Kelly guides Tipp into the final

 

Tipperary 3-14 Waterford 1-12: Tipperary will meet Cork in the Munster Senior hurling final after seeing off the second-half challenge of Waterford in Pairc Ui Chaoimh this afternoon. 

The game was ultimately decided by chances taken.  Neither side dominated possession but Tipperary missed just four chances while Waterford sent 14 wide.

The first half belonged to Tipperary and in particular Eoin Kelly.  The corner forward opened the scoring with a point and then found the net minutes later to shock Waterford into action.

They responded with two points of their own from Paul Flynn and Paul McGrath but it was Kelly that was the difference between the sides as he pointed another two and finished a goal with his right foot after charging through the centre of the Deise's defence. 

Tipperary could well  have had another when Redser O'Grady found himself in space, but his shot was superbly saved by Clinton Hennessy in the Waterford net. 

Waterford had their chances as well however, and could have found the net themselves had Brendan Cummins not denied Paul Flynn from close range. 

Flynn pointed early in the second for Waterford but Tipp captain Redser O'Grady kept the gap at seven points. 

Then came a defining moment for Tipp.  As Waterford began to turn the screw and put pressure on their opponents, Shane O'Sullivan found himself in front Brendan Cummins with the goal at his mercy. 

O'Sullivan opted for the keeper's left but Cummins was equal to it, showing amazing reactions to block the initial effort and exceptional bravery to block Dan Shanahan on the follow-up. 

Shanahan was to have a roll to play yet though and burst in behind Declan Fanning minutes later before finishing calmly into the far bottom corner. 

Tipp's lead was suddenly cut to two points and there appeared to be a chink in the armour until Lar Corbett latched on to Fitzgerald's centre and smashed it past Hennessy and into the net. 

Waterford's resurgence was over but to make sure Kelly added another three points to take his haul for the day to 2-09 and cement his position as player of the championship so far.