Deise fume at red card as O'Neill seals Tipp's place in semi-finals
REFEREE Diarmuid Kirwan was given a hostile reception by angry Waterford supporters following last night's quarter-final defeat against All-Ireland champions Tipperary.
Kirwan enraged Tipp fans with his performance in the 2009 senior final against Kilkenny, but he drew the ire of Waterford at Semple Stadium by sending off substitute Owen Whelan, who had been on the pitch less than 10 minutes before he was dismissed for two bookable offences.
Within a minute of coming on at half-time, Whelan received his first yellow card but the second award was harsh and left the Deise with an almost impossible task.
But Waterford, who trailed by 10 points in the first half and by eight with 13 minutes of normal time remaining, had the gap down to just two deep in stoppage-time as Brian O'Sullivan, who scored 1-4, found the net.
In a frantic finish, visiting fans were soon appealing in vain for a foul on Maurice Shanahan 25 metres out, but Kirwan waved away their claims.
And Tipp finally killed the game off in the fifth minute of stoppage-time when John O'Neill scored his second goal of the game in front of 4,392 spectators on a glorious evening for hurling.
The end result saw Tipperary avenge their 10-point defeat at Fraher Field in this competition two years ago.
The game started in fiery fashion as off-the-ball scuffles broke out around the pitch before throw-in and Tipp, lining out with seven of the team that started against Galway in last September's final, got off to a great start when senior star and team captain Noel McGrath buried a fourth-minute penalty.
Tipp led from there until the finish -- at half-time, the winners were ahead by 2-9 to 0-7 -- to set up a semi-final meeting with Cork on July 20.
Their second goal, from Sean Curran in the 13th minute, was tapped home from close range following good work by O'Neill.
Scorers -- Tipperary: J O'Neill 2-2, N McGrath 1-1 (1-0 pen), S Curran 1-0, A Ryan 0-3, J O'Dwyer 0-2 (1f), B Stapleton, P Murphy, B O'Meara, M Sheedy 0-1 each. Waterford: B O'Sullivan 1-4, Pauric Mahony 0-6f, M Shanahan 0-4, J Dillon, O Connors 0-1 each.
TIPPERARY -- P Ryan; C Haugh, K O'Gorman, S Maher; B Stapleton, J Barry, P Heffernan; N McGrath, J Gallagher; S Curran, P Murphy, A Ryan; J O'Neill, B O'Meara, J O'Dwyer. Subs: S O'Brien for Barry (inj, h-t), A McCormack for Ryan (39), M Sheedy for Curran (56).
WATERFORD -- S O'Keeffe; J Barron, D Fives, N Connors; P Prendergast, Philip Mahony, S Daniels; S Roche, A Brophy; E Murphy, Pauric Mahony, M O'Neill; B O'Sullivan, M Shanahan, J Dillon. Subs: O Whelan for O'Neill (h-t), O Connors for Brophy (47), E Madigan for Murphy (inj 56).
REF -- D Kirwan (Cork).