A bona fide slog for Tipperary but it shouldn’t have been, not when they had the numerical advantage for almost 50 minutes.
For eight of those minutes, they had two men to the good before Cathal Barrett followed Austin Gleeson (two yellow cards) and Kevin Moran in being shown to the line by referee Seán Stack.
And they had to rely on Waterford’s profligacy in the second half.
Their 11 wides (16 overall) sapped the abundance of energy they were already expending on an impressive-looking Semple Stadium field chasing after Tipperary.
After a fine game against Galway the previous weekend, Pauric Mahony had one to forget in accumulating nine wides.
As Cork’s defeat to Galway confirmed Waterford’s place in a quarter-final at least, Cahill wasn’t too downhearted afterwards.
Annoyed, yes, by the decision on a linesman’s evidence to dismiss Kevin Moran for a jab at Jason Forde but overall pleased with the heart shown in the second half, which they won 1-8 to 0-10.
“It had a really competitive edge to it, especially after the sendings off, and I think both teams would be happy with what they got out of today.
“They showed great resolve again, very happy with them that way. They’re applying themselves really well. The respect they’re showing management and Mikey (Bevans) coaching-wise and the management team and everyone associated with it is really, really great.
“They’re coming honest to the field every day, both training and matches, and what more can you ask from a group of players only that so fair play to them and I just hope now that they can keep that up.”
Cahill had no truck with Stack’s call to issue a second yellow card to Gleeson but he was beside himself with anger on the sideline when Moran was carded.
“Disappointed with the second one, had no real issues with Austin Gleeson’s second yellow, it was high and warranted a yellow card, that’s the rules.
“I think the one with Kevin Moran was just a little bit of handbags. But again, if there was a striking action there, those are the rules and the rules have to be applied.”
Liam Sheedy appreciated his team should have done more with the extra man and their 0-14 to 1-8 half-time lead could have been bigger.
The legginess of his players could have been interpreted as casualness and Michael Breen, John McGrath and at times Pádraic Maher appeared most off the boil.
Their manager highlighted that the game came during an intense training period for his side.
“We were probably tiring a lot in the finish because we are in a heavy training schedule trying to make up the ground that we lost early on being a bit late back to the pitch but overall very happy with the effort.
“Some guys out there obviously put their hands up again with very solid performances. March 1, we’re very happy with back-to-back wins and it gives us loads to play for next Sunday up in Galway.”
None more so than Dillon Quirke who in front of the 6,411 Thurles crowd notched four points and delivered when more experienced colleagues in the forward line looked out of sorts.
It was Quirke’s fourth point which put Tipperary into a 54th minute lead they didn’t surrender and it was his pass that set up Seamus Callanan for the next score.
Sheedy acknowledged: “The way he applies himself in training that wouldn’t surprise you because he’s a very up and at it guy and he brings a lot of energy to the pitch and he brought that energy again to Semple Stadium today, which is great.”
Goal chances were plentiful here although Stephen O’Keeffe was level to all that was thrown at him as much as some of the shots at him were low percentage ones.
Brian Hogan did make a fine stop from Jamie Barron in the 10th minute but the parry fell to Peter Hogan and as much as Hogan again got a touch to it the shot was too good.
When the sides were even in personnel, Waterford opened up Tipperary a few times only for their composure to let them down.
Although Stephen Bennett added a second goal in the second minute of the second half, their poor shooting became more apparent as the game grew with their usual excellent captain Mahony missing several attempts.
“Unfortunately, this group of players invite a lot of teams on them by unforced errors,” rued Cahill.
“Leaving that amount of scoring chances behind you would be disappointed but there would be a lot of silly frees we gave away.
“We have a lot of areas like that to work on that should narrow the gap in scoring when the time comes if we’re able to correct them.”
Scorers for Tipperary: J Forde (0-11, 5 65s, 4 frees); D Quirke (0-4); P Maher, S Callanan (0-2 each); C Barrett, N McGrath, N O’Meara, J McGrath, C Darcy (0-1 each).
Scorers for Waterford: P Mahony (0-7, 6 frees); P Hogan (1-2); S Bennett (1-1); J Barron (0-2); C Gleeson, D Hutchinson, N Montgomery, K Moran (0-1 each).
TIPPERARY: B Hogan; A Flynn, R Maher, C Barrett; B McGrath, P Maher, B Heffernan, P Cadell, M. Breen; J Forde, S Callanan (c), D Quirke; N McGrath, J McGrath, N O’Meara.
Subs for Tipperary: C Darcy for P Cadell (blood, 28-31); B O’Mara for B. McGrath (43); J Morris for M Breen (49); C Darcy for J McGrath (58); C Morgan for A Flynn, P Flynn for N O’Meara (injury) (both 63).
Sent off: C Barrett (35+3, straight).
WATERFORD: S O’Keeffe; K Power, S McNulty, C Prunty; S Ryan, A Gleeson, K Moran; J Barron, C Gleeson; J Fagan, P Mahony (c), M Kearney; P Hogan, S Bennett, D Hutchinson.
Subs for Waterford: C Lyons for S Ryan (injury, 22); J Prendergast for J Fagan (55); D Lyons for K Power (58); N Montgomery for D Hutchinson (60); P Curran for P Hogan (67).
Sent off: A Gleeson (30, second yellow); K Moran (34, straight).
Referee: S Stack (Dublin).
The game in 60 seconds
IT MATTERED: After Jamie Barron had made it a one-point game in the 70th minute, Jason Forde’s late converted free for a foul on Noel McGrath provided Tipperary with the breathing space.
CAN'T IGNORE: The sendings off. Austin Gleeson’s was justified but Kevin Moran’s dig at Jason Forde didn’t merit a red card. On review, Cathal Barrett’s dismissal looked over-the-top top. Both were based on information given to the referee by his team.
GOOD DAY: The secret about Dillon Quirke is out now: the boy can play. Those who saw him in the county championship in 2018 or for Liam Cahill’s U21 team would have known that but after injury upset him last year he looks ready to make an impact this season.
BAD DAY: Cahill had no issue with Gleeson’s sending off but the player will again have to consider if playing so close to the line each time, for a player of his immense skill, is worth doing.
PHYSIO ROOM: Shane Ryan and Niall O’Meara’s injuries will be assessed in the next 24 hours. O’Meara appeared to hurt his knee, which has caused him difficulty in the past.
SIDELINE SMARTS: With how Waterford set up and lined out, Cahill didn’t show too much of his hand while the other Liam, Sheedy, flipped a few positional lines. Tipp did go with 11 of their All-Ireland winning team but many of them looked leggy.
BEST ON SHOW: Stephen O’Keeffe would be the pick if some of Tipperary’s shots weren’t made easy for him. Quirke, so good for Clonoulty-Rossmore a couple of seasons ago, was excellent and will retain his place against Galway.
MAN IN THE MIDDLE: Trying conditions for Seán Stack as much as the players. The calls on Austin Gleeson were right but he may have been given bad advice from his other assistants for the other straight card dismissal. The frees for Tipperary in the second half dried up considerably.
NEXT UP: Tipperary and Galway face off for a quarter-final place in Salthill - a point will be enough for Tipp to go through. Waterford face Limerick in the LIT Gaelic Grounds this Saturday evening with a quarter-final confirmed but a semi-final place on the line.