Jake Morris ensured Liam Cahill’s Tipperary maintained their winning start in this year’s Allianz League as he blasted home a hat-trick to inflict a first defeat of the campaign on Waterford.
A crowd of 5,513 witnessed a good clash at Semple Stadium which boiled over at times but the hat-trick by Morris and a subs’ bench which produced 1-8 ensured Tipp native Cahill was not undone by the county he managed for the past three seasons.
A red card to Jamie Barron in the final quarter summed up Waterford’s frustrations as they fell to a first defeat on a night when both managers will feel they still have a lot of work to do before they meet in the championship in May.
Tipperary led by 1-12 to 0-11 at the end of a competitive opening half where both sides enjoyed good spells in a fiery contest where Waterford manager Davy Fitzgerald and three Tipperary players were booked by busy Wexford referee James Owens in separate incidents.
Waterford raced into a three points lead in as many minutes before Alan Tynan got Tipperary off the mark and after Stephen Bennett landed his second free, Cahill’s men struck for a good goal when Dan McCormack set up Morris and the Nenagh clubman drilled low to the net from the right for his opening goal.
Tipperary could have got a couple of more goals before the break but Waterford goalkeeper Billy Nolan did superbly to deny Seamus Callanan and Morris with quality saves.
Both sides suffered injury worries in the opening half with Callanan having to go off after 20 minutes while Waterford lost Austin Gleeson after half an hour.
The sides were level at 1-4 to 0-7 at the end of the opening quarter before Tipperary surged in front and rattled off eight points without reply with free-taker Gearoid O’Connor in superb form and added one from play and a ’65 in a haul of 0-8 before the break.
They got the lead out to 1-11 to 0-7 after 33 minutes before Jamie Barron got Waterford’s first score in 20 minutes as they finished the half strongly and cut the gap to four before the sides departed with a sideline scuffle as they exited the pitch.
Waterford got on top after the break and outscored Tipperary by six points to one to lead by 0-17 to 1-13 after 48 minutes but they missed two good goal chances with Jack Prendergast and Neil Montgomery both shooting low across the goal from the left and wide.
O’Connor and Bennett exchanged frees before sub Mark Kehoe levelled before another sub Jason Forde swapped points with Colin Dunbar to leave them level at 1-16 to 0-19 with 16 minutes remaining.
Then Kehoe dispossessed another sub Conor Ryan and Morris pounced for his second goal after 55 minutes and Waterford’s woe increased when Barron was sent off for an off the ball incident.
Two minutes later Conor Bowe, with his first touch after coming on, blasted home Tipperary’s third goal and Jake Morris, who 0-6 after coming on, tacked on a point to lead by 3-17 to 0-19 with 12 minutes left on the clock.
Waterford never looked like getting the goal they needed to mount a revival and it was Tipperary who finished in style with Morris completing his hat-trick two minutes from time as the Waterford defence was carved open again.
Scorers – Tipperary: J Morris 3-0, G O’Connor 0-9 (0-7f, 0-1 ’65), J Forde 0-6 (0-1f), C Bowe 1-0, M Kehoe 0-2, C Stakelum 0-2, A Tynan 0-1, N McGrath 0-1, S Kennedy 0-1, P Maher 0-1. Waterford: S Bennett 0-8f, C Lyons 0-4, Patrick Fitzgerald 0-3 (0-2f), J Prendergast 0-3, J Barron 0-2, C Dunford 0-1, I Daly 0-1, N Montgomery 0-1, D Hutchinson 0-1, Padraig Fitzgerald 0-1.
Tipperary: R Shelly 7; J Ryan 7, B O’Mara 6, E Connolly 6; M Breen 7, R Maher 7, S Kennedy 6; C Stakelum 7, N McGrath 6; D McCormack 7, G O’Connor 7, A Tynan 6; J Morris 8, P Maher 7, S Callanan 6. Subs: M Kehoe 7 for Callanan (20), J Forde 8 for Tynan (48), C Bowe 6 for O’Connor (57), J McGrath 5 for Bowe (67), J Campion 5 for N McGrath (69).
Waterford: B Nolan 7; M Fitzgerald 5, C Prunty 6, S McNulty 7; C Lyons 8, T de Burca 7, I Daly 6; A Gleeson 5, J Barron 7; N Montgomery 6, J Prendergast 8, P Curran 5; D Hutchinson 5, S Bennett 7, C Dunford 6. Subs: K Mahony 6 for Gleeson (30), C Ryan 5 for Prunty (half-time), C Daly 5 for Curran (half-time), Patrick Fitzgerald 6 for Bennett (59), Padraig Fitzgerald 5 for Dunford (64).
Ref: James Owens (Wexford).