Sport Hurling

Saturday 16 December 2017

Game at a glance

Man of the match

Noel McGrath (Tipperary)

He has had a quiet season up to now but thrived in the freedom he enjoyed at centre-forward where he prospered against no less a No 6 than Michael 'Brick' Walsh, who wasn't anywhere near as effective as he has been all season.

Turning point

Tipperary's second goal, scored by Eoin Kelly in the 52nd minute, put them eight points clear. Waterford had been hanging on up to then, but that goal set them a target they were never going to reach, as the Premier County gleefully kicked on.

Talking point

The success of relocating Noel McGrath to centre-forward in a pre-match move by Liam Sheedy. It oiled up Tipperary's attacking engine, which ran extremely smoothly all through.

Ref watch

A good performance by John Sexton. Always in control, he was decisive in his calls and encountered no controversies.

They said

Liam Sheedy (Tipperary manager):

"All you do is you let these guys out and you let them play. They're lovely hurlers, lovely stick-men. There's a lot of open space in Croke Park and I thought any time they got into open space they flourished."

Davy Fitzgerald (Waterford):

"My two years (term) are up, I haven't a clue what's going to happen. When I wake up tomorrow, I'll have to ask myself did I do everything possible? Was I as honest as I could possibly be? And I can say that for sure. You might have a few lads that'll go (retire) who've been great servants, but you've a lot of young lads coming again and I think the future is bright for Waterford."

Match statistics

Wides: Tipperary 10 (5); Waterford 7(5).

Frees: Tipperary 13 (9); Waterford 17 (7).

Yellow Cards: Tipperary 5 (P Stapleton 25, B Maher 34, Patrick Maher 46, D Fanning 56, P Curran 70); Waterford 1 (J Mullane 11).

Red Cards: Tipperary 0; Waterford 0.

Attendance: 49,754.

What next?

Tipperary play Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final on September 5; Waterford will reflect on how they lost an All-Ireland semi-final for the fourth time in five years.

Irish Independent

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