By Michael Ellard
LIGHTENING failed to strike twice as Waterford were out gunned in an explosive manner by Tipperary in last night's Munster Intermediate Hurling Championship final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Winners of the biggest provincial prize of all at the expense of the same opponents a few weeks ago, Waterford's hopes of a glorious double were ruthlessly shattered by three quicksilver Tipperary goals in a four-minute spell in the second half, scored in quick silver fashion, after the change of ends.
Waterford were powered by four players from last season's Munster Club champions Ballygunner, including former senior inter-county representatives Stephen Frampton and Billy O'Sullivan.
However, the Déise found themselves under the cosh early on as
Tipperary really put it up to their
It took a marvellous save from goalkeeper Philip Flynn to deny full-forward Dan Hackett as Tipperary applied the early pressure.
After three early wides, right corner-forward Ger Maguire finally opened the scoring for Tipp with a point in the fifth minute.
Midfielder John Teehan followed with another four minutes later and then right half-forward Brendan Hogan hit over a point from a free.
Waterford, who also had a fair share of early wides, finally succeeded in breaking their duck with a point from left corner-forward Pat Fitzgerald in the 16th minute.
But with Ger Maguire sparkling up front for Tipperary, it took another outstanding save from Flynn to keep Waterford in the hunt. This time the Déise 'keeper spreadeagled himself to superbly block a Brendan Hogan effort.
However Tipp's first-half supremacy was graphically illustrated when full-forward Dan Hackett set up left corner-forward Simon Everard for a gem of a goal in the 25th minute.
Before Tipperary could build on this inspirational score however Waterford fought their way back with a goal from centre-forward Michael Molumphy after Billy O'Sullivan's effort was saved.
Tipperary led by 1-4 to 1-2 at half time after hitting 10 wides to their opponent's five.
With a totally re-arranged forward line Waterford lifted their game excitingly after the break and a point from substitute Brian Phelan left the bare minimum between the sides within seven minutes of the restart.
But then Tipperary struck with a vengeance. Three goals from Hackett, Teehan and Maguire in a devastating four-minute spell of power hurling rocked stunned Waterford to their foundations.
In the twinkling of an eye this game as a contest was all over even though Waterford received a slight glimmer of hope when centre-forward Molumphy scored his second goal in the 46th minute.
However there was no stopping a rampant and highly impressive Tipperary side which ended the game in a blaze of glory by fashioning a highly convincing and more meritorious seven points triumph.
Scorers, Tipperary: G. Maguire 1 2, S. Everard 1-1, J. Teehan 1-1, D. Hackett 1-0, B. Hogan 0-3 (all frees), S. Maher 0-1.
Waterford: M. Molumphy 2-0, B. Phelan 0-3, P. Fitzgerald 0-2 (0-1 free), A. Kirwan, M. Walsh 0-1 each.
TIPPERARY: F. Horgan, B. Gaynor, M. Peters, G. Griffin, K. Hogan, C. Morrissey, C. Everard, S. Maher, J. Teehan, B. Hogan, B. Stritch, P. Buckley, G. Maguire, D. Hackett, S. Everard. Subs. P. Morrissey for Hogan, M. Keeshan for C. Everard.
WATERFORD: P. Flynn, N. O'Donnell, Alan Kirwin, M. O'Sullivan, S. Frampton, S. Prendergast, V. O'Shea, Andrew Kirwin, C. Watt, P. Prendergast, M. Molumphy, N. Power, B. O'Sullivan, D. Howard, P. Fitzgerald. Subs. B. Phelan for O'Shea, S. Ryan for Howard, M. Walsh for Power, D. Prendergast for S. Prendergast.
Referee: D. Kirwan (Cork).