Munster SFC: Tipperary triumph down south
Munster Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final
Tipperary 2-13 Waterford 1-08
By Dermot Keyes at Fraher Field
Tipperary advanced to a Munster Semi-Final meeting against Limerick, having successfully weathered a bright start from Waterford on what proved a fine evening for football at Fraher Field.
The hosts got off to an excellent start, with wing back Dermot Ryan pointing at the second attempt inside three minutes. From the next attack, instigated by Conor Murray, Brian Lynch sent James Walsh through on goal.
However, Colm O’Shaughnessy fouled Walsh, leaving referee Maurice Deegan with no option to award a penalty, which Jason Curry excellently converted.
Tipperary opened their account after seven minutes through Jack Kennedy, with Conor Sweeney converting two frees in the following three minutes.
Jason Curry landed his first free of the evening in the 11th minute before Sean O’Connor fired over an excellent point from 30 metres at the river end of the ground on the quarter hour. Nine minutes elapsed before the game’s next score, with Kennedy doubling his tally for the night. Barely a minute after Bill Maher’s strained hamstring brought his game time to an end, Tipperary found the net, also from the penalty spot when Michael Kiely brought down the onrushing Sean O’Connor. Conor Sweeney sent Paudie Hunt the wrong way to put the visitors ahead for the first time after 26 minutes.
Between then and the break, Tipperary enjoyed the better of proceedings, as gaps began to appear in a Déise defence which had withstood most of the Premier’s offensive forays during the opening 20 minutes.
A brace of Mikey O’Shea points in the 30th and 32nd minutes left David Power’s men in command, to the delight of the considerable travelling support.
A stoppage time free from Jason Curry fell unexpectedly into the arms of Tipp goalkeeper Michael O’Reilly in what was the final act of the half with the visitors deservedly leading by 1-8 to 1-2.
After the restart Waterford began brightly, with points from Dermot Ryan and Jason Curry (a free) inside three minutes. But between then and full-time, Tipp outscored the hosts by 1-5 to 0-4.
Sean O’Connor, a threat down the left all game long, smartly pointed after 47 minutes with the hard working Conor Murray replying with a point from Waterford’s next attack. Moments later, on his return from injury, Tipp substitute Steven Ryan dashed from beneath the lip of the stand, 60 yards from goal, to brilliantly find the net and effectively end the contest. But Waterford certainly didn’t throw in the towel, with a brace of Jason Curry frees leaving them five points in arrears after 51 minutes.
But between then and full-time, it was Tipperary who played with the greater rhythm with Conor Sweeney (0-2), Sean O’Connor and Championship debutant Mikey O’Shea all adding to the blue and gold’s tally.
“Two of our goals at the start of the year were to get out of Division Four and back into Sam Maguire,” said Tipp manager David Power following the full-time whistle. “That would be huge. And to get three, four, five Championship matches as well when it’s such a young group, something maybe people outside of Tipp wouldn’t realise, it’s a great credit to these lads.”
Scorers for Tipperary: Conor Sweeney (1-4; 1-0 pen, 0-2f), Sean O’Connor (0-4; 0-1f), Mikey O’Shea (0-3), Steven O’Brien (1-0), Jack Kennedy (0-2).
Scorers for Waterford: Jason Curry (1-4; 1-0 pen, 0-4f), Conor Murray (0-2), Dermot Ryan (0-2).
Tipperary: Michael O’Reilly; Shane O’Connell, Jimmy Feehan, Willie Eviston; Kevin Fahey, Colm O’Shaughnessy, Jack Harney; Conal Kennedy, Jack Kennedy; Bill Maher, Mikey O’Shea, Martin Kehoe; Teddy Doyle, Conor Sweeney, Sean O’Connor.
Subs: Eanna McBride for Bill Maher (25), Steven O’Brien for Kevin Fahey (44), Liam McGrath for Martin Kehoe (60), Tommy Maher for Mikey O’Shea (66), Luke Boland for Jack Kennedy (71).
Waterford: Paudie Hunt; Michael Kiely, Darach Ó Cathasaigh, Brian Looby; Dermot Ryan, David Houlihan, Jordan O’Sullivan; Michael Curry, Jason Curry; Brian Lynch, Stephen Curry, Conor Murray; James Walsh, Tom O’Connell, Darragh Corcoran.
Subs: Tholom Guiry for Michael Curry (HT), Jack Keane for Stephen Curry (59), Jack Flavin for James Walsh (67).
Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois).