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Evans desperate to book final place

TIPPERARY manager John Evans has targeted a first McGrath Cup final appearance for the Premier County since 2003.

Evans watched his side demolish Waterford IT by 22 points yesterday to set up a semi-final meeting with Sigerson Cup holders and Cork senior champions UCC next Sunday.

For the third successive weekend, Tipp will host third-level opposition but Evans admitted that UCC will represent a significant step up in class.

"I'm happy enough the way preparation is going, but I still don't think we're remotely near the fine-tuning of UCC at the moment," he said.

"But we're on home turf and we'll be looking for three wins on the trot.

"We haven't been in a McGrath Cup final -- we were beaten in the semi-final by Kerry two years ago. It would be nice to get into a final and we'll be looking for that."

Ace marksman Barry Grogan emerged as the star turn for Tipp yesterday with a personal haul of 3-3, including 3-2 from play, while Philip Austin landed 0-5 from play.

In the other corner-forward position, Conor Sweeney helped himself to 0-3 as the Tipp inside line combined for 3-11.

Having made his senior inter-county debut a week previously, 2011 All-Ireland minor winner Michael Quinlivan came off the bench to score 1-1 in the second half, while the return of former team captain Robbie Costigan was another bonus for Evans.

Costigan did not feature in 2011 as he was in Australia for a year, but the Cahir man was solid in the middle of the field on an afternoon when Jonathan Ryan, Niall O'Meara and David Butler were handed their full senior inter-county debuts.

Tipp -- much improved on their previous showing against Limerick IT -- blew away Waterford IT, establishing a 2-8 to 0-3 lead at half-time.

WIT were restricted to just two points from play during the entire game as Kevin O'Grady raised four white flags from frees.

Scorers -- Tipperary: B Grogan 3-3 (0-1f), P Austin 0-5, M Quinlivan 1-1, C Sweeney, B Mulvihill 0-3 each, B Fox 0-1. Waterford IT: K O'Grady 0-4f, S Murphy, C McDonnell 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY -- M O'Donnell; J Ryan, P Codd, A Morrissey; L Egan, T Ryan, N O'Meara; R Costigan, B Jones; B Fox, D Butler, P Acheson; C Sweeney, B Grogan, P Austin. Subs: E Connolly for T Ryan (h-t), M Quinlivan for Austin (44), D Heffernan for Costigan (47), B Mulvihill for Fox (52), J O'Callaghan for Jones (58).

WIT -- B Redmond (Wexford); L Thomas (Kildare), E Walsh (Waterford), S Murphy (Laois); B Rogers (Louth), M Molloy (Wexford), J McGrath (Waterford); S Culleton (Wexford), S Prendergast (Waterford); B McGarr (Wicklow), G Ward (Waterford), C McDonnell (Kildare); K O'Grady (Wexford), S Burke (Laois), L McGrath (Tipperary). Subs: B Thornton (Kildare) for Burke (h-t), S Dalton (Meath) for Ward (44), D Doyle-Murphy (Wexford) for Thomas (58), P O'Hagan (Waterford) for McDonnell (69).

REF -- M Collins (Cork).

Irish Independent