Robert Ahearne’s crucial second-half goal was somewhat fortunate however as Tipperary goalkeeper Paul Fitzgerald misjudged the flight of the ball and it bounced into the empty net.
“All these games are going to be tight,” Carew admitted. “We got a fortuitous goal when the ball hopped over the keeper but in saying that, we missed four or five scores.”
Two wins, a total of 3-17 without marquee forward Gary Hurney and two clean sheets all adds up to a satisfying start. “Defensively, we are hitting our targets, in terms of what we don’t want the opposition to get. Up front, Gary will probably add three or four points and if we are hitting 2-12, we will always have a chance. I’m hoping that a good league campaign will give us the confidence to compete in the summer. We are training quite heavy, no more than any other team at this time of the year. We want to perform in every game and if we perform, we feel we have a chance.”
In the lashing rain at Fraher Field, a Paul Whyte penalty put the hosts 1-1 to 0-0 ahead after six minutes. Their robust defence frustrated the Premier attack and they retained that advantage by the half hour. Tipperary strung together three points before half-time, however, to leave Carew’s side 1-4 to 0-6 in front at the break. On the resumption, the visitors picked up where they left off and sub Conor Sweeney made it all square from a free. The home side absorbed that period of dominance and never looked back after Ahearne’s delivery found the net on 43 minutes.
Scorers for Waterford: P Whyte 1-4 (4fs, pen); R Ahearne 1-1 (1f); P Hurney, T Grey, D Guiry 0-1.
Scorers for Tipperary: B Grogan 0-4 (4fs); P Acheson, B Fox, M Quinlivan, G Hannigan, C Sweeney (f) 0-1.
WATERFORD: S Enright; C Phelan, S Prendergast, M O’Gorman; T Grey, S Briggs, J Hurney; S Ahearne, T Prendergast; L Ó Lonáin, C McGrath, P Hurney; D Guiry, R Ahearne, P Whyte. Subs: G Nugent for McGrath (30); S O’Hare for T Prendergast (65); J Veale for P Hurney (67); S Dempsey for Guiry (70).
TIPPERARY: P Fitzgerald; J Coughlan, P Codd, A Morrissey; A Campbell, C McDonald, B Fox; G Hannigan, H Coughlan; P Acheson, L McGrath, D Leahy; A Moloney, B Grogan, M Quinlivan. Subs: B Jones for H Coughlan (23); C Sweeney for Moloney (H-T); R Kiely for Morrissey (41); B O’Brien for Leahy (50); A Matassa for McGrath (50).
Referee: A Nolan (Wicklow)