The biggest worry arising from Tipperary’s victory in the Cadbury’s Munster U-21 football quarter final tie at Fraher Field Dungarvan on Wednesday evening last, is the number of injuries picked up by players in advance of this evenings semi-final against Clare.
David Powers men put in a very impressive performance against a very under par Waterford. But even allowing for Deise deficiencies, this was a very confident outing with attacking flair and midfield dominance paving the way for a trip to Miltown Malbay in West Clare this evening for the semi-final clash.
Yeah, it’s a long trip for Tipperary this evening and it is perhaps made more difficult by the knowledge that key players are struggling with knocks having picked up a few against Waterford in a game in which the opposition were not up to much. Just goes to show that injuries can be picked up in the most inocuous of scenarios - Waterford were hardly tackling with ferocious intensity in Dungarvan, and yet Tipp’s dressingroom is looking more and more like casualty ward with Michale Quinlivan, Stephen O’Brien, Ross Mulcahy, Liam McGrath and captain John Meagher all struggling.
“Yeah, my biggest worry would be the injuries at the moment. In fairness, we were a good bit ahead of Waterford, but you always knew coming down to Dungarvan that you had to be in top form to come away with a win. It will be the same in Miltown Malbay - it’s a long journey there and we will need to have everyone in top order for the game,” David Power said.
In top order they certainly were against Waterford. The midfield and centre forward diamond of Colin O’Riordan, Stephen O’Brien and Ian Fahey laid the foundations to victory with very solid and commanding displays - they mopped up everything and attacked from the moment possession was won - it was impressive stuff and by the time Waterford had registered their first score - a goal in the 22nd minute from David Hallihan, Tipperary had notched up 0-9. Points from Sean Flynn (2), Greg Henry (3), Michael Quinlivan (2) and John McGrath (2) established a lead which Tipperary were never going to relinquish and though Waterford managed that goal - an error really led to it - they were not playing well enough to cause any trouble to the Premier men.
Within four minutes of the re-start Waterford had the ball in the back of the Tipp net again - a long ball into the defence was not dealt with and Brian Donnelly was allowed to slip inside and put the ball past Gearoid O’Sullivan, much to the delight of the Deise faithful in the345 attendance.
Liam McGrath had pointed for Tipp after just 30 seconds, and despite having conceded the goal, Tipperary continued to press on with points flowing over at ease.
Sean Flynn (2), Stephen O’Brien, John Keane, Liam Casey, Ian Fahey, Bill Maher and Liam McGrath rounded off the scoring count for Tipp while Waterford had their first point 19 minutes into the second half from Kevin Sheehan, who followed up with another to go along with Gavin Nugents scores before the end.
Tipperary’s link up play was very impressive and it is quite obvious that the side has had plenty of opportunity to play together. The scoring exploits of the attacking division added to the ball winning capabilities ate midfield, make this a potent Tipperary side with the likes of Seamus Kennedy at centre back, and Bill Maher and Niall O’Sullivan very sound in defence, there was no danger of Waterford getting back into the game and causing an upset.
Tipperary marched on to tonights game without breaking sweat and while the match will certainly have done them a lot of good in terms a competitive outing and confidence , they will need to up the ante again for the clash with the Bannermen in their own fortress of Miltown Malbay this evening. The hope is that the injuries will take their toll on a side from which much is expected.
Teams and scorers:
Tipperary: G Slattery, N O’Sullivan, J Feehan, C O’Sullivan, R Mulcahy, S Kennedy, B maher 0-1, S O’Brien 0-1, C O’Riordan, J McGrath 0-2, I Fahey 0-1, G Henry 0-3, J Keane 0-1, M Quinlivan 0-2, S Flynn 0-4. Subs: G Fahey for R Mulcahy; L McGrath 0-1 for M Quinlivan; J Lonergan for J Keane; L Casey 0-2 for S O’Brien; A Maguire for N O’Sullivan; P Shanahan for S Flynn.
Waterford:S Barron, B Looby, R Kelly, B Power, P Connors, B Phelan, D Foley, K Sheehan 0-2, S Keating, D Hallihan 1-0, D Murphy, M Curry, L O’Connaoin, G Nugent 0-1, M Troy. Subs: C Walsh for B Looby; C Sheridan for P Connors; B Donnelly for D Murphy; P O’Connor for M Troy.
Referee: S Joy (Cork)