It was a particularly memorable win in league or championship for former Cork dual star Denis Walsh since he took over the managerial reins of office.
It was also Waterford’s first league win in more than two campaigns, and it was the county’s first triumph in the league against Tipperary since 1988.
“A first is always something special, the boys worked hard and deserved their win, and perhaps now we may have turned the corner,” an obviously delighted Walsh said.
Tipperary suffered a body blow even before a ball was kicked when in the warm up their most influential player, Declan Browne, went over on his ankle and was forced to pull out.
A confident Waterford raced into a three point lead inside eight minutes with scores from Gary Hurney, man of the match John Coffey, and Eoghan Walsh.
The latter’s point however was a real let off for Tipp because with only goalkeeper Philly Ryan to beat from 10 metres he spurned the golden goal chance and instead settled for the point. Industrious midfielder Aidan Fitzgerald eventually got Tipp off the mark in the 12th minute, and a steady improvement in their play had them level by the 27th minute despite playing against the wind.
Waterford however regained the initiative and further minors by Coffey and Hurney sent them at the interval break with an unflattering 0-6 to 0-4 lead. That two point advantage was trebled within six minutes of the restart with Coffey brilliantly goaling inside 30 seconds after a fine move that also involved Hurney and John Hearne, and an equally good point by Karl O’Keeffe.
Substitute Michael Webster threw Tipp a lifeline in the 44th minute when he finished the ball to the net after Tony Doyle’s great effort came back off an upright, and when Doyle himself quickly tacked on a point from a free the deficit was back to a precarious two.
But that was as close as Tipp were to come to salvaging this game. Instead Waterford eased to safer pastures with quality points from Walsh (2), O’Keeffe, and hugely effective substitute Richie Power, and at the end there was absolutely no room for argument.