Munster SFC: Tipperary survive Waterford test
Munster Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final
Tipperary 3-9 Waterford 1-11
By Noel Dundon at FBD Semple Stadium
Tipperary survived a very stern test of their credentials in the Munster SFC first round tie at FBD Semple Stadium this afternoon when visitors Waterford threw everything at them in a bid to secure a famous victory.
The difference between the sides proved to be Tipperary's ability to get goals at crucial stages - a goal in either half proving key to their victory which came as a real fillip following a poor Allianz National Football League campaign - their third goal coming right at the death through midfielder Paudie Feehan, who bundled the ball over the line.
A damp afternoon, the ball was difficult to control for the players early on especially, but underfoot conditions were very sound and certainly did not impede the fare.
Though they were without centre forward Teddy Doyle from the outset - he was replaced by Donagh Leahy - the hosts started brightly and two points from Steven O'Brien helped to get them off the mark before Jason Curry had Waterford's first in the 12th minute from a free.
Tipp had extended their lead to 0-4 to 0-1 by the end of the first quarter with O'Brien again and Sean O'Connor pointing to give their side a decided advantage.
However, Waterford came back into the play and scores from Darragh Corcoran and Dermot Ryan had them within a point of Tipp.
A fine fisted goal from Steven O'Brien in the 29th minute off a Donagh Leahy centre gave Tipp a great boost and the score was to be the difference between the sides at the halfway mark, with Tipp leading by 1-5 to 0-5 - Jack Kennedy kicking a 45 for Tipp before the end while, Jason Curry and Darragh Corcoran had important scores for Waterford.
So, Tipp had the interval advantage but Waterford, having played right into the teeth of the strong breeze, were happy with their lot at the break - they were certain to press Tipperary very hard in the third quarter.
Tipperary could well have had a second goal at the end of the third quarter had it not been for Waterford keeper Paudie Hunt saving over a Colman Kennedy effort to give Tipp a 1-7 to 0-8 lead.
Waterford had two scores in quick succession after the restart through Darragh Corcoran and Dermot Ryan, before Sean O'Connor and Jason Curry traded scores. The Premier lads were just about keeping Waterford at bay, but as they faced towards the final straight it was all to play for.
A Waterford goal from centre forward Darragh Corcoran in the 25th minute gave the Deise the lead for the first time, but it was a short lived advantage with Stephen Quirke kicking a super score for Tipp to tie up the game.
And, amazingly Tipp struck a goal of their own a minute later when midfielder Jack Kennedy brought the ball in from the 40 soccer style and squared it for Quirke to fire to the net off the ground - a decisive score with seven minutes to go.
Waterford did all in their power to get back again but Tipp saw the game out with a Jack Kennedy point and a goal from Paudie Feehan right at the death sealing the much needed Premier County victory.
Scorers for Tipperary: Steven O'Brien 1-3, Stephen Quirke 1-1, Sean O'Connor 0-2, Jack Kennedy 0-2, Paudie Feehan 1-0, Colman Kennedy 0-1.
Scorers for Waterford: Darragh Corcoran 1-4, Jason Curry 0-5, Dermot Ryan 0-2.
Tipperary: Michael O'Reilly, Shane O'Connell, Jimmy Feehan, Colm O'Shaughnessy, Kevin Fahey, Colman Kennedy, Keith Ryan, Paudie Feehan, Jack Kennedy, Emmet Moloney, Donagh Leahy, Mikey O'Shea, Steven O'Brien, Stephen Quirke, Sean O'Connor.
Subs: Conor Cadell for Emmet Moloney, Mark Russell for Donagh Leahy, Rian Quigley for Sean O'Connor, Martin Kehoe for Mikey O'Shea, Willie Eviston for Keith Ryan.
Waterford: Paudie Hunt, Conor O'Cuirrin, Darrag Ó Cathasaigh, Liam Fennell, Dermot Ryan, Brian Looby, Jordan O'Sullivan, Michael Curry, Brian Lynch, Conor Murray, Darragh Corcoran, Jason Curry, Michael Kiely, Sean Whelan Barrett, Eoghan McGrath-Butler.
Subs: John Devine for Sean Whelan-Barrett; Donal Fitzgerald for Conor O'Cuirin.
Referee: James Molloy (Galway).