Free-scoring Tipperary inflicted a damaging double-scores defeat on 14-man Waterford in the second round of the Munster SHC at Thurles – 2-30 to 0-18.
Jason Forde and Seamus Callanan netted after the break as the winners produced a masterclass to maintain their 100% record, while Paraic Fanning’s men have now lost twice and their summer hopes are hanging by the slenderest of threads.
Despite playing into the breeze, the rampant Premier County established a commanding six-point interval advantage, 0-16 to 0-10, the visitors reduced to 14 men five minutes from the break when Conor Gleeson’s pull-down of Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher earned him a second yellow card.
Forde popped over the accruing free to make it 0-14 to 0-6. The visitors clipped over the last three points before the short whistle via Austin Gleeson and Padraic Mahony (two frees) to keep themselves just about in contention at the break, Patrick Curran’s goal effort in between lucklessly rebounding off the butt of a post.
Contrary to what the emphatic nature of the final scoreline might suggest, Waterford did not surrender meekly … despite being hamstrung by numerical inferiority following Gleeson’s dismissal, they battled determinedly to pare a nine-point deficit back to three, only to be utterly overwhelmed in the closing quarter.
Tipp roared out of the blocks to lead by seven points to three after twelve minutes, Forde opening the scoring inside 20 seconds, John O’Dwyer and Michael Breen each mining a brace, with John McGrath and Forde (‘65’) also on target.
Forde and Ronan Maher both chipped over exquisite sideline cuts from distance for the winners, while Noel McGrath plundered a valuable point from a free from inside his own half.
With their championship survival on the line, Waterford introduced Maurice Shanahan during the break and Austin Gleeson had it back to a five-point match after the first four scores of the second period were shared. Tommy Ryan reduced the arrears to four, 0-18 to 0-14, as the visitors slotted three in succession, but Forde (free) and John McGrath pointed to restore the five-point gap with ten minutes played in the second half.
Mahony arrowed over a couple of frees at the town end, closing Waterford within three, Jamie Barron’s direct running causing the hosts all manner of problems. But there would be no dream comeback as the Premier County pulled away when Noel McGrath pointed and then Forde dispatched a bullet to the Waterford net following a fantastic O’Dwyer flick at the three-quarters stage – 1-21 to 0-17.
Replacement centre back Barry Heffernan, Forde (2), the excellent Breen (2) – his fourth and fifth – and John McGrath piled on Tipp points to tease the gap out to 13 with five minutes remaining, 1-27 to 0-17.
Brian O’Halloran and Shanahan pulled back consolation points but Breen tacked on another Tipp point before Seamus Callanan drilled to the net in the first minute of injury time. With the game long since over, Forde popped over another late, late point for Liam Sheedy’s impressive charges, who slotted 27 scores from play.
Tipperary - B Hogan; C Barrett, J Barry, R Maher (0-2, 1sl); B Maher, Padraic Maher, A Flynn; N McGrath (0-2, 1f), M Breen (0-6); J Forde (1-9, 2f, 1'65, 1sl), Patrick Maher, D McCormack; J O Dwyer (0-4), S Callanan (1-0), J McGrath (0-5). Subs: B Heffernan (0-1) for B Maher, R Byrnes for D McCormack, W Connors for N McGrath, J Morris (0-1) for J O'Dwyer, G Browne for Patrick Maher.
Waterford - S O'Keeffe; C Lyons, C Prunty, N Connors; Philip Mahony, T de Burca (0-1), K Moran; J Barron (0-1), C Gleeson; T Ryan (0-3), A Gleeson (0-1), P Mahony (0-10, 7f); J Prendergast, P Curran, Stephen Bennett (0-1). Subs: M Shanahan for P Curran, Shane Bennett for Stephen Bennett, K Bennett for Philip Mahony, B O'Halloran (0-1) for Pauric Mahony, C Dunford for J Prendergast.
Referee - J Keenan.Tweet