Tipp show appetite for destruction
Tipperary's Lar Corbett celebrates after scoring one of his three first half goals against Waterford at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. - (Photograph: Lorraine O'Sullivan/Inpho)
Tipperary 7-19 Waterford 0-19:Having watched Kilkenny and Galway reveal their credentials in this year’s Senior Hurling Championship, defending champions Tipperary must have been keen to give an emphatic answer in the Munster final. It was Waterford’s misfortune to be the team standing in their way at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Davy Fitzgerald’s side will have a hard time recovering from this one, dismantled as they were by a completely ruthless first half showing from the Premier County that paved the way for a 21-point win.
“We expected a big battle from Waterford and that didn’t really happen and I suppose they won’t be happy with their performance,” said Tipp manager Declan Ryan afterwards, as he tried to nip the hype in the bud, but he admitted his team were immense and his forward line near perfect.
Only three of Tipp’s scores came from deadballs – two frees and one sideline cut – leaving 7-16 from play, 5-10 of which came before the break.
Lar Corbett sealed his place in the record books with his third goal of the first half making him Tipp’s record goalscorer. He added another in the second half, while Eoin Kelly got one in each period and Seamus Callanan also hit the net.
Six of Waterford’s eight first half scores came from Pauric Mahony’s deadballs. He went on to take his personal tally to 0-13 (12 frees).
Tipp ripped into Waterford from the off, with John O’Brien and Kelly pointing before Corbett timed a run on to a long ball to perfection and rifled past Clinton Hennessy.
The second didn’t come until the 31st minute but Tipp had 10 points on the board at that stage. Kelly was the man to hit the net next after good work from Noel McGrath and Patrick Maher set him free.
It was under minute before Hennessy was picking it out again, Corbett’s timing was perfect again, as he drifted on to a direct long ball and finished left-handed.
Patrick Maher then pounced on a loose ball as the Waterford defence pushed up. He fed Callanan, who couldn’t miss with just Hennessy to beat. Corbett added his third with another superb touch and finish to bring his tally to 3-03.
Liam Lawlor, David O'Sullivan and Maurice Shanahan were introduced by Waterford at the break, but there was no let up from Corbett, Kelly and co. Three unanswered points were only halted by another Mahony free before his first from play.
It was tit-for-tat for a while, Tipp versus Mahony, though John Mullane eventually pointed on a frustrating afternoon for him.
The procession soon continued, however, when Kelly latched on to Gearoid Ryan’s ball and despatched it across Hennessy into the bottom corner.
Corbett then watched and waited before pouncing on a dropping ball and striking his fourth from the ground.
Ryan was clearly of the opinion afterwards that Waterford didn’t turn up and said he would be working to keep expectations down despite a 40 point haul.
“I’m sure there will be a certain amount of hype alright,” he told RTE, “but our job as management is to keep a lid on it…they are a grounded group of players.”
Waterford face Galway on the scenic route. It won't be easy but, surely, it couldn't get worse.