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Munster SHC: Waterford defeat Tipperary

Patrick Fitzgerald, Waterford, and Bryan O'Mara, Tipperary, in Munster SHC action at FBD Semple Stadium. Photo by Michael P Ryan/Sportsfile

Patrick Fitzgerald, Waterford, and Bryan O'Mara, Tipperary, in Munster SHC action at FBD Semple Stadium. Photo by Michael P Ryan/Sportsfile

Munster Senior Hurling Championship

Waterford 1-24 Tipperary 0-21

By Noel Dundon at FBD Semple Stadium

Unfancied Waterford put back-to-back championship victories over Tipperary at FBD Semple Stadium in the Munster senior hurling campaign with a performance which saw them blitz the hosts, who were uncharacteristically flat on the day.

Despite the loss Tipperary still progress to the All-Ireland series. Tipperary knew that victory from this game would send them into the provincial final against Clare, but Davy Fitzgerald's Waterford still produced a defiant display.

Both sides had changes from the teams announced during the week with Billy Nolan, Paddy Nealon and Patrick Fitzgerald coming in for Waterford instead of Conor Prunty, Jamie Barron and Austin Gleeson, while Brian McGrath and Seamus Callanan started for Tipp in place of Cathal Barrett and Jake Morris.

It was Waterford who showed the greater energy and desire in the first half as they raced to the dressing room at the break with a 0-17 to 0-8 interval lead. Indeed that lead could have been far greater had they taken their chances with eight wides also included in the main points of that half.

Tipperary were just so flat. The exertions of the previous weeks battle royale with Limerick had perhaps taken its toll, while Waterford were resting up ahead of their final clash of the championship.

Waterford had seven points on the board inside 12 minutes from Jack Fagan (3), Peter Hogan, Patrick Fitzgerald (2) and Darragh Lyons while Gearoid O’Connor had Tipperary’s solitary score in this period.

O’Connor was forced off through injury before the end of the half and while Tipperary did manage points from Seamus Callanan (2), Brian McGrath and his brother Noel, and O’Connor (3), Waterford were finding acres of space in the Tipperary defence and they punished their hosts for their lax approach.

Stephen Bennett had four more points while Dessie Hutchinson had three from play to go along with Billy Nolan and Neil Montgomery scores. Waterford were good for their nine point lead – Tipperary were in big trouble and showed few signs in that first half of being able to shake off the sense of lethargy.

Apart from a brief flurry of scores in the second half which yielded three in succession on two occasions, Tipperary never looked as though they were going to overcome the deficit.

Waterford were off the mark again upon resumption through Neil Montgomery and though Tipp had three from Noel McGrath (2) and Mark Kehoe, followed by McGrath and sub Conor Bowe to reduce the deficit to five, it was to be the closest they got to their visitors.

Waterford hit back with two from Bennett and the impressive Hutchinson who bagged a 17th minute goal to put Tipperary to the sword for defensive lapses. Waterford were now heading for the winning post and though Tipp came again with scores from the likes of Noel McGrath (3), Alan Tynan, Ronan Maher (2), Seamus Kennedy and Seamus Callanan, their race was run.

It was a fine showing from Waterford who really threw off the shackles and though playing only for pride, they certainly displayed it in abundance.

Tipp must regroup now and ready themselves for the All-Ireland series where they will face Offaly.

Scorers for Waterford: Stephen Bennett 0-8 (0-7 frees); Dessie Hutchinson 1-4, Jack Fagan 0-4, Neil Montgomery 0-2, Patrick Fitzgerald 0-2, Billy Nolan 0-1, Darragh Lyons 0-1, Peter Hogan 0-1, Patrick Curran 0-1.

Scorers for Tipperary: Noel McGrath 0-7 (all frees); Seamus Callanan 0-3, Gearoid O’Connor 0-4 (0-3 frees); Ronan Maher 0-2, Brian McGrath 0-1, Alan Tynan 0-1, Mark Kehoe 0-1, Conor Bowe 0-1, Seamus Kennedy 0-1.

Waterford: Shaun O’Brien, Mark Fitzgerald, Billy Nolan, Conor Gleeson, Iarlaith Daly, Callum Lyons, Jack Fagan, Conor Lyons, Paddy Nealon, Neil Montgomery, Patrick Fitzgerald, Jack Prendergast, Dessie Hutchinson, Stephen Bennett, Peter Hogan.

Subs: Patrick Curran for Neil Montgomery; Kevin O’Mahony for Peter Hogan; Colin Dunford for Jack Prendergast; DJ Foran for Patrick Fitzgerald; Conor Ryan for Conor Gleeson.

Tipperary: Rhys Shelly, Brian McGrath, Michael Breen, Ronan Maher, Eoghan Connolly, Bryan O’Mara, Seamus Kennedy, Dan McCormack, Alan Tynan, Conor Stakelum, Patrick Maher, Noel McGrath, Seamus Callanan, Gearoid O’Connor, Mark Kehoe.

Subs: Conor Bowe for Gearoid O’Connor; Johnny Ryan for Brian McGrath; Sean Ryan for Conor Stakelum; John McGrath for Patrick Maher; Joe Fogarty for Mark Kehoe.

Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow)