pushed the wind advantage and scored 4 points on the bounce, two of them magnificent long range points from the afore mentioned Quill and BJ Walsh. Waterville were still managing to secure a fair share of possession and created a few scoring chances, from both play and placed balls but were not able to master the very tricky wind and racked up a considerable tally of wides. With only a few minutes left and trailing by two points Greg Gibson left his centre back post, played a quick one-two with substitute Mike O’Shea and scored a fine point to leave just the minimum in it. With Waterville pressing on there were a few inevitable gaps at the back and Declan Quill duly exploited the space he found to kick the insurance point. Stephen O’Dwyer did knock over a 14 yard free at the death but there was to be no grand finale for Waterville on this occasion.
Every one of the players is to be commended for their efforts and to a man they dug out a tough, spirited performance that with a bit of luck would have yielded a point or even two. The big difference in the final result was that the home side made better use of the elements when playing with the wind and scored more in that period than Waterville managed. But for Waterville it was another battling performance against one of the top clubs in Kerry and there are lots of positives to be taken from the game. The next match is on July 21st against Dingle, followed a week later with a game against Kilcummin. These two games will go a long way in deciding the teams destiny for the year.
Waterville team and scorers: Ciarán Dennehy, Oran Clifford, Kevin O’Dwyer, Alan O’Dwyer, Gary Galvin, Greg Gibson (0-01), Niall Fitzgerald, Gearóid O’Sullivan (0-01), Paul Galvin, Odhran O’Mahony, Stephen O’Dwyer (0-05, 4f), Paddy Curran, Barry O’Dwyer (0-01), Seamus O’Sullivan, Sam O’Dwyer.
Subs used, Denis Dwyer, Mike O’Shea.
Co. Senior League, Division 1
Waterville 2 - 11 ......................... Legion 2 - 07
@ Waterville, 25/05/2013
Determination, commitment, never-say- die attitude and teamwork were the cornerstone on which this victory was achieved. The opposition from Killarney contributed hugely to this most entertaining, sporting and free-flowing game of Gaelic football.
Playing into the Beenbane goal Waterville were first off the mark with a free from the boot of Stephen O’Dwyer after a foul on corner forward Sam O’Dwyer but Legion replied almost immediately with a point from David O’Sullivan. From the kick out Eoin O’Sullivan got possession and launched a long ball into the Legion penalty area where Seamus O’Sullivan, who was operating at full forward deflected the ball into the path of Barry O’Dwyer . Barry sidestepped his marker and rattled the net. Billy Maguire for Legion and Eoin O’Sullivan swopped points and Legion’s David O’Sullivan added to his side’s tally with a free from close range. Waterville’s marksman Stephen O’Dwyer added two more frees. After fifteen minutes Waterville had opened up a four point lead and when Stephen O’Dwyer ‘s free came back off the upright Legion went straight down field and Mike O’Sullivan popped the ball over the bar to narrow the gap. Almost immediately what seemed a harmless ball from midfield ended up in the Waterville net. Suddenly the sides were level but Eoin O’Sullivan edged Waterville in front again with a clinically struck forty five. An excellent point, executed from an acute angle near the corner flag, from Legion’s Conor Keane drew the sides level again. In the space of two minutes we were treated to two goals. Legion’s Kevin Breen and Barry O’Dwyer were the providers. Before the break both sides shared points and were on level terms at 2 – 06 apiece at half time.
Legion were first to score after the break when Thomas Moriarty from close range probably should have goaled but to the relief of the Waterville defence sent the ball over the bar. This would prove to be Legion’s final score though a fine reflex save from Ciaran Dennehy and a timely interception by Oran Clifford deprived them of two goal chances. Waterville went on to take control of most of the remainder of the game and went on to score a further five points. The final point of the game was scored by veteran Paul Galvin after good work from the youngest team member Sam O’Dwyer. Waterville fully deserved victory on the scoreline of 2 – 11 to 2 – 07.
After the game chairman Darby Clifford made a well deserved presentation to former treasurer Sheila Fitzgerald for her many years of service to the club.
Co. Senior League, Division 1
St. Michael's / Foilmore 0 - 06 ..................... Waterville 0 - 05
@ Foilmore , 13/04/2013
A disappointing second half saw Waterville succumb by the narrowest of margins in a very wet and windy Foilmore last Saturday in a scoreline of St. Michaels / Foilmore 0-06, Waterville 0-05. It took a glorious point from a sideline ball from Éanna O’Connor to snatch this victory for the home side, and they were marginally the better side throughout.
Waterville faced into a very stiff breeze in the opening period and overall managed to contain the home side. They were helped by some wayward shooting by Bally/Foilmore, particularly from free kicks. Sean Fogarty opened the scoring after about 8 or 9 minutes with a well taken score with his left leg. The home side were struggling to take advantage of the strong wind and quite a few balls aimed at their full forwards travelled harmlessly over the endline. The Waterville backs were working hard to deny their opponents time and space and when Barry O’Dwyer got on the end of a breaking ball 20 yards from goal he levelled proceedings after 20 minutes. Two minutes later Waterville took the lead when Stephen O’Dwyer ran directly at the home defence before popping over wiht his right leg. Cian O’Connor then found himself through on goal only for Waterville custodian to come out and smother his shot and protect his goal. Éanna O’Connor finally found his range from a free kick jsut before half time and the sides went in level pegging, two points apiece. Having played against the strong wind and having kept the scoreline level Waterville were hopeful of a good second half to try and secure the victory.
Instead it was the home side who got out of the blocks faster and scored two early points through DJ Moran and Éanna O’Connor to give their team something to defend into the wind. Unfortunately form a Waterville point of view the wind was dying noticeably and they were not to get the advantage of it that they hoped for. This, allied to Bally/Foilmore’s increased work rate, made it difficult for the visitors. But there is great spirit in this Waterville team and despite not playing as well as in recent games they fought valiantly to the end. Niall Fitzgerald reduced the defecit from 30 yards out after almost 15 minutes of the half and when Barry O’Dwyer capitalised on some great incisive running from Oran Clifford and scored a nice point it seemed Waterville might be able to push on for a winner. Indeed they did take the lead with just over 10 minutes remaining when Stephen O’Dwyer converted a free kick won by Oran Clifford. But the home side were working very hard and when they created an opening for Sean Fogarty he made no mistake and levelled the game once more. The game was crying out for someone to take it by the scruff of the neck and when Éanna O’Connor stood over a sideline ball with time nearly up he showed unerring accuracy to split the posts and give his side the lead. Waterville had one final chance from a very long range free kick but alas it drifted marginally wide to leave the final score Bally/Foilmore 0-06, Waterville 0-05. On an evening more suitable for ducks than football it was a very difficult game to play but credit to the team for giving their all, and trying right to the finish
In a dour, attritional battle Waterville just edged the East Kerry men after extra time on a scoreline of 0-08 to 0-06. A difficult easterly wind coming off the lake made shooting very tricky and scores were at a premium. Gneeveguilla had done their homework on their South Kerry counterparts and targeted Waterville’s dangermen but the accuracy from frees of Stephen O’Dwyer and a magnificent point from near the endline by Alan O’Shea ensured waterville progressed to the next round safely.
It took 18 minutes for the first white flag to be raised by Gneeveguilla’s Michael Murphy. Up to this point, scores were proving very difficult to come by as both teams struggled with the unusual wind. The hits were hard and it was a very physical contest. A free by Liam Murphy and another point from play by Michael Murphy saw Gneeveguilla finally take advantage of the wind helping them to open up a three point lead. Stephen O’Dwyer kicked a free of his own to finally open Waterville’s account with three minutes remaining. When Stephen got on the end of a long ball with jsut a few minutes to go in the half he slipped Barry in one on one with the Gneeveguilla goalkeeper Patrick O’Riordan. But the netminder got out quickly to smother the shot and keep his side in the lead at the break.
With the wind slightly favouring Waterville now, and with a greater amount of possesion it just needed a few early scores to settle the team and the home fans would have expected them to push on. But still the men in red found it difficult to find the scores with a few long range efforts drifting narrowly wide. A 30 metre free from Stephen O’Dwyer after 8 minutes got them off the mark for the second half but it still took another 20 minutes or so to level it. Gneeveguilla were offering little in attack in this half and were defending in numbers and with great determination. What few scoring chances they did create went harmlessly wide. It looked like Waterville had got themsleves in a great position to win the game when Barry O’Dwyer pounced on a fumble by the Gneeveguilla keeper to palm the ball into the net, only for the referee to inexplicably disallow it. With time running down it again fell to Stephen O’Dwyer to level matters and he made no mistake with a long range free with just two minutes on the clock. The home side pushed on to find a winner and worked an opportunity for the busy Barry O’Dwyer and he knocked over from close range. Now it was up to Gneeveguilla to find a way to score for the first time in over 40 minutes of football. When Liam Murphy was fouled 35 meters out he took on the responsibility of kicking the free himself and made no mistake to send the game into extra time.
Both teams were giving it their all and were not shirking from the physical challenges. It was full blooded and a real championship game. Gneeveguilla again began proceedings with the elements slightly in their favour and kicked two excellent points early on through DJ and Donie O’Connor. This gave them something to defend coming up to half time in the extra time. But Seamus O’Sullivan gave his side a huge boost just before the break with a superb score from out near the sideline. With the wind at their backs Waterville now needed to find two points to win the game. Gneeveguilla were reduced to 13 men during that first period so they were going to have to defend their lead short of manpower. Two minutes into the half Niall Fitzgerald galloped up the wing to level proceedings and the vocal home support urged their men on to find a winner. With the clock showing only seconds left Stephen O’Dwyer was given the chance when he stood over a free kick some 55 metres from goal. Making full use of the wind Stephen kicked it way out towards the lake and left the wind help the ball over the bar. With the game as good as up Alan O’Shea won possesion in the right hand corner and from an almost impossible angle he scored a peach of a point to seal the victory for his team.
It was a dour spectacle, with good football at a premium but over the 80 minutes Waterville were worthy winners and deservedly went through to the next round. Every man among them gave of his all and worked tirelessly to get the win. Next up is a tricky away trip to Tralee to face Austin Stacks in the County League next weekend.
Waterville team and scorers : Ciarán Dennehy, Fionnán Clifford, Kevin O’Dwyer, Alan O’Dwyer, Oran Clifford, Greg Gibson, Niall Fitzgerald (0-01), Seamus O’Sullivan (0-01), Gearóid O’Sullivan, Paddy Curran , Denis Dwyer, Gary Galvin, Barry O’Dwyer (0-01), Stephen O’Dwyer (0-04, 4f), Alan O’Shea (0-01).
Waterville v Dr. Crokes,
Waterville announced their arrival back at the top table of club football in Kerry with a hard earned, but well deserved victory over the might of Dr. Crokes, on a scoreline of 1-08 to 0-10. An early goal from Barry O’Dwyer set the tone and a late point from Niall Fitzgerald sealed the deal on a soft and heavy pitch.
Waterville knew they would be up against it in a battle with the seemingly perennial county champions but set about their task in a determined and resolute fashion. They got the tonic they were hoping for after just 2 minutes when, following a great defensive interception by Fionnán Clifford and a superb pass, Stephen O’Dwyer cut a swath through the heart of the Crokes’ defense before unselfishly laying off the ball to Barry who didn’t miss from 7 or 8 yards, tucking the ball neatly into the bottom corner of the net.
Crokes responded soon afterwards, when, following a lot of precise hand passing around the Waterville 45 metre line they found some space for Daithi Casey who rattled over from 30 yards. Paddy Curran responded with a fine score of his own after Alan O’Shea won a tremendous break and Niall Fitzgerald picked Paddy out with an inch perfect pass. Leading now by a goal the Waterville players sensed that there was something to be got from this game and the work rate was upped to a high level, tackling, covering, and getting in to win breaks. But Dr. Crokes were never going to go away and Shane Meyers hit a delightful point on the run and when Crokes won a free close into goal Chris Brady made no mistake to leave just the minimum in it. Waterville responded well again and following a jinking solo run Seamus O’Sullivan hit a tremendous point with the outside of his boot. Stephen O’Dwyer was having a very good game on Mike Moloney and when he turned him and ran at the goal he curled over a super point to leave his team three points to the good once more. Barry O’Dwyer then found some space 25 yards out from goal, following some great work by Gearóid O’Sullivan and he pushed Waterville 4 points to the good after about 18 minutes. Shane Mayers was in place to reduce that lead once more from his right wing berth. Stephen O’Dwyer then kicked a 45 before a short Chris Brady free brought a pulsating first half to a finish with Waterville leading by 1-05 to 0-05.
With the elements now in Crokes’ favour the second half was always going to be a battle for the Waterville men and when Jamie Doolan scored after 5 minutes the Crokes dander was up. Brian Looney scored a sublime point following some great work by Andrew Kennelly to leave the minimum between the teams with jsut 8 minutes gone in the second half. The next ten minutes was a real dogfight with both sides looking to gain some supremacy. The next score was going to be vital. It came from the boot of Stephen O’Dwyer from a 30 yard free after Alan O’Shea was fouled trying to make a run. Chris Brady returned the favour at the other end when Jamie Doolan’s jersey was pulled. Then Denis Dwyer was fouled 50 metres out form the Dr. Crokes goal. Facing into a difficult swerving breeze Stephen O’Dwyer showed unerring accuracy to split the posts and give his teams’ morale a huge boost, and a 2 point lead once more with only 7 or 8 minutes remaining. Then Daithi casey took over the show with two massive free kicks of his own from over 50 yards and it looked like the sides would remain level as the clock ticked down. But Waterville had other ideas and when the excellent Greg Gibson foraged down the right wing he spotted Niall Fitzgerald in a few yards of space amongst a swarm of Crokes defenders. His glorious 40 yard cross field ball went straight to Niall’s chest, who turned his man and tapped over the bar to give Waterville a much merited and hard fought win on a scoreline of 1-08 to 0-10.
It was a superb game, given the difficult conditions and both teams played the game as it should be played, hard, committed and fair. Some of the scores kicked were of the highest order, from both teams. For Waterville it was a great tonic having been away from Division 1 football for over a decade. It was a great boost coming into next weekend’s crunch encounter with Gneeveguilla in the Intermediate Champsionship.
In a magnificent team performance, where every player put in a great shift, Greg Gibson was man of the match.
Waterville team and scorers: Ciarán Dennehy, Fionnán Clifford, Kevin O’Dwyer, Alan O’Dwyer, Oran Clifford, Greg Gibson, Niall Fitzgerald (0-01), Seamus O’Sullivan (0-01), Paul Galvin, Paddy Curran (0-01), Gearóid O’Sullivan, Gary Galvin, Barry O’Dwyer (1-01), Stephen O’Dwyer (0-04, 2f, 1 ’45), Alan O’Shea.