Tipperary shake off the cobwebs
Eamon O’Shea’s side take the points as Waterford pay the price for poor shooting
Tipperary’s Séamus Callanan scores his side’s first goal. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
A bizarre endgame at Semple Stadium, where Tipperary goalkeeper Darren Gleeson scored a goal from fully 70 yards, helped Tipperary earn the points against Waterford as they ran out 2-13 to 0-15 winners on the opening night of the Allianz Hurling League.
The visitors were left to rue a string of first half wides that would have tipped the balance in their favour but Tipperary just about shaded a rather tepid Division 1A encounter with a much-improved second half showing.
Gleeson’s goal sealed the win, with opposite number Stephen O’Keeffe losing the sliotar in the night sky as it flew over his attempted catch and into the net. There was just about time for Waterford to search for an equalising goal but although Tipp held firm, they will have to up their game if they are to challenge for league honours.
Waterford enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the first half and really should have been more than three points to the good at the interval.
Mahony did most of the damage for the visitors, slotting over six of Waterford’s eight scores from the placed ball, but there was plenty of wayward shooting on display with the sliotar being sent wide on another eight occasions.
It would have been worse for Tipperary, who struggled badly to impose themselves, but a couple of late scores in the half kept them in touch.
A John O’Dwyer free and a neat score from Noel McGrath brought Tipp back within touching distance before Séamus Callanan levelled things up with a well taken goal.
Noel McGrath, growing more influential as the game wore on, was again involved, picking out the unmarked Callanan on the edge of the square. The Drom-Inch forward did have a man free inside, but backed himself and fired low and hard to the far corner.
A monster score from Bergin, with a helping hand from Noel McGrath, lifted the mood inside Semple Stadium further. Waterford kept plugging away but Callanan, feeding from the confidence of his goal, put daylight between the sides with a couple of points from out the field while when Waterford did threaten Michael Cahill was in the right place at the right time to snuff out the danger.
And game was up for Waterford when O’Keeffe completely missed Gleeson’s 70-yard free, allowing the ball to drop into the unguarded net.
In Division 1B, Cork let an early lead slip against Limerick as the visitors fought back to draw 0-17 apiece at Pairc Ui Rinn.