Deadly Dillon delivers for Decies
WATERFORD booked a place in the semi-finals when they hung on to defeat Tipperary in a thrilling match at Walsh Park last night.
Tipperary looked the better team in the first half, but it was Waterford who went in at half-time leading by 1-9 to 0-7.
Tipp had only themselves to blame for that deficit as they shot 10 wides in the opening period. Waterford were far more economical in that first half, with Adam O’Sullivan and Jake Dillon scoring some excellent points.
With the half almost over, Waterford were gifted a goal when Tipperary goalkeeper James Maher spilled a long delivery from Shane Roche, and Cein Chester was on hand to tap into an empty net.
Waterford began the second half like a train and with Dillon and O’Sullivan on fire, they opened up a lead of nine points.
However, the home side went into their shell and after moving Jason Forde to midfield, Tipperary came into the game.
They were awarded a 21-yard free which was buried by Forde. With Liam McGrath on form from placed balls, Tipperary narrowed the gap to a point with five minutes left.
Then, Waterford responded with two points from Dillon to edge further ahead and, despite Tipperary putting their defence under heavy pressure, they held out. Waterford put the icing on the cake in injury-time when substitute Micheal Harney goaled to put the game beyond Tipperary.
Waterford now play Limerick in the semi-final, while Tipperary will have to come through the play-off in order to qualify for a semi-final against Clare.
SCORERS – Waterford: J Dillon 0-10 (0-8f, 0-1 ‘65’), C Chester 1-2, M Harney 1-0, A O’Sullivan 0-3, S Bennett 0-1. Tipperary: L McGrath 0-8 (0-7f), J Forde 1-1 (1-0f), D McCormack 0-2, S Maher, C Horan 0-1 each.
WATERFORD – P Cooke; J Barron, D Ahern, C Walsh; S O’Neill, D Foley, J Power; R Barry, S Roche; D Flynn, J Dillon, A O’Sullivan; S Bennett, C Kervick, C Chester. Subs: S McNulty for S Roche, M Harney for C Kervick, C Heffernan for A O’-Sullivan.
TIPPERARY – J Maher; J Bourke, J Meagher, J Peters; C Barrett, J Forde, T Hamill; C Hammersley, E Fennelly; S Maher, P Ralph, T Kirwan; L McGrath, D McCormack, C Horan. Subs: B Heffernan for P Ralph, B Maher for C Hammersley, P Ryan for C Horan.
REF – D MacKessy (Limerick).