Waterford continued their winning streak in Division 1B on Saturday night as Thomas Ryan, Stephen Bennett and Shane Bennett raised green flags in deplorable conditions at Fraher Field.
Stephen Bennett bagged 1-8 to push his tally up to 1-36 for the campaign. Paraic Fanning’s side have shot 9-65 in total. They will travel to Dublin next Sunday for a much stiffer contest.
13-man Carlow faded in the second half, only striking three points. Diarmuid Byrne and Ger Coady both got their marching orders. Next up is Laois at Netwatch Cullen Park.
This was the first League meeting between these teams since 1995 and 2,478 turned up in horrible wind and rain. Two swift goals by Thomas Ryan and Stephen Bennett separated the sides at the break (2-7 to 0-7). The visitors earned a 0-3 to 0-1 lead after eight minutes. Martin Kavanagh split the posts from 60 metres, converted an awkward free and assisted Richard Coady for a point.
Against the run of play, Waterford rattled the Carlow net twice in the space of a minute. Firstly, Ryan flicked in Shane Bennett’s side-line. Then, Shane Bennett supplied older brother Stephen, despite losing his hurley, and he fired low under Damien Jordan (2-1 to 0-3).
Colin Dunford and Stephen Bennett (free) increased the home lead to five. Kavanagh kept Carlow competitive with four first half singles. Bennett completed the half with 1-3 and created a point for Jamie Barron. Carlow’s task became trickier when Kavanagh limped off injured on 33 minutes.
The rain got heavier and heavier as the half wore on. DJ Foran and new Carlow free taker Denis Murphy traded points before the two teams returned to the dressing rooms. Nine minutes into the second period, Shane Bennett rifled to the top corner of the net after Jack Prendergast sent him clear.
Two Bennett frees widened the margin to twelve. The injury situation deteriorated for Colm Bonnar when John Michael Nolan and Gary Bennett suffered knocks. Carlow sub Diarmuid Byrne received a straight red for a wild pull in front of the stand after 52 minutes. He was only introduced seven minutes earlier. Chris Nolan notched their first second half score on the hour mark. They finished with 13 as defender Ger Coady picked up two yellows. Late points from Michael Kearney and sub Callum Lyons added to their misery. Eight players were on target for the hosts as they prepare for bigger challenges in the coming weeks.
Scorers for Waterford: Stephen Bennett 1-8 (8fs), Thomas Ryan 1-1, Shane Bennett 1-0, Jamie Barron 0-2, Colin Dunford, DJ Foran, Michael Kearney, Callum Lyons 0-1 each.
Scorers for Carlow: M Kavanagh 0-4 (3fs), D Murphy (1f), E Byrne 0-2 each, R Coady, C Nolan 0-1 each.
WATERFORD: Billy Nolan; Shane McNulty, Conor Prunty, Noel Connors; Austin Gleeson, Michael Walsh, Jordan Henley; Jamie Barron, Colin Dunford; DJ Foran, Mikey Kearney, Jack Prendergast; Thomas Ryan, Stephen Bennett, Shane Bennett.
Callum Lyons for Henley (49),
Shane Ryan for Thomas Ryan (53),
Mícheál Harney for Dunford (59),
Stephen Roche for Shane Bennett (65).
CARLOW: Damien Jordan; Alan Corcoran, Michael Doyle, Gary Bennett; Ger Coady, David English, Richard Coady; Jack Kavanagh, Jack Murphy; John Michael Nolan, Ross Smithers, Seamus Murphy; James Doyle, Denis Murphy, Martin Kavanagh.
Edward Byrne for Martin Kavanagh (33),
Chris Nolan for John Michael Nolan (38),
Diarmuid Byrne for Seamus Murphy (45),
Ted Joyce for Bennett (49),
Sean Whelan for Jack Murphy (53).
REFEREE: John Keenan (Wicklow).