Grogan on hand for Tipp to deny Deise charge with crucial strike
CLUB commitments for Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice next weekend look set to ensure that the final against Tipperary is brought forward by 24 hours.
Fitzmaurice is due to line out for Finuge against Monasterevin in the All-Ireland intermediate club semi-final on Sunday and Tipperary have agreed to bring forward the decider to Saturday to allow Fitzmaurice fulfil his dual commitments.
The likely venue for the final is Tipperary town, where Tipp defeated Waterford in yesterday's hard-fought semi-final, needing extra-time to book their place in a second successive final.
Twice they fought back after Waterford had struck for crucial goals. Paul Whyte netted eight minutes from time to establish a 1-6 to 0-7 lead for the visitors, but, in a dour encounter, Tipp rallied to force a draw, with the sides locked at 0-10 to 1-7 after 70 minutes.
With a minute remaining in the first period of extra-time, sub Liam O Lionain's goal put Waterford 2-8 to 0-11 clear.
But Tipp found a response again and, after Darren Lowry struck the crossbar early in the second period, ace forward Barry Grogan palmed home Hugh Coghlan's delivery in the 83rd minute for the vital score.
Waterford were rocked by the early losses of centre-back Shane Briggs and midfielder Tommy Prendergast. Briggs limped off with a knee injury in the 23rd minute and Prendergast (groin) had to go off two minutes later.
Deise boss Niall Carew reflected: "I was pleased enough, but when you lose your centre-back and midfielder, you're always going to be playing catch-up. But in fairness to the boys, they responded well."
Kerry will start as hot favourites to claim a third success in four seasons, but Tipperary manager Peter Creedon will be quietly optimistic.
"We'll approach it the same way – trying to get the most out of the players we have," he said. "We may not train as hard this week as we have for the previous couple of weeks. I think some of the lads' legs were heavy today. But we showed a great bit of spirit to win it."
Scorers – Tipperary: B Grogan 1-6 (3f), B Fox 0-3, L McGrath, H Coghlan, C McDonald 0-1 each. Waterford: L O Lionain, P Whyte (1f), 1-1 each, G Hurney 0-4f, S Ahearne (f), T Grey 0-1 each.
TIPPERARY – P Fitzgerald; A Morrissey, P Codd, J Coughlan; C McDonald, S Kennedy, J O'Callaghan; G Hannigan, L Egan; C Sweeney, A Matassa, B Maher; L McGrath, P Quirke, B Grogan.
Subs: H Coghlan for Matassa (h-t), B Fox for O'Callaghan (h-t), B Jones for Sweeney (53), S O'Brien for Quirke (58), A Campbell for Kennedy (70+2), D Lowry for Maher (78).
WATERFORD – S Enright; J McGrath, S Prendergast, C Phelan; T Grey, S Briggs, J Hurney; T Prendergast, S Ahearne; P Whyte, P Hurney, M O'Gorman; D Guiry, G Hurney, G Nugent.
Subs: S O'Hare for Briggs (inj, 23), R Cahill for T Prendergast (inj, 25), L O Lionain for Cahill (56), A Brophy for J Hurney (68), S Dempsey for O'Hare (77), D Grey for O'Gorman (87).
Ref – E Walsh (Kerry)