Munster Junior Football
Waterford 1-13 Tipperary 0-15 (AET)
Waterford and Tipperary were involved in titanic battle in this Munster Junior Football Championship, which was only decided after extra time, at the Fitzgerald Stadium, on Saturday evening, courtesy of a late point from Waterford substitute Conor O’Shea.
It was a game that in truth never rose above mediocrity with the exchanges being very physical and Kerry official Eddie Walsh issued a plethora of yellow cards, with Waterford wing back Ciaran Buckley, receiving a second five minutes from the end of normal time, but Tipperary failed to take advantage.
Tipperary were warm favourites going into this contest, on the back of a surprise but deserved victory over the Kingdom six days previous at the same venue, but that may well have led to their demise.
In truth this was a lethargic performance from the Premier lads and whether it was the six day turnaround or whether it was because they thought they had the hard work done when beating Kerry; they were caught on the hop by Waterford.
To their credit Waterford who were playing their first game, got stuck in from the start and the scores they got in the opening minutes of both halves, seemed to catch Tipperary cold and they were always playing catch up.
However in the final analysis Tipperary have only themselves to blame as they were a point up and a man up, with five minutes remaining and instead of seizing the initiative, they lost the lead and in took a last minute monster point from talisman Benny Hickey to rescue the day.
Waterford made explosive opening when they gained possession from the throw in and corner forward David Power riffled the ball home with only twelve seconds gone on the clock.
It was the worst possible start for the Premier side but it was obvious from even before the throw in that Benny Hickey was a marked man and Ciaran Buckley was always up close and personal, and it has to said, he did his job well as Hickey was restricted to a single point from play.
Hickey opened Tipperary’s account with a 2nd minute free after he was fouled but John Wall responded with a superb point for the Deise.
Then Hickey and Buckley received yellows for some off the ball stuff and Waterford who had the wind had lots of possession but the Tipperary defence was solid.
Full match report in this week’s Tipperary Star.