This NHL Division 1A clash saw Tipperary come out on top after a dour encounter in Walsh Park, with six points to spare at the end, writes Michael Moynihan.
The 7,344 in attendance saw Waterford attack the scoreboard end in the first half, with last season’s Young Hurler and Hurler of the Year, Austin Gleeson , getting a roving commission up front though named at centre-back.
Tipperary’s John McGrath and Waterford’s Pauric Mahony swapped frees early on as both sides got to know each other, hitting some poor wides in the process.
At the end of the first quarter the sides were level with five points apiece, neither team gaining an advantage or working a clear goal chance. McGrath and Mahony swapped frees to the break, when Jason Forde popped up with the lead score for Tipp: 0-11 to 0-10.
Tipp stretched that lead to three ten minutes into the second half, at which point the game livened up, with some hard exchanges, though Waterford struggled to make inroads on the visitors’ lead.
Steven O’Brien won a Tipp penalty on 52 minutes which Bubbles O’Dwyer took only for Ian O’Regan to save brilliantly.
Entering the final quarter another brilliant O’Regan save - from Noel McGrath - rebounded to John McGrath, whose goal made it a six point game on 57 minutes, giving Tipperary some breathing space. Try as they might, Waterford couldn’t close that gap.
Scorers for Waterford: P. Mahony (0-9, 0-8 frees); B. O’Halloran (0-2); M. Kearney, T. Devine, A. Gleeson, G. O’Brien (0-1 each).
Scorers for Tipperary: J. McGrath (1-7, 0-4 frees); J. O’Dwyer (0-3 frees)(0-4); J. Forde, S. O’Brien (0-2 each); K. Bergin, B. Maher, N. O’Meara (0-1 each).
WATERFORD: I. O’Regan, S. Fives, B. Coughlan, N. Connors, C. Gleeson, T. de Burca, S. McNulty, G. O’Brien, K. Moran, M. Kearney, P. Mahony, T. Devine, Shane Bennett, J. Dillon, A. Gleeson.
Subs: D. Lyons for McNulty (43); Stephen Bennett and C. Dunford for Dillon and G. O’Brien (48); M. Shanahan for Kearney (60); B. O’Halloran for Dunford (inj., 61).
TIPPERARY: D. Mooney, D. Maher, J. Barry, J. O’Dwyer, S. Kennedy, T. Hamill, P. Maher, B. Maher, K. Bergin,
D. McCormack, J. Forde, S. O’Brien, A. McCormack, J. McGrath, N. O’Meara.
Subs: John O’Dwyer for A. McCormack (28); N. McGrath for Forde (50); M. Breen for Bergin (54); S. Callanan for O’Brien (57); M. Cahill for Joe O’Dwyer (65).
Referee: D. Kirwan (Cork).