Waterford shoot the lights out to end Tipperary’s summer

Déise return to All-Ireland semi-finals after high-scoring Páirc Uí Chaoimh clash

Waterford’s Neil Montgomery scores his side’s fourth goal  during the  All-Ireland SHC semi-final against Tipperary at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Waterford’s Neil Montgomery scores his side’s fourth goal during the All-Ireland SHC semi-final against Tipperary at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Waterford 4-28 Tipperary 2-27

A stoppage-time goal by substitute Neil Montgomery helped Waterford’s advance to a second successive All-Ireland semi-final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday afternoon, seeing off Tipperary in the Championship for the first time since 2008.

A breathless first half saw Waterford leading by 2-14 to 2-13 come Colm Lyons’s midway whistle. Points by Patrick Curran, Jack Fagan and Dessie Hutchinson sent Liam Cahill’s side three points clear inside three minutes before Jason Forde opened Tipperary’s account from 45 metres.

Jamie Barron, producing another dynamic performance at centre field, rifled over two points inside 60 seconds to leave Waterford four clear by the fifth minute.

From the very next attack, Stephen Bennett looked set to goal for the Déise only to be denied by a brilliant Cathal Barrett block. Tipperary immediately worked the ball upfield with blistering pace, with Séamus Callanan finding the net from close range.

Just seconds later, Callanan goaled again, after Conor Prunty slipped under Alan Flynn’s infield ball. In the blink of an eye, Tipperary led by two points.

In the seventh minute, the dancing Barron jinked down Waterford’s left flank, bisecting the posts from 40 metres to restore parity only for Forde to convert a 65 by the ninth minute, with Tipp’s John O’Dwyer next to score.

But Waterford steadied the ship in the 11th minute after Austin Gleeson found the next following an intricate move involving Gleeson initially, along with Stephen Bennett, Jack Prendergast and Barron.

Tipperary’s Séamus Callanan celebrates scoring the second goal of the game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Tipperary’s Séamus Callanan celebrates scoring the second goal of the game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

O’Dwyer and Gleeson (via a sideline) traded points before Michael Breen and Stephen Bennett (a free) repeated the pattern. Jason Forde’s free and Shane McNulty’s fine strike from the deep brought the sides level again by the 19th minute before Jack Fagan edged the Déisemen ahead.

In the 22nd minute, following superb upfield surges by both Prendergast and Patrick Curran, Hutchinson slammed the ball beyond Barry Hogan to send Waterford three clear. Gleeson went close to landing a second goal only to see his well struck effort fly inches wide of Hogan’s left-hand upright, while Forde’s dead ball accuracy kept Tipperary well in the hunt come half-time.

After a half-time shower, which made the surface increasingly slippery, the sides continued to trade blows like seasoned heavyweights, to the delight of the 7,000 strong crowd.

Waterford moved four points clear thanks to Stephen Bennett’s first point from play in the 41st minute before the match’s biggest single talking point arrived on the three-quarter hour mark.

Referee Lyons ruled that Breen had impeded a goal-bound Austin Gleeson, who’d been released through on goal by substitute Michael Kiely. Stephen Bennett converted the resulting penalty to send Waterford seven points clear. By the 53rd minute, with Barron and Peter Hogan dominating the midfield battle, Waterford were 3-21 to 2-16 ahead but couldn’t think too far ahead given the events of Thurles a week previously.

Callanan surely thought he’d completed another Championship hat-trick after Shaun O’Brien parried Noel McGrath’s shot into his path – but he pulled the ball inches wide of the Déise net.

Yet between the 61st and 69th minutes, Tipperary outscored Waterford by 0-5 to 0-1, with substitutes Mark Kehoe and Willie Connors featuring on the scoreboard.

But in the first additional minute, Déise substitute Montgomery calmed Waterford nerves to send home his side’s fourth goal following a pass by Darragh Lyons. Moments later, O’Brien produced an excellent save to divert McGrath’s shot over the crossbar to leave Waterford four clear, with Montgomery pointing from the very next attack.

And in the 73rd minute, Colin Dunford well and truly sealed the deal when sending over his team’s 28th point of an incredible contest.

WATERFORD: S O’Brien; I Kenny, C Prunty, S McNulty (0-1); C Lyons (0-1), Shane Bennett, K Bennett (0-2); J Barron (0-4), P Hogan (0-3); J Fagan (0-2), J Prendergast, Stephen Bennett (1-3; 1-0 pen, two frees); D Hutchinson (1-3), A Gleeson (1-3; two s/l), P Curran (0-1).

Subs: K Moran for Shane Bennett (blood, 23-33), M Kiely (0-2) for P Curran (44), N Montgomery (1-2) for J Prendergast (59), D Lyons for J Fagan (64), B Power for P Hogan (65), S Fives for S McNulty (Blood, 65-66), C Dunford (0-1) for A Gleeson (71).

TIPPERARY: B Hogan; C Barrett; P Maher, B Heffernan; P Cadell, B Maher, R Maher (0-3); A Flynn, M Breen (0-3); J Forde (0-12; six frees, three 65s), N McGrath (0-1), D McCormack; J Morris, J O’Dwyer (0-4), S Callanan (2-0).

Subs: S Kennedy for B Heffernan (h-t), M Kehoe (0-1) for J Morris (44), W Connors (0-1) for D McCormack (48), N O’Meara for J O’Dwyer (53), J McGrath (0-2) for S Callanan (56).

Referee: Colm Lyons (Cork).

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