McCarthy fires Tipp to silverware in feisty affair
Tipperary 0-15 Wexford 1-10
Aishling Moloney and Aisling McCarthy contributed 0-11 between them as Tipperary were crowned Division 3 champions.
Despite losing three players to second-half sin-binnings, and finishing the game with 13 players, Tipp held out in Birr.
Beaten finalists after a replay with Waterford last year, Tipp got over the line this time to secure promotion to Division 2. And they had to do it the hard way, coming from six points down in the first-half.
Behind by 0-5 to 1-8 approaching the break, McCarthy's point kept Tipp in touch at the interval, trailing by five. They'd played against the wind in the opening half but opened the second-half with seven unanswered points, as Wexford lost former Kerry star Bernie Breen to the sin-bin.
Tipp went from six points down to two points up and they won the second-half by 0-9 to 0-2.
After half-time, McCarthy knocked over two frees before Moloney hit three on the trot.
Gillian O'Brien put over a 41st-minute point and when Moloney was on target again, Tipp moved 0-13 to 1-8 in front.
O'Brien was sent to the sin-bin in the 44th minute and when Maria Curley and Moloney followed, Tipp were down to 12 players.
Wexford's long run without a score finally ended in the 47th minute when Ellen O'Brien pointed and Catriona Murray levelled the game at 1-10 to 0-13.
Wexford were lucky not to concede a goal seven minutes from the end when McCarthy's free dropped short before Roisin Howard forced a brilliant save from Mary Rose Kelly, who tipped the ball onto the post.
Wexford were reduced to 14 players late on when Sarah Harding-Kenny was sin-binned before O'Brien's return brought Tipp back to 13.
Tipp managed to find the crucial late scores to secure victory, McCarthy taking her tally to 0-5 with a brace of frees.
Scorers - Tipperary: A Moloney 0-6 (1f), A McCarthy 0-5 (4f), O O'Dwyer 0-2, J Grant & G O'Brien 0-1 each. Wexford: F Rochford 1-3 (0-1f), E O'Brien & A Murphy 0-2 each, B Breen, K Kearney & C Murray (f) 0-1 each.
Wexford - M R Kelly; M Doyle, M Cullen, S Harding-Kenny; N Mernagh, R Murphy, G Hearne; B Breen, K Kearney; C Donnelly, C Murray, N Butler; A Murphy, F Rochford, E O'Brien. Subs: S Cloake for Hearne (46), F Rowe for Butler (57).
Tipperary - L Fitzpatrick; E Buckley, S Condon, C Condon; B Condon, S Lambert, M Curley; J Grant, A Moloney; E Fitzpatrick, A McCarthy, N Lonergan; G O'Brien, O O'Dwyer, M Morrissey.Subs: R Howard for Lonergan (46), E Kelly for Morrissey (52).
REF - S McNulty (Wicklow).