Waterford 1-12 Tipperary 2-13 match reports



Sunday, February 8

Tipperary overcame difficult underfoot conditions and a dogged Waterford side to open the defence of their Allianz National Hurling League crown with a deserved win at a bitter but bright Walsh Park.

Allianz NHL Division One –

Waterford 1-12 Tipperary 2-13

Despite the pitch being soggy and not conjusive to flowing hurling both teams served up decent fare for this time of the year with Tipperary’s back six in particular very impressive.

The home side opened the scoring after just a minute when Seamus Prendergast slotted over a free. But from the resulting puck-out, James Woodlock, who was a constant threat to the Déise defence all day, registered his first point of the day.

Tipperary hit the front for the first time on six minutes when captain, Willie Ryan, scored from a free. The next point was the best of the match so far. Pat Kerwick flicked the ball over his head and between the posts after a sublime handpass from John O’Brien.

The Premier County were not to score again until 17 minutes when Woodlock picked up a Benny Dunne pass out of defence to sling over his second point. Tipp were good value at this stage for their lead but the game was yet to liven up.

On 25 minutes Clinton Hennessy pulled off the first of a number of point-blank saves when he smothered a John O’Brien goal chance. He followed that save up with another equally good stop on 28 minutes, this time from the stick of newcomer, Patrick Maher.

The goal that Tipp had threatened to score finally came on 33 minutes when O’Brien fielded superbly before releasing a beautifully timed handpass into the path of the inrushing Pat Kerwick who duly smashed the sliothar to the net.

A fine Dan Shanahan point, just before the break, left Davy Fitzgerald’s side 1-6 to 0-3 points down at half-time.

Willie Ryan quickly put Tipp seven points in front just after the restart and the Toomevara man scored again, this time from play, a minute later.

At this stage, Liam Sheedy’s men were beginning to pull away and led 1-8 to 0-05. A determined run and point from the impressive Benny Dunne and another Willie Ryan pushed Tipp’s lead out to seven points but Waterford were beginning to play with renewed vigour.

A fantastic Jamie Nagle score was cancelled out by Paul Kelly’s second point of the day and with Declan Fanning supreme at full-back it looked like Tipp were not going to lose this match. Fanning put his body on the line to deny the Déise three goal-scoring opportunities.

Tipperary brought on Clonoulty-Rossmore’s, John Devane, and he went on to score two lovely points, the second coming just before Clinton Hennessy crashed a free to Brendan Cummins’ net.

That goal and the Waterford optimism that followed was soon wiped out as Paul Kelly replied with a fine individual goal.

A Jack Kennedy point brought the scores to 2-12 to 1-9 with just over 5 mins to go but as hard as Waterford tried they could not get the better of a more experienced Tipperary side as the Munster champions ran out deserving four point winners.

Tipperary had a deserved win over Waterford in a well-contested Allianz NHL opener in Walsh Park today.

Tipperary led by 1-6 to 0-3 at half time following a Pat Kerwick goal in added time after Tipperary had created a number of goal scoring chances.

Tipperary stretched the lead to 8 points after 6 minutes of the second half A goal from a 20 metre free by Waterford goalie Clinton Hennessy in the 24th minute reduced the lead to 4 points. Within a minute Paul Kelly beat Hennessy at the other end.

Tipp scorers: P Kelly 1-1, P Kerwick 1-1, W Ryan 0-4 (2f), J Woodlock 0-2, J Devane 0-2, C O’Mahony 0-1 (65), P Maher 0-1, B Dunne 0-1.

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