Cillian Buckley played a star game for Kilkenny
The day Waterford fans waited 58 years for arrived. The Suirsiders beat Kilkenny in the All-Ireland senior hurling championship for the first time since the MacCarthy Cup final replay of 1959, and it was a spectacular occasion.
Semple Stadium throbbed as Kilkenny and Waterford blasted into each other for 90 gripping minutes in this Round 2 Qualifiers tie this evening, but in extra time Waterford had that little bit extra that carried them through to the quarter-finals on July 23.
The Cats looked like bidding adieu to the championship when they trailed by 1-10 to 2-15 in the 59th minute. Although they were being out-played, they somehow cobbled together a magnificent comeback that saw them shoot 1-5 without reply to finish level at 2-15 each at the end of normal time.
The goal was scored by T.J. Reid, with Chris Bolger and Colin Fennelly offering terrific assistance.
Still Waterford might have stolen it at the finish, but a long range free by sub Maurice Shanahan missed the target. That was the last strike of normal time.
The teams shared equally in six points before the 77th minute (2-18 each), but once Shanahan clipped over a free in the 78th minute the Suirsiders were on the road to victory.
Just on the break in extra time midfielder Jamie Barron got a run at the Kilkenny goal at the town end, and he blasted to the net from 12 metres.
That put the winners 3-19 to 2-18 clear at the rest.
Kilkenny had the first score of the second period of extra time from T.J. Reid, but when Maurice Shanahan got through for a goal, scored in tennis style at the other end, to up the divide to 4-19 to 2-19 the game was edging away on the Cats.
Defeat means Kilkenny missed out on the quarter-finals for the first time since the championship system was changed in 1997.
Kilkenny reached half-time in normal 1-5 to 1-10 behind having been led all the way. Waterford opened the scoring with a point from a free by Pauric Mahony following a foul on Jake Dillon.
The Suirsiders forced the pace all the way and after dominating the opposition they got into a best position of 0-8 to 0-3 in the 28th minute with some great points from Mahony and Austin Gleeson.
Kilkenny, although being out-played, jumped back into the match in the 32nd minute when a foul on Richie Hogan earned them a penalty. T.J. Reid stitched the ball in the back of the net and suddenly it was 0-9 to 1-4. The gap didn't at all reflect the flow of play, which had been dictated by the winners.
Kilkenny's good position didn’t last long. Within two minutes Gleeson charged up the right wing and shot a super point at full pace.
Waterford finished the half with a 36th minute goal from Michael Walsh, with a great assist from Shane Bennett, to take a well deserved five point lead into the break.
The losers really took the game to the opposition after the change, but although they opened with points from Lester Ryan and T.J. Reid they were slowly but surely dominated by the opposition. With Shane Bennett claiming Waterford’s second goal they twice charged eight points up, the second occasion in the 59th minute.
Kilkenny put in a mighty, might effort to force the issue into extra-time but Waterford’s edge in class eventually told.
SCORERS: Waterford - Jamie Barron (1-3); Maurice Shanahan (1-3, 0-3 frees); Pauric Mahony (0-6, 0-5 frees, 0-1 65); Austin Gleeson (0-5); Shane Bennett, Michael Walsh (1-0 each); Kevin Moran, Tommy Ryan (0-2 each); Jake Dillon, Patrick Curran (0-1 each). Kilkenny - T.J. Reid (2-12, 0-10 frees, 1-0 pen, 0-1 65); Lester Ryan (0-3); Richie Leahy (0-2); Eoin Murphy (0-1, free); Kevin Kelly, Richie Hogan, Colin Fennelly, Ger Aylward (0-1 each).
Kilkenny - E. Murphy; P. Murphy, P. Walsh, R. Lennon; C. Fogarty, C. Buckley, J. Lyng; P. Deegan, M. Fennelly; K. Kelly, W. Walsh, T.J. Reid; R. Hogan, C. Fennelly, JJ Farrell. Subs - G. Aylward for Farrell ht; L. Ryan for Deegan ht; C. Bolger for K. Kelly 40th min; R. Leahy for Hogan 62nd min; L. Blanchfield for M. Fennelly 73rd min; M. Bergin for Bolger 80th min; R. Hogan for Aylward 85th min.
Waterford - S. O’Keeffe; S. Fives, B. Coughlan, N. Connors; T. De Búrca, A. Gleeson, P. Mahony; J. Barron, C. Gleeson; K. Moran, P. Mahony, J. Dillon; S. Bennett, M. Walsh, D. Fives. Sub - P. Curren for Dillon 48th min; Stephen Bennett for Shane Bennett 61st min; M. Shanahan for M. Walsh 68th min; B. O’Halloran for P. Mahony 73rd min; T. Ryan for Stephen Bennett 79th min; C. Dunford for Curran 84th min; S. McNulty for Connors 86th min.
Referee - J. Owen (Wexford).
Attendance - 33,181,