Waterford 4-18  Hoboken 3-7

Waterford marked their return to the New York GAA’s junior hurling ranks after a break of 12 years with an excellent win over last year’s finalists Hoboken. 

With Diarmuid Murphy in unstoppable form, he accounted for 3-07; they had a bona fide game winner in the forward line. All-Ireland winner Stephen O’Neill was also in top form at number six. 

After a brief wait, both sides were wearing predominantly white shirts, Fermanagh were good enough to supply a change set.

The sides split the first four points with David Varley and Paul Loughnane scoring for Hoboken while Murphy and Emmitt Whelan did likewise at the other end. 

After a second Whelan point Hoboken had the first goal chance when John Fitzgerald was fouled in the box.  Loughnane made no mistake with the penalty and his side was ahead 1-2 to 0-3.

The goal was immediately cancelled out when Murphy had a touch of magic at the other end when he hit the net. Whelan followed with a point and Waterford were pulling away. 

Hoboken reacted correctly with three points from play, from Egan and Varley (two). They also had a clear cut goal chance go a begging when Fitzgerald was denied. 

They would rue the miss as Waterford closed out the half with a 2-1 scoring burst. It was the main hit men again in Whelan and Murphy as both hit the onion bag to extend the lead to 3-5 to 1-6 at the break. 

The winners put the game away in the third quarter of the game when they outscored their rivals 1-9 to 0-1. The scores were coming from all angles, but the defensive play of O’Neill, who won an All-Ireland minor medal last year, was tremendous and the foundation for attack after attack. 

Back to back soft goals for Hoboken from Loughnane and Mike O’Regan put a better gloss on the board, but that was about the height of it. 

For the winners, the center line was tremendous. Matt Cashman, Stephen O’Neill, Whelan and Murphy were powerful in their displays. They will have a major say in the direction of the junior title this season. 

Hoboken will look at the performances of Mike O’Regan, who battled hard throughout, David Varley and Paul Loughnane as the most positive. 

Waterford: 1 Niall Donnelly, 2 Matt Cashman, 4 Patsy McCourty, 5 Rob Healy, 6 Stephen O’Neill (0-1), 7 Shane Cotanco (0-1), 8 John Power (0-1), 9 Padraig Condron, 10 Emmitt Whelan (1-2), 11 Diarmuid Murphy (3-7), 12 Jim Nelligan (0-2), 13 Sean Barrett, 15 Ross Murphy (0-2). Sub: Conor Conway (0-1). 

Hoboken: 1 Shane Bourke, 2 Shane Murphy, 4 Seamus O’Driscoll, 5 Mike O’Regan (1-0), 6 Paul Loughnane (1-1), 7 Eric Doyle, 8 David Varley (1-3), 9 Leo Quigley (0-1), 10 John McDonnell (0-1), 11 John Fitzgerald, 12 Sean Dalton, 13 Sean Wynne, 15 Pat Egan (0-1). 

Man of the Match: Diarmuid Murphy (Waterford).

Referee: Eugene Kyne.