A last minute free by Pauric Mahony has seen Waterford defeat Tipperary by 1-19 to 2-15 in an exhilarating semi-final clash at Nowlan Park.
A crowd of 16,445 watched this second game as two sides with contrasting styles went head to head and although it may have taken sometime for the contest to really come to life, but when it did, it didn't disappoint.
Two first half goals by Bonner Maher and John O'Dwyer helped Tipperary to a 2-08 to 0-11 at half time. Pauric Mahony was the main man for Waterford in the opening half, but he was ably assisted by Kevin Moran, Jamie Barron and Maurice Shanahan.
The second half was just as tight put Tipp looked more likely to push on as Seamus Callanan kept them going with some excellent points from play and frees.
However, the turning point of the game hinged on a moment of magic in the 51st minute by Waterford corner forward Colin Dunford who showed great pace to get out to the ball first, turn his man, race through and fire into the corner of the net to make it 2-11 to 1-16.
Waterford got the bit between their teeth then as they tagged on a couple of points, before Tipp pulled out something special with three unanswered points to level matters with 67 minutes gone on the clock. There was only once score left and it was left to Mahony to convert which he duly obliged.
It was no more than Waterford deserved as they battled for every ball throughout the game and once again they proved that playing in 1B is not a hindrance.
Waterford got off to a good start as Pauric Mahony pointed from a '65 and a free to edge the Decies in front early on. However, a minute after Waterford's second score, Tipp were in the lead as Bonner Maher raced through and fired low to the net.
Mahony had the sides level in the sixth minute as he popped over another free, but this was cancelled out by a good score from Niall O'Meara who showed great skill to knock the ball down to himself and fire over the bar.
In the tenth minute, Seamus Callanan opened his account for the day as he converted a free from the 20 metre line after he was fouled, leaving the score at 1-02 to 0-03.
Tipp then hit an unanswered 1-02 in four minutes as firstly Brendan Maher raced through and laid off to O'Dwyer who blasted the ball to the net. This was then followed by two quick fire Callanan points, one from play and one from a free.
Waterford hit back with two points of their own as Maurice Shanahan sent over an inspirational score which was followed by a close range Mahony free, 2-04 to 0-05.
Callanan pointed a '65 to extend Tipp's lead and then Austin Gleeson went on a run from his centre back position and cut through the Waterford defence, but his tame shot was easily saved by Darren Gleeson.
Three more points on the trot (Dunford and Mahony (two frees) brought Waterford right back into the game, but the final score of half came from O'Meara who gathered the ball on the run and slotted over the bar.
Mahony opened the scoring in the second half from a close range free as Waterford battled for every ball.
The second half was even more intense as neither side wanted to lose and it was Waterford who started the brighter with a free from Mahony.
Jake Dillon hit a point in between two from Callanan points before Barron hit over a monster point. In the 46th minute, Jason Forde got a great score to make it 2-11 to 0-15.
Waterford then hit 1-02, first Shanahan pointed from near the sideline, then Dunford's goal really brought the game to life and Mahony slotted over another free.
Sub Conor Kenny stemmed the tide with a point for Tipp and Callanan added two frees to make it 2-14 to 1-18. A huge effort from Pauric Mahony brought the sides level with four minutes to go, but there was only one more score in that remaining time as Mahony held his nerve to convert a free.
Tipp went in search of an equaliser and should have had a '65 but Referee Barry Kelly over ruled his umpire and gave a line ball instead, which was the wrong decision.
The Déise set up a league final meeting with Cork in two weeks' time, which is just three weeks before their Munster SHC showdown on 25 May.
Waterford - S O'Keeffe; S Fives, B Coughlan, N Connors; T De Burca, A Gleeson, Philip Mahony; J Barron (0-1), K Moran; M Walsh, Pauric Mahony (0-13, 11f, 1'65), J Dillon (0-1); C Dunford (1-1), M Shanahan (0-3), Stephen Bennett. Subs: B O'Halloran for Stephen Bennett, S O'Sullivan for M Walsh, E Barrett for K Moran.
Tipperary - D Gleeson; C O'Mahony, P Curran, P Stapleton; S McGrath, Padraic Maher (0-1), R Maher; J Woodlock (0-1), M Breen; Patrick Maher (1-0), B Maher, J Forde (0-1); S Callanan (0-8, 6f, 1'65), J O'Dwyer (1-1), N O'Meara (0-2). Subs: J Barry for P Stapleton, S Bourke for J O'Dwyer, C Kenny (0-1) for J Forde, G Ryan for S McGrath, J Meagher for P Curran
Referee - B Kelly.Tweet