After losing to Cork two weeks ago, Gough’s charges bounced back in impressive style when beating 2015 champions Tipperary at home and re-igniting their campaign.
Gough admitted: “The first day just wasn’t us. We went back to the basics, we had a chat about everything and the whole run-in to this game was completely different.”
Eoghan Murray experienced an off day against the Rebels but thrilled the home fans in the 1,621 attendance with 11 points (six from play).
Neil Montgomery’s second half goal gave Waterford a six-point buffer that they managed to protect.
Lyndon Fairbrother claimed 10 points for Tipp but last year’s All-Ireland finalists now face a trip to Clare to keep their championship alive.
Six first half points from Murray softened the blow of Dillon Quirke’s early goal for the visitors. In the sixth minute, Fairbrother gathered a Jake Morris sideline and he slipped a pass to Quirke who belted it past Nolan.
The Déise outscored their opponents 0-6 to 0-1, three each by Murray and Ruddle, over the closing 10 minutes to lead 0-11 to 1-6 at the break.
The Premier quickly got back on level terms through two Fairbrother frees. Murray and Ger Browne traded points to tie the game for the seventh time. In an end to end second half, Waterford broke away with a spurt of 1-3. On 43 minutes, Tipp netminder Ciarán Barrett pushed away a low shot from Douglas but Montgomery pounced on the rebound to blast home (1-15 to 1-9). Four minutes later, Nolan denied Quirke from point blank range. Fairbrother kept plugging away on placed balls but three points was as close as the visitors came.
E Murray 0-11 (4fs, 1 s-l); H Ruddle Redmond 0-5 (3 65s, 2fs); N Montgomery 1-1; J Prendergast 0-2; T Douglas 0-1.
L Fairbrother 0-10 (7fs, 2 65s); D Quirke 1-0; C Darcy 0-3; G Browne 0-2; J Morris, M Kehoe 0-1 each.
B Nolan; C Giles Doran, J Flavin, T Barron; M O’Brien, H Ruddle Redmond, C Dalton; D Power, C Curran; N Montgomery, M Mahony, E McGrath; J Prendergast, E Murray, T Douglas.
D Guiry for Mahony (51); C Kirwan for Montgomery (59); J Reade for E McGrath (60); D McGrath for Douglas (62).
C Barrett; C O’Dwyer, B McGrath, J Cahill; G Dunne, M Whelan, T Murphy; B O’Mara, J Morris; G Browne, D Quirke, M Kehoe; S Neville, C Darcy, L Fairbrother.
C Flanagan for O’Mara (H-T); D O’Connor for Morris (42); P Cadell for Murphy (48).
R McGann (Clare)