14-man Tipp fight back from 11 points down to draw with Waterford but errors from officials dominate the headlines
TIPPERARY 2-22 WATERFORD 2-22
Referee Alan Kelly and a couple of his umpires had to be escorted off the field at the end of this rip-roaring Munster Championship contest in which Tipperary came from eleven points down with fifteen minutes to go to rescue a draw in Limerick.
Waterford players and supporters were furious with the controversial award of a 62nd minute Tipp goal in which Austin Gleeson was deemed to have taken the ball over the goal-line.
Incredible drama at the Gaelic Grounds!@TipperaryGAA right back in it after a goal is given from this Jason Forde free. Looks like the Umpire gave it! Over the line??#MSHC #GAA pic.twitter.com/bxlNNGQyfv— eir Sport (@eirSport) June 3, 2018
TV replays did not seem to back up the decision and when Kelly then over-ruled his umpires to award Tipp a point from a 73rd minute Ronan Maher effort, Waterford voices erupted in more anger.
A Jason Forde free then earned Tipp a draw they seemed a million miles removed from as Waterford completely dominated the game for the first 50 minutes. But a stirring 58th minute goal from Tipp substitute, 'Bonner' Maher seemed to tilt the balance back in Tipp's favout and Waterford could never again recalim the momentum.
Waterford opened like a whirlwind and were already 0-5 to 0-3 in front when the rampant Tom Devine lanced home their first goal, a smart finish after Tipp's defence failed to deal with a long Austin Gleeson free.
Maneger, Derek McGrath, had opted to go orthodox given the two men who normally played sweeper, Tadhg de Burca and Darragh Fives, were both on the injured list. It meant 'Brick' Walsh reverting to a wing-back role with Gleeson positioned at number six, from where he won an All-Ireland minor title five years ago.
Tipp looked leaden in the Limerick sunshine, Seamus Callanan, isolated on the edge of the 'square' and only Jason Forde's free-taking really keeping the Premier County in contention.
And they looked to have weathered Waterford's early storm when a burst of five unanswered points between the 17th and 22nd minutes brought the margin down to the minimum (0-11 to 1-9) before they were hit for a second sucker punch into the Ennis Road goal.
That came in the 26th minute and it was unconventional to put it mildly. Austin Gleeson played a free Stephen O'Keeffe, the Waterford goalkeeper - incredibly - having run almost to the half-way line. O'Keeffe's effort at point dropped into the Tipp 'square' where Padraic Maher batted the ball out an un-marked Pauric Mahony whose finish was emphatic.
Waterford won the remainder of the half 0-3 to 0-1, to take a six points lead to the dressing-room, Tipp's plight now compunded by Michael Cahill having been dismissed on a second yellow.
But Tipp's fourteen men came with that storming finish, aided by that controversial award of a Tipp goal that maybe never was.
SCORERS: Tipperary - J Forde 1-14 (1-11 frees), Patrick Maher 1-0, R Maher 0-3, S Callanan 0-2, B McCarthy, N McGrath and C Barrett 0-1 each.
Waterford - Pauric Mahony 1-9 (0-5 frees), T Devine 1-2, J Barron and DJ Foran 0-3 each, P Curran 0-2, Philip Mahony, T Ryan and S Bennett 0-1 each
TIPPERARY: B Hogan, S O'Brien, S Kennedy, M Cahill, Joe O'Dwyer, Padraic Maher, B Maher, R Maher, B McCarthy, D McCormack, J Forde, N McGrath, John O'Dwyer, S Callanan, J McGrath. Subs - Patrick Maher for O'Dwyer (46 mins), C Barrett for N McGrath (55 mins), J Morris for J McGrath (59 mins), S Curran for McCormack (60 mins), W Connors for B McCarthy (67 mins).
WATERFORD: S O'Keeffe, C Gleeson, S Fives, N Connors, Philip Mahony, A Gleeson, M Walsh, J Barron, S Roche, Pauric Mahony, P Curran, DJ Foran, M Kearney, T Devine, S Bennett. T Ryan for Kearney (46 mins), B O'Halloran for Curran (55 mins), J Dillon for Foran (58 mins), C Dunford for Roche (62 mins), S McNulty for Connors (65 mins).
Referee - A Kelly (Galway).