Tipperary deservedly won the Munster Final against Waterford, in front of an attendance of 26,438 fans, in Pairc Ui Chaoimh today, killing off their challengers slowly point by point.
Tipperary appeared wasteful in the early stages, with Shane Walsh, John Mullane & Pauric Mahony sending over the first three opening points for Waterford without response in the first eight minutes.
Brian O’Meara finally puts Tipp on the scoreboard but Maurice Shanahan’s free quickly restored Waterford’s three-point advantage leaving the score Tipperary 0-01 Waterford 0-04.
However Patrick Maher’s pass to John O’Brien sees the ball planted firmly in the net despite a very difficult angle. The confidence of Tipperary now begins to show.
Referee Cathal McAllister had to calm a few players down after a brief spate of tough shouldering and a few head-to-head confrontations, however with ‘tit for tat points’ from both sides courtesy of Shane Walsh, Padraic Maher, Shane McGrath, John O’Brien, Noel McGrath, Maurice Shanahan & John Mullane, at half-time the scoreboard read – Tipperary 1-08 Waterford 0-11, but Waterford’s clear statement of intent had been checked.
The second half saw all to play for & Waterford again were first on the scoreboard courtesy of Stephen Molumphy. However Tipperary began to raise the stakes & rattled off a series of points from O’Meara, Noel McGrath, O’Brien and Cahill.
In the 55th minute the Waterford defence failed to clear a ball, dropped short from Kelly and Shane Bourke reacted quickly to chastise, striking the loose ball smartly into the net & leaving Waterford 2-13 to 0-14 adrift and running out of steam.
Kelly & Bourke would also swept over the final points of the day.
The talents of Brendan Cummins were called for on numerous occasions in both halves to dealt with Waterford’s ever present danger, one occasion being a dangerous ground ball sent courtesy of Paul O’Brien, but alas to no avail for Waterford.
All eyes will now be focused on the draw for the All-Ireland Hurling Championship quarter-finals, which can be heard on Morning Ireland at 7.55 on Monday.
FINAL SCORE: Tipperary 2-17 – Waterford 0-16
TIPPERARY SCORERS: J. O’Brien 1-03, S. Bourke 1-01, N. McGrath (0-02) E. Kelly (0-03 ), B. O’Meara (0-02), P. Bourke (0-02), Padraic Maher, S. McGrath, M. Cahill (0-01) a piece.
TIPPERARY TEAM: Brendan Cummins; Conor O’Brien, Paul Curran (Capt), Michael Cahill; Thomas Stapleton, Conor O’Mahony, Padraic Maher, Brendan Maher, Shane McGrath; Pa Bourke, Patrick Maher, Lar Corbett, Brian O’Meara, John O’Brien, Noel McGrath.
SUBS USED: Eoin Kelly, Shane Bourke, Donagh Maher, Seamus Callanan.