TIPPERARY HAVE BEATEN Waterford by three points in this evening’s Allianz NHL Division 1A opener at a chilly Semple Stadium.
Tipperary put a disappointing first half performance behind them to get their campaign off to winning start in front of 4,786 spectators in Thurles.
Seamus Callanan scored 1-4 in the second half and goalkeeper Darren Gleeson capped the win with a bizarre goal in the 70th minute.
At half-time, Tipperary were in trouble as they trailed by 0-5 to 0-8 against a hungry Waterford side playing with the aid of the breeze.
But the hosts were much better in the second half as Callanan opened up with his scoring blitz within the space of 14 minutes.
Callanan’s well-taken goal in the 47th minute, created by Noel McGrath’s brilliant pass, tied the scores at 1-7 to 0-10.
And it was Callanan who put Tipperary ahead for the first time in the game nine minutes later from a free.
Tipperary withstood a tense finish to claim the spoils but Waterford will rue a finishing tally of 13 wides.
By half-time, they had racked up eight wides with Pauric Mahony, who top-scored for the Déise with 0-10, guilty of five of those.
Waterford’s misery was complete in the final minute when Gleeson’s long-range free drifted all the way into the net.
Scorers for Tipperary: Seamus Callanan 1-4 (0-2f), John O’Dwyer 0-4f, Darren Gleeson 1-0f, Noel McGrath 0-2, James Woodlock, Kieran Bergin & Denis Maher 0-1 each
Scorers for Waterford: Pauric Mahony 0-10 (9f), Philip Mahony 0-2, Kevin Moran, Jake Dillon, Maurice Shanahan & Brian O’Sullivan 0-1 each
TIPPERARY: Darren Gleeson (Portroe); Cathal Barrett (Holycross-Ballycahill), Conor O’Mahony (Newport), Michael Cahill (Thurles Sarsfields); Shane McGrath (Ballinahinch), Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields), Conor O’Brien (Éire Óg Annacarty); Brendan Maher (Borrisoleigh), James Woodlock (Drom & Inch); Seamus Callanan (Drom & Inch), Noel McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney), Kieran Bergin (Killenaule); Jason Forde (Silvermines), Paddy Murphy (Nenagh Éire Óg), John O’Dwyer (Killenaule)
Subs: Liam McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney) for Forde (43), Denis Maher (Thurles Sarsfields) for O’Dwyer (49), Shane Bourke (JK Brackens) for Murphy (56), Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields) for Woodlock (59)
WATERFORD: Stephen O’Keeffe (Ballygunner); Barry Coughlan (Ballygunner), Shane Fives (Carrigtwohill), Noel Connors (Passage); Jamie Nagle (Dungarvan), Michael Walsh (Stradbally), Philip Mahony (Ballygunner); Kevin Moran (De La Salle), Shane O’Sullivan (Ballygunner); Jamie Barron (Fourmilewater), Pauric Mahony (Ballygunner), Jake Dillon (De La Salle); Maurice Shanahan (Lismore), Shane Walsh (Fourmilewater), Brian O’Sullivan (Ballygunner)
Subs: Stephen Molumphy (Ballyduff Upper) for S Walsh (48), Seamus Prendergast (Ardmore) for Dillon (58), Eddie Barrett (De La Salle) for Shanahan (67), Stephen Roche (Mount Sion) for S O’Sullivan (70)
Referee: Colm Lyons (Cork)