McGrath and Maher impress as Tipp edge Waterford

SECOND-HALF goals from substitutes Noel McGrath and Patrick Maher proved decisive as Tipperary defeated Munster finalists Waterford by five points in a keenly-contested senior hurling challenge at Semple Stadium last night.

At the midway point, Tipperary led by 0-15 to 0-13 as all six of the home side’s starting forwards, both midfielders and impressive right half-back David Young scored first-half points from play.

Waterford were reliant on the free-taking and general play of Eoin Kelly while Seamus Prendergast and Richie Foley chipped in with a brace of points each in the opening half.

Both sides fielded teams close to full strength as Waterford look forward to a Munster final showdown with Cork on July 11, while Tipperary host Wexford in the All-Ireland qualifiers on July 3.

In terms of how Tipperary might line up for Wexford, the positioning of All-Star defender Padraic Maher at centre-forward was a topic of conversation.

Young’s display in the number five shirt, decorated by three fine points from play, have enhanced his chances of a starting place against the Slaneysiders while Declan Fanning filled the full-back position which proved so troublesome against Cork on May 30.

The depth of talent available to Waterford boss Davy Fitzgerald was in evidence once again as two sets of brothers, the McGraths and Shanahans, came off the bench for the second half while Eoin Murphy and Shane Casey were also introduced.

Meanwhile, Tipperary’s dual player Ryan O’Dwyer has withdrawn from the county’s senior hurling and football panels after deciding to spend the summer in America.

Scorers for Tipperary: E Kelly 0-6 (4f), N McGrath 1-1 (0-1f), S McGrath & D Young 0-3 each, Patrick Maher 1-0, G Ryan, B Maher & P Bourke 0-2 each, Padraic Maher, J O’Brien, T Hammersley, L Corbett, D Egan & S Hennessy 0-1 each.

Scorers for Waterford: E Kelly 0-7 (5f), E McGrath 1-2, S O’Sullivan 0-3 (1f, 1 65), M Shanahan 0-3 (1f), R Foley, S Prendergast & J Mullane 0-2 each, S Walsh & D Shanahan 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY: B Cummins; P Stapleton, D Fanning, M Cahill; D Young, S Maher, C O’Brien; B Maher, S McGrath; G Ryan, Padraic Maher, J O’Brien; T Hammersley, E Kelly, L Corbett.

Subs: S Hennessy for Ryan (h/t), N McGrath for Hammersley (h/t), D Gleeson for Cummins (h/t), Patrick Maher for J O’Brien (49), D Egan for Kelly (60), M Heffernan for Corbett (64), P Bourke for Young (66).

WATERFORD: C Hennessy; J Maher, M O’Brien, N Connors; S Fives, M Walsh, D Prendergast; S O’Sullivan, R Foley; K Moran, S Prendergast, E Kelly; J Mullane, S Walsh, S Molumphy.

Subs: E Murphy for Maher (h/t), E McGrath for Foley (h/t), K McGrath for S Prendergast (h/t), D Shanahan for Moran (h/t), M Shanahan for Kelly (h/t), S Casey for Mullane (61).

Referee: John Sexton (Cork).

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