By Alan Gunn
The Waterford full-forward line was in devastating form as they proved far too strong for Monaghan in this TG4 All-Ireland SFC Group 2 clash at Shamrock Park in Cremartin.
The trio of Eimear Fennell, Maria Delahunty and Michelle Ryan combined for 4-13 of their side’s total with Fennell completing a first half hat-trick in just five minutes at the end of the first quarter.
Monaghan, despite a bright start, were chasing the game after that and they now must defeat champions Dublin next weekend if they are to avoid a relegation battle.
Monaghan were forced to field without their experienced captain Cora Courtney, who was out through injury and they were unable to call on their minors who will be involved in Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final.
While it was the visitors, hoping to bounce back after an opening round loss to champions Dublin, who looked much the sharper in the early stages, Monaghan opened an early lead through Louise Kerley, Ciara McAnespie and Abbie McCarey to give them a 0-3 to 0-1 advantage after nine minutes.
Waterford, who had wasted two earlier goal chances, finally found the net on 10 minutes when Eimear Fennell struck and within five minutes the Abbeyside girl had a hat-trick to her name to put the Deise in the driving seat.
The home side responded with Ciara McAnespie and Kerley points but Waterford always looked dangerous were soon seven clear again. Monaghan though got a boost before the break when Casey Treanor rattled the net to give them some hope, but Waterford led 3-5 to 1-6.
Waterford put the game to bed in the third quarter with an unanswered 2-9, Maria Delahunty starting the rout with a goal within 30 seconds of the restart. Aileen Wall hit her side’s fifth goal on 38 minutes as they laid siege on the Monaghan goal.
Monaghan kept going and had goal chances themselves but Rosie Landers denied them. At the other end the Munster side continued tag on scores and finished with further goals from Kellyann Hogan and Delahunty.
Scorers - Waterford: E Fennell 3-4 (2f), M Delahunty 1-5 (0-2f), C Fennell 1-2, M Ryan 0-4, KA Hogan 1-1, A Wall 1-0, K Murray, K McGrath, L McGregor 0-1 each. Monaghan: C Treanor 1-0, L Kerley (1f) C McAnespie 0-3 each, A McCarey 0-2, C McBride, S Coyle 0-1 each.
Monaghan: B Tierney; K Lambe, S Boyd, R Hughes; A McAnespie, H McSkane, N Kerr; A McCarey, E McAnespie; S Coyle, N McGuirk, C McBride; E Woods, L Kerley, C McAnespie.
Subs: C Treanor for McGuirk (27), G McNally for Hughes (29), L Flynn for Lambe (47), R Hughes for Coyle (58), N McGuirk for Woods (59).
Waterford: R Landers; C McGrath, E Murray, Kate McGrath; R Tobin, Karen McGrath, A Mullaney; K Murray, C Fennell; A Wall, K Hogan, M Wall; E Fennell, M Ryan, M Delahunty.
Subs: B Valuntaite for Mullaney (42), L McGregor for Tobin (45), E Gildea for M Wall (55), K Moroney for Landers (55), D Curran for Ryan (60).
Ref - G Carmody (Sligo).Tweet