Treaty United fell to a home loss to second-placed Waterford, as Limerick native Ronan Coughlan helped himself to a hat-trick. It was a disappointing showing from Treaty, who made six changes to the starting side, perhaps with an eye on Friday’s clash with Kerry, also in Markets Field.
He left the experience of Dean George, Enda Curran and Stephen Christopher but will have liked some of what he saw from some individuals. Included in those was Darren Nwankwo, the 17-year-old defender battled gamely on his first start at this level.
This tie appeared over at half-time, as two Coughlan strikes, the first a penalty, in just four minutes but the Blues 2-0 ahead by the 24th minute. But half-time sub, Dean George headed home to cut the lead early in the second half.
There was fresh optimism that Treaty might rescue a point, but a killer blow arrived just after the hour mark. This strike, from defender Ryan Burke, proved too powerful for Shane Hallahan and inched into the corner.
Coughlan rounded out an impressive display when completing his hat-trick shortly after.
Treaty turn their focus to Friday’s clash with Kerry, as they look to defeat the Kingdom for the first time in their short history.
Treaty United: Shane Hallahan; Darren Collins, Ben O’Riordan, Andy Spain, Darren Nwankwo, Martin Coughlan; Colin Kelly, Scott Kirkland, Lee Devitt (C), Willie Armshaw; Success Edogun.
Subs: Alec Byrne for Kirkland, Dean George for Edogun (both half-time), Conor Barry for Coughlan, Stephen Christopher for Spain (both 71 mins), Niko Kozowski for Armshaw (76 mins).
Waterford: Paul Martin; Tunmise Sobowale, Dean Larkin, Giles Philips, Ryan Burke; Shane Griffin, Niall O’Keeffe, Barry Crowe-Baggley, Dean McMenamy, Connor Parsons; Ronan Coughlan.
Subs: Thomas Oluwa for Coughlan, Christopher Conn Clarke for Griffin (both 77 mins), Roland Idowu for Baggley, Eddie Nolan for McMenamy (both 84 mins), Romeo Akachukwu for O’Keeffe (89 mins).