Tipperary 1-14 Waterford 0-16: Despite registering just 1-3 from play, Liam Cahill’s Tipperary did just about enough to book their place in the semi-finals of the Electric Ireland Munster minor hurling championship last night.
The Premier County scored a narrow one-point victory over last year’s beaten finalists Waterford, who will look back on this as one that got away.
The visiting Déise, managed by Seán Lyons, were arguably the better side but even though Tipp didn’t play particularly well, perhaps it’s the sign of a good team that they still managed to come out on top.
Cahill will know that vast improvement is required ahead of the semi-final clash with Clare on July 1.
The big concern will be the return from Tipp’s six forwards, who managed just a goal from play between them.
Daragh Peters did score eight points but all were from frees as Ruadhan Mulrooney’s goal on the stroke of half-time proved crucial.
Indeed, 26 minutes elapsed before Tipp managed to score from play, with sub Lyndon Fairbrother popping over the first of his two points.
But Tipp were three points down, 0-6 to 0-9, before finally rousing themselves before half-time in front of 2,821 spectators. Another Fairbrother point was followed by Mulrooney’s scruffy goal, poked home on the line following a goalmouth scramble after Fairbrother and David Gleeson had initial efforts blocked.
Tipp could scarcely believe their luck, 1-7 to 0-9 ahead at half-time after Waterford’s impressive corner forward Aaron O’Sullivan helped himself to four first half points.
Waterford hit the front again shortly after half-time but the second half was level five times before Brian McGrath, younger brother of Tipp seniors John and Noel, shot Tipp ahead in the 54th minute from a 65.
It was a lead Tipp would not relinquish, although Waterford twice got to within a single point.
A good late chance went begging as Peter Hogan dragged a shot wide at the Town End and Waterford must now regroup for a playoff with Munster champions Limerick, in what will be a repeat of last year’s provincial decider.
Carey was almost flawless on the night from placed balls and for Waterford, full-forward Jack Prendergast helped himself to five converted frees.
Scorers for Tipperary:
D Carey 0-8f, R Mulrooney 1-0, B McGrath 0-3 (2 65s, 1f), L Fairbrother 0-2, L McCutcheon 0-1.
Scorers for Waterford:
J Prendergast 0-6f, A O’Sullivan 0-4, C Lyons 0-2, D Lyons (f), E Meaney, G Waters & E Murray 0-1 each.
P Hayes; E Moloney, J Quigley, E Heffernan; J Skehan, B McGrath, D Peters; L McCutcheon, S Neville; D Carey, S Quirke, R Mulrooney; D Gleeson, A Tynan, R Peters.
L Fairbrother for R Peters (23), K Hassett for Neville (40), D Roberts for Mulrooney (55), G Dunne for McCutcheon (60+2).
B Nolan; D Lynch, C Prunty, D McGrath; J Henley, D Lyons, C Dunphy; C Lyons, A Molumby; G Waters, JP Lucey, E Meaney; A O’Sullivan, J Prendergast, P Hogan.
E Murray for Waters (45), M Roche for Lucey (55).
J Murphy (Limerick)
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