First win in Davy Fitzgerald’s second coming as Waterford boss as they see off Tipperary

Late points squeezed Deise past 14-man Tipp in an exciting finish

Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling League

Waterford 0-21 Tipperary 1-15

A new year has dawned but it was the same old Davy Fitzgerald along the sideline on a miserable Tuesday night in Mallow as he started his second coming as Waterford manager with his first competitive win.

Late points from Padraig Fitzgerald, Mark Fitzgerald and Austin Gleeson squeezed them past 14-man Tipperary in an exciting finish.

The beauty of these preseason fixtures is that the Clare man could be clearly heard from the stand roaring in instructions and encouragement to his players. It was only Munster League but it mattered.


“Very happy with the lads; they worked extremely hard. If you were looking at both teams before the game, you’d have said that Tipperary had a slightly stronger side. I’m happy with the character and a win is a win. Any time you can beat Tipp, like that was competitive, that was a tough game. All I’ll say to you is we’ve a lot to work on yet. Please God, come April we’ll be in a good position to give it a lash.”

Fitzgerald handed out five debuts. Newcomers Reueben Halloran and Sean Walsh shone from the start while Padraig Fitzgerald came off the bench to strike two spectacular points late on. Jason Forde fired 1-11 for Tipp who saw defender Cathal Barrett dismissed on two yellows.

Waterford played with the wind and rain and led five nil after 12 minutes. They made the dressingrooms 10-6 clear. Debutant Reuben Halloran nailed five out of five from frees while another newbie Sean Walsh got two from play. Goalkeeper Billy Nolan walloped over a huge free from his own half, saved from Paddy Creedon and dealt with five dropping balls.

Jason Forde got the scoreboard moving for Tipp on 13 minutes. He accounted for five of their six first half singles. Liam Cahill’s men were guilty of five wides and five balls short. The Tipp boss showed how seriously he was taking the game by whipping off Joe Fogarty after 27 minutes.

The showers got heavier as the teams emerged for the second period. The noise levels went up when Waterford All-Star Stephen Bennett entered the fray and clashed with his opposite number. A flare-up in front of the stand resulted in yellow cards for Bennett and Cathal Barrett. On 51 minutes, Bennett burst through the middle and was brought down by Dan McCormack for a penalty. Rhys Shelly saved Bennett’s bullet. Halloran pointed the subsequent 65 to make it 14-9.

Off the next attack, Jason Forde drilled a low shot under Billy Nolan. The Tipp fans found their voice as Jack Ryan forced a save from Nolan. Forde levelled the match from a free (0-14 to 1-11). Barrett got his marching orders on two yellows with 12 minutes left. Halloran converted the free but Forde replied with a point that wouldn’t have looked out of place in June or July.

Points from Iarlaith Daly and Paddy Leavey pushed Waterford ahead but Forde and Cian O’Dwyer pegged them back. Bennett hit the side netting as Austin Gleeson got a few minutes into the legs. Padraig Fitzgerald fired over with his first touch off the bench. His second was a spectacular effort in injury time in front of the stand. The young Kilrossanty man was lucky to escape with a yellow card for a high tackle on Shane Neville. A Gleeson point sealed the deal.

The Christmas lights will be boxed away when these two teams meet again in the league and the Munster championship.

Waterford: B Nolan (0-1f); S McNulty, M Fitzgerald (0-1), C Ryan; M Harney, C Lyons, C Daly (0-1); P Leavey (0-1), R Halloran (0-7 6fs, 1 65); N Montgomery, C Dunford (0-2), S Walsh (0-2); J Power, DJ Foran (0-1), B Power (0-1).

Subs: I Daly (0-1) for McNulty (HT), M Kiely for Foran (47), S Bennett for Walsh (48), A Gleeson (0-1) for B Power (66), P Fitzgerald (0-2) for Dunford (69).

Tipperary: R Shelly; C Barrett, M Breen, G Ryan; D McCormack, P Campion, S Neville; P Cadell, G Browne; A Tynan (0-1), J Forde (1-11 7fs, 1 65), J Fogarty; C Bowe (0-1), M Keogh, P Creedon.

Subs: C Stakelum for J Fogarty (27), Johnny Ryan for Tynan (45), Jack Ryan for Browne (45), C O’Dwyer (0-2) for Creedon (45), S Kennedy for Bowe (62), G O’Connor for Kehoe (70).

Referee: J O’Halloran (Limerick)