Browne masterclass lights the way as Tipp hold off Waterford

Tipperary 1-11 Waterford 1-6

Without the silken skills of the only Tipp man honoured with All-star recognition, it’s doubtful his team would have garnered their second win of the league campaign.

Browne was the difference between the sides, his first-half display, in particular, setting up the win. Named at centre-forward on the match programme, the Moyle Rovers clubman took up his more accustomed full-forward berth at the throw-in and from there proceeded to torment the home defence.

He finished the half with a tally of 1-5, and if there was a major element of good fortune about his goal, it was no less than his display deserved.

Yet it was Waterford who looked the better side early on, despite playing into a very strong wind, and they had the tonic of a superb Brian Wall goal in the 13th minute after a great move in which John Phelan and Aidan Ahearne were centrally involved.

Wall’s finishing from close range was clinical and it gave them a 1-2 to 0-3 lead that put them firmly in the driving seat. The introduction of Brian Mulvihill, who played in a club game earlier in the day, worked wonders for the Tipp attack, and he and Browne had the home defence almost continually under the cosh to the interval.

Browne struck for Tipp’s goal on 19 minutes when his 45-metre free flicked off the fingers of Waterford midfielder Aidan Ahearne and wound up in the back of the net. That goal gave Tipp a lead they never surrendered and, having built up a 1-8 to 1-2 half-time lead, they comfortably defended it in the second half.

Browne adopted a roving commission on the turnover, winning liberal ball around the half back line and midfield, and for all their territorial pressure in the closing quarter Waterford never seriously threatened to erase their half time deficit.

The introduction of Gary Hurney made for an improvement in the home attack in that second half, but Tipp were always the masters, with Browne, Mulvihill and a tireless Eamonn Hanrahan leading the way for their deserved five-point win.

Scorers: Tipp: D. Browne (1-5, 1-3 frees); B. Mulvihill (0-2); P. Austin (0-2); D. O’Brien, B. Hickey (0-1 each). Waterford: B. Wall (1-1); J. Ryan (0-2); P. Foley (0-2); J.Wall (0-1).

TIPPERARY: P. Fitzgerald; P. O’Flaherty. P. King. A. Morrissey; M. Peters. R. Costigan. C. Maher; E. Hanrahan. A. Fitzgerald; G. Hannigan. H. Coughlan. B. Hickey; P. Austin. D. Browne. D. O’Brien.

Subs: B. Mulvihill for Hannigan; K. Mulryan for A. Fitzgerald; A. Fitzgerald for Coughlan.

WATERFORD: E. Cunningham; E. Rockett. S. Briggs. J. Hurney; E. Walsh. M. Aherne. J. Phelan; A. Ahearne. P. Ogle; B. Wall. L. O’Lionain. S. Cunningham. J. Wall. P. Foley. J. Ryan.

Subs: G. Hurney for J. Wall; S. Dempsey for A. Ahearne; P. Power for O’Lionain; P. Hurney for Foley.

Referee: E. Whelan (Laois).

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