Tipperary finish strongly to get the better of Waterford and continue impressive start to 2017
Waterford 0-15 Tipperary 1-18
Lift-off for the 2017 season has been smooth and powerful for Tipperary hurlers as they seek to build on the impressive momentum established by winning last year’s All-Ireland title.
Easy winners over Dublin in the opening round of the Allianz League last weekend, they found Waterford much more difficult to dislodge in Walsh Park but eventually managed it with an impressive second half display, during which they outscored the home team by 1-7 to 0-5.
John McGrath’s goal in the 58th minute, batted in after a shot from from his brother Noel was brilliantly saved by Waterford goalkeeper, Ian O’Regan, proved hugely important in a game that never reached anticipated heights in front of a crowd of 7,344.
That goal gave Tipperary a six-point lead, which they guarded all the way to the finish line for a victory which takes to the top of the 1A table on full points from two wins.
Tipperary led by a point (0-11 to 0-10) after a first half where the sides were level ten times. Waterford, playing with the breeze, led by a point on no fewer than seven occasions but Tipperary drew level every time before Jason Forde put them ahead in stoppage time.
Waterford, who were forced to line out without Jamie Barron and Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh, should have had a higher return but missed some good chances, with Austin Gleeson the main culprit, shooting wide four times from open play.
It undermined much good work by the Mount Sion man, who played in a range of positions in attack. His colleague, Pauric Mahony was far more accurate, picking off seven points, five from frees. At the other end, John McGrath was very reliable too, scoring five points, three from frees.
Scorers: Tipperary: J McGrath 1-6 (3f), John O’Dwyer 0-5 (4f), J Forde, S O’Brien 0-2 each, N O’Meara, B Maher, K Bergin 0-1 each.
Waterford: P Mahony 0-9 (8f), B O’Halloran 0-2, T Devine, M Kearney, G O’Brien, A Gleeson 0-1 each.
Tipperary: D Mooney; D Maher, J Barry, J O’Dwyer; S Kennedy, T Hamill, P Maher; B Maher, K Bergin; D McCormack, J Forde, S O’Brien; A McCormack, J McGrath, N O’Meara.
Subs: J O’Dwyer for A McCormack (28), N McGrath for Forde (50), M Breen for Bergin (55), S Callanan for O’Brien (59), M Cahill for J O’Dwyer (64).
Waterford: I O’Regan; S Fives, B Coughlan, N Connors; C Gleeson, T De Burca, S McNulty; G O’Brien, K Moran; T Devine, M Kearney, P Mahony; Shane Bennett, J Dillon, A Gleeson.
Subs: D Lyons for McNulty (43), Stephen Bennett for Dillon (48), C Dunford for O’Brien (48), M Shanahan for Kearney (61),
Ref - D Kirwan (Cork)