Keane class inspires Premier to victory

Tipperary 2-18 Waterford 1-15
Tipperary full-forward Josh Keane ensured that the reigning All-Ireland champions got their defence off to the perfect start in this Munster MHC quarter-final at gloomy Walsh Park last night.

In front of an attendance of 2,183, Keane’s contribution of 2-9 denied a valiant Déise side who had their own star performer in Patrick Curran.

Waterford started smartly, powered by Patrick Curran’s crisp finishing. After a brisk opening quarter, the home side led by 0-7 to 0-5, with Curran accounting for five of those points. It could have got even better for the Déise but DJ Foran’s close- range effort struck the post.

The Premier stayed in touch through Josh Keane’s placed balls and a pair of points from Colin O’Riordan. The hosts’ half-back line exerted complete control, marshalled by captain Austin Gleeson. They extended their advantage to four as Mark O’Brien opened his account and Curran added his sixth white flag.

The game turned on its head late in the half as Tipperary staged a recovery. They chipped away at the lead through a hat-trick of frees from Josh Keane before Shane Hennessy levelled it up at nine points apiece on 26 minutes. In the final minute of the half, Cian Leamy took down Josh Keane for a penalty. The full-forward dusted himself off before smashing a low shot to the net. He added a point from play but Waterford had the final say in a lively half. In the third minute of injury-time, Michael Kearney found the top of the corner to leave Waterford trailing 1-10 to 1-9 at the break.

Tipperary pushed three points clear at the start of the second period. Josh Keane and Conor Lanigan were on target but in a tight tussle, Waterford dug in. A fine Conor Gleeson effort was sandwiched in between a brace of Patrick Curran to bring the sides level for the third time.

The game’s decisive moment came on 44 minutes when Keane won a battle for possession with Sam O’Neill which put him in the clear. Waterford’s claims for a free fell on deaf ears as the clinical Keane gave Sean Clancy no chance.

From there to the finish, William Maher’s charges looked comfortable as midfielder Willie Connors posted two points.

Although Patrick Curran did his upmost to inspire a revival and finished with 11 points to his credit, Tipperary survived in the fading light.

Scorers for Tipperary: J Keane 2-9 (7f, 1-0 pen), W Connors, C Lanigan 0-3 each, C O’Riordan 0-2, S Hennessy 0-1.

Scorers for Waterford: P Curran 0-11 (8f, 1 65), M Kearney 1-0, A Farrell, T Devine, M O’Brien, C Gleeson 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY: B Hogan; A Tierney, J Ryan, D Peters; B Heffernan, R Maher, T Kirwan; T Fox, W Connors; S Ryan, C O’Riordan, S Hennessy; C Lanigan, J Keane, M McCarthy.

Subs: K Dunne for Hennessy (45); J Mackey for McCarthy (54), F O’Sullivan for Ryan (59).

WATERFORD: S Clancy; W Hahessy, S O’Neill, C Leamy; K Daly, A Gleeson, M Harney; M O’Brien, T Devine; Shane Bennett, C Roche, A Farrell; P Curran, DJ Foran, M Kearney.

Subs: C Gleeson for O’Brien (26); C Curran for K Daly (47), Stephen Bennett for

Farrell (49), MJ Sutton for Shane Bennett (52)

Referee: J O’Connell (Cork).


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