Late Waterford goal downs Tipp
By Shane Brophy
Tipperary died with their boots on as they fell to Waterford in a gripping All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship quarter final at Pairc Ui Chaoimh.
Trailing by eight points at the second water-break, Tipperary showed their character to get back within two and had their chances to get back on terms at least, including an injury time goal chance from John McGrath which Waterford goalkeeper Shaun O’Brien somehow deflected over the bar. From the next puckout, sub Neil Montgomery got in behind the Tipp defence for the decisive fourth goal which killed off the premier with Waterford adding two further points to rub salt into the wounds.
Tipperary were sluggish in the early going a found themselves 0-5 to 0-1 down inside five minutes as Waterford got into their rhythm with Patrick Curran, Jack Fagan, Dessie Hutchinson, and Jamie Barron (2) on target with Tipp’s only reply coming from Jason Forde.
However, Tipp hit for their first goal in the fifth minute as Seamus Callanan finished off a Noel McGrath pass and two minutes later, after Austin Gleeson was inches wide at the other end, Callanan got in behind Conor Prunty for his second goal and a 2-1 to 0-5 lead.
However, the goals were papering over a lethargy in Tipp whose first touch was off compared to Waterford who were running at Tipp every chance they got and they finally got the goal they threatened in the eleventh minute through Dessie Hutchinson after Barron and Prendergast ran at the Tipp defence.
The sides were level, 2-6 to 1-9 at the first water-break with Waterford striking for their second goal in the 22nd minute when Dessie Hutchinson goaled after Tipperary overplayed the ball in the middle of the field. Waterford pushed four clear but Tipp finished the half well with Jason Forde and John O’Dwyer to the fore from play, with Ronan Maher also on the mark as they trailed by one, 2-14 to 2-13.
The third quarter was always going to be vital and is where Tipp felt short again, losing the period 1-7 to 0-3, although they were on the wrong end of a controversial penalty call in the 45th minute when Michael Breen was penalised for fouling Austin Gleeson, and Stephen Bennett buried the shot to the net for a seven-point lead.
Tipp kept in touch and a great goal chance with Seamus Callanan pulling wide from close range which would have got them going just after the water-break but they slowly ate into Waterford’s lead, winning more possession and drawing frees which Jason Forder converted while subs Mark Kehoe and John McGrath, also made an impact on the scoresheet. Defensively, Tipp got a grip with Ronan & Padraic Maher and Cathal Barrett superb.
John McGrath saw a goal chance blocked by Waterford blood sub Shane Fives for a 65 which Forde converted to bring it back to four. Forde, and sub Willie Connors brought it back to two going into three minutes of injury time where, after Neil Montgomery restored the three point lead, John McGrath was played in, and doing everything right, got his shot away but O’Brien somehow deflected the ball over the bar.
There were still ninety seconds left but from the next long puckout, it broke favourably for Waterford with Neil Montgomery finally ending Tipp’s comeback.
SCORERS – Waterford: Dessie Hutchinson, Stephen Bennett (1-0 pen, 0-1 free), Austin Gleeson (0-2 s-cuts) 1-3 each; Neil Montgomery 1-2; Jamie Barron 0-4; Peter Hogan 0-3; Jack Fagan, Kieran Bennett, Michael Kiely 0-2 each; Patrick Curran, Shane McNulty, Calum Lyons, Colin Dunford 0-1 each.
Tipperary: Jason Forde 0-12 (7 frees, 2 65s); Seamus Callanan 2-0; John O’Dwyer 0-4; Ronan Maher, Michael Breen 0-3 each; John McGrath 0-2; Noel McGrath, Willie Connors, Mark Kehoe 0-1 each.
TEAMS – Waterford: Shaun O’Brien; Shane McNulty, Conor Prunty, Ian Kenny; Calum Lyons, Shane Bennett, Kieran Bennett; Jamie Barron, Peter Hogan; Patrick Curran, Jack Prendergast, Jack Fagan; Stephen Bennett, Austin Gleeson, Dessie Hutchinson.
Subs: Kevin Moran for Shane Bennett (blood 23-30); Michael Kiely for Curran (44); Neil Montgomery for Prendergast (59); Darragh Lyons for Fagan (63); Billy Power for Hogan (65); Shane Fives for McNulty (blood 66-67); Colin Dunford for Gleeson (70+1 inj).
Tipperary: Barry Hogan; Cathal Barrett, Brendan Maher, Padraic Maher; Barry Heffernan, Paddy Cadell, Ronan Maher; Alan Flynn, Dan McCormack; Michael Breen, Jason Forde, Noel McGrath; Seamus Callanan, John O’Dwyer, Jake Morris.
Subs: Seamus Kennedy for Heffernan (HT); Mark Kehoe for Morris (45); Willie Connors for McCormack (48); Niall O’Meara for O’Dwyer (53); John McGrath for Callanan (56).
Referee: Colm Lyons (Cork).