Willie John Kiely opened the scoring for Waterford before David Cassidy equalised. Conan Byrne got the winner with just over 13 minutes left, but both sides missed numerous chances to score.
Waterford took the lead after 16 minutes through Willie John Kiely, who looked threatening for the Blues throughout. After some nice passing Conor Sinnott, he crossed for Kiely to head well beyond the reach of Shels 'keeper Dean Delany.
Philly Hughes was dangerous for Shels and had two clear chances to equalise between the 24th and 28th minutes. First he glanced a header wide after Conan Byrne crossed, then he almost scored with an audacious chip after being fed the ball by Gareth Matthews but the ball fell just wide in the end.
But by far the clearest chance for Shels came after 34 minutes. Brendan McGill volleyed the ball into an unmarked David McGill right in front of goal and somehow the Shels captain missed. Conan Byrne emulated his captain four minutes before half time, opting to unsuccessfully try to take down a cross instead of head the ball in right in front of goal.
Waterford looked comfortable on the ball and had a series of corners and free-kicks which made Shels uncomfortable. They looked like they would close the half strongly, but just on the stroke of half time Philly Hughes' looping shot fell just over and on to the top of the net leading most of Tolka Park to think it was a goal.
Shels came out with a real hunger to equalise, but for the first twelve minutes of the half the visitors were able to frustrate Alan Mathews' side. Conor Sinnott took a long range pot shot on 53 minutes, which fell over. After a period of sustained attacking, Shels equalised on 56 minutes through David Cassidy. Conan Byrne put the ball in first, only for the ball to be returned to him. On the second attempt, Byrne found David Cassidy who finished simply in front of goal .
Chance after chance fell to Shels after the equaliser. Conan Byrne missed another sitter in front of goal after 58 minutes. Two minutes later Kevin Burns pulled off a fine save to deny Lorcan Fitzgerald a volleyed goal and Burns again spared Waterford on 76 minutes by saving a rasping Philly Hughes free-kick.
Shels weren't disheartened by their misses though and came back again and again looking for a winning goal. Conan Byrne atoned for his earlier misses by getting that goal after 78 minutes, showing his skill by turning his back to goal and shooting powerfully past Burns. Waterford could have equalised on 88 minutes though, only for a fantastic Dean Delany save. Delany pushed a Kevin Murray header over the bar after a Blues corner.
With seconds left David Cassidy forced Burns to save from point blank range and, with an open goal, Cassidy the shot wide. Waterford sped up the pitch and just missed a connection in front of goal meaning Shels ran out 2-1 winners.
Shelbourne: Dean Delany; Gareth Matthews, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Ian Ryan, Andy Boyle; Colm James, David McGill (Kevin Dawson '72), David Cassidy, Conan Byrne, Brendan McGill (Sean Byrne '91); Philip Hughes (Chris Mulhall '85).
Subs Not Used: Paul Skinner, Barry Clancy, John Sullivan, Karl Bermingham.
Waterford United: Kevin Burns; Paul Carey (Brian Nolan '66), Kenny Browne, Kevin Murray, Michael Coady; Seamus Long, Paul Walsh, Conor Sinnott, Paul Murphy (Paul Phelan '79); Willie John Kiely, Adam McSherry.
Subs Not Used: Sean Barron, Lee Chin, Shane Dempsey, Gary Keane, Dwayne Wilson.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Brendan McGill.