HL1A: Na Deise sink Premier at the death in Thurles thriller

March 06, 2016

Patrick Maher in action for Tipperary

Austin Gleeson's injury-time free handed Waterford a 1-18 to 1-17 victory over Tipperary in an all-Munster epic at Semple Stadium.

The 6,540-strong attendance were treated to a sensational 70+ minutes of entertainment as these two great hurling teams went toe to toe.

The hosts looked to be on course for their second win of the campaign for three-quarters of the game but the Suirsiders had other ideas as a battling second-half display saw them remain as the only team in the division with a 100% record.

Tipp led by 0-14 to 0-9 ten minutes into the second half but points from Patrick Curran (3) and Kevin Moran reduced the arrears to the minimum before Tom Devine delivered the opening goal twelve minutes from the end to propel Na Deise into a 1-13 to 0-14 lead.

Two points from Shane Bennett either side of one from Curran meant the winners led by four points with six minutes left, 1-16 to 0-15, but there were further twists as John McGrath netted for the home side seconds after Noel McGrath has pointed and they led again with three minutes left.

Curran's free on the stroke of full time seemed to have earned the visitors a draw but Gleeson wasn't satisfied with that and he arrowed over a sensational winner from a long-range free deep into added time.

Tipperary received a blow before throw-in when it was revealed that Seamus Callanan would miss out due to injury, with Liam McGrath taking his place in the starting XV.

Thanks largely to seven first-half points from John O'Dwyer, the Premier County led by four at the short whistle, 0-12 to 0-8. Curran's point on the half-hour had Na Deise within one but Tipp reeled off the last three scores of the opening period to earn themselves some breathing space.

Gleeson had registered the first point of the match inside the opening minute but that was the only time Derek McGrath's charges led until the 58th minute. The first half was nip and tuck, with Tipperary always managing to keep their noses in front.

Jamie Barron notched the first score after the restart and we were then treated to a truly brilliant second half of hurling before Waterford emerged valiant victors.

Waterford - S O'Keeffe; S Fives, B Coughlan, N Connors; P Mahony, D Fives, K Moran (0-2); J Barron (0-1), M Kearney (0-1); S Bennett (0-3), M Walsh, J Dillon; P Curran (0-8, 6f), A Gleeson (0-2), C Dunford (0-1). Subs: T Devine (1-0) for M Kearney, T Ryan for M Walsh, S O'Sullivan for C Dunford.

Tipperary - D Gleeson; C Barrett, T Hamill, M Cahill; B Heffernan, R Maher, Padraic Maher; M Breen (0-2), B Maher (0-1); N McGrath (0-1), D McCormack, Patrick Maher; J O'Dwyer (0-11, 9f), L McGrath, J McGrath (1-2). Subs: N O'Meara for L McGrath, K Bergin for D McCormack.

Referee - C Lyons.

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