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Dublin: 2°C Saturday 28 November 2020


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We are rapidly closing in on the start of the Munster final so let’s get straight to it and here are the teams. Tipperary first as they look to defend their crown and lay down a marker for the more-open-than-usual championship.

B Cummins; C O’Brien, P Curran, M Cahill ; T Stapleton, C O’Mahony, P Maher; B Maher, S McGrath; P Bourke, P Maher, L Corbett; B O’Meara, J O’Brien, N McGrath

As for Waterford as they look to win their 10th ever Munster crown, this is how they are set to start…

S O’Keeffe; N Connors, L Lawlor, S Daniels; T Browne, M Walsh, K Moran; S Molumphy, Phil Mahony; Pauric Mahony, S Prendergast, M Shanahan; J Mullane, S Walsh, G O’Brien

Teams are now parading around a humid Páirc Uí Chaoimh and there was rain so it’s bound to be slippy. Tipperary are favourites but that full-back line is a concern. Is there another famous performance from Waterford? We’ll find out in moments.

Game is on.

3 minutes, Tipperary 0-0 Waterford 0-2: Frantic start as you’d expect. Waterford half-back line win the first couple of balls and it’s the basis for the opening score as Shane Walsh swings over from the left-hand side. Tipp going with two-man full-forward line with Noel McGrath and John O’Brien. As we say that, John Mullane gets out in front and doubles the lead. Michael Cahill picking him up.

6 minutes, Tipperary 0-0 Waterford 0-3: John Mullane and Conor O’Brien get up close and personal as the game tries to find a pattern. Waterford not making it easy though, their defence is putting huge pressure on, they’ve seen three Tipp shots go wide and there’s been a couple of blocks too. No such problem for Waterford though as Pauric Mahony sends one over from the middle of the field.

9 minutes, Tipperary 0-1 Waterford 0-4: Brian O’Meara, who is dropping deep, and Maurice Shanahan, from a free, trade scores but Tipperary lacking accuracy thus far as Thomas Stapleton fires wide.

11 minutes, Tipperary 1-1 Waterford 0-5: We were just talking about how Tony Browne has started well but there Patrick Maher gets through the half-back line, feeds John O’Brien and he goals from a tight angle. Shane Walsh hits back straight away with nice point, he’s started well too and is finding space.

13 minutes, Tipperary 1-2 Waterford 0-6: John O’Brien levels it up again, showed his power to win ball, turns and fires over.  Tipp getting plenty of ball but their passing and shot selection not great so far. Waterford much more economical and that’s brilliant from John Mullane, great touch, great pace, great finish.

16 minutes, Tipperary 1-5 Waterford 0-6: Padraic Maher and Noel McGrath find space in centrefield, great accuracy from both for a couple of points. If  Waterford are plenty tight across the half-back line there’s too much space in front and behind them. John O’Brien makes it three in that short spell. You’d think Waterford’s two-man full-back line could do with someone dropping in front of them.

21 minutes, Tipperary 1-6 Waterford 0-6: Declan Ryan’s side slowly turning the screw here you feel. John Mullane has started well, Shane Walsh too, but Tipp getting plenty of ball and are looking more and more dangerous going forward. Thomas Stapleton and Padraic Maher are both winning ball and getting forward from wing-back and that’s putting huge pressure on the Waterford defence. Indeed Maher with a huge free there as the lead lengthens although it could have been worse as John O’Brien has a shot well saved.

24 minutes, Tipperary 1-7 Waterford 0-7: Mullane keeping Waterford close as he makes it three points from three shots. He’s really up for this – should we be surprised – but he’s not getting enough ball and we wonder how long before another Tipperary goal as they pull the Waterford defence out with some long-range ball-winning and shooting. Shane McGrath gets his first as the gap is a goal again and there was nearly that goal there as Lar Corbett goes close.

25 minutes, Tipperary 1-7 Waterford 0-8: That would have been some effort by Maurice Shanahan, beat three men with speed and stickwork and only Brendan Cummins stops him. Consolation is a 65 which he sends over himself once he catches his breath. We are trying to catch ours too. Smoke coming from the keyboard here.

32 minutes, Tipperary 1-8 Waterford 0-9: Maurice Shanahan gets his third and after Tipp threatened to take over, suddenly there’s just a point in it. Wait, two, Pa Bourke hits back with a free.

34 minutes, Tipperary 1-7 Waterford 0-9: Shane Walsh trips over himself but gets a free and Maurice Shanahan again narrows the gap to the minimum. Eoin Kelly on for Tipp, Pa Bourke gone off before the break.

Half-time, Tipperary 1-7 Waterford 0-10: Kelly wins neither of the first couple of balls and Mullane, gone to full-forward, is hooked as he attempts to shoot.  Intensity gone up last couple of minutes with plenty of off the ball shouldering. But with the last shot of the half, Maurice Shanahan levels it up. Waterford wi’ll be delighted with that having come back into it in the last 15. Great first half. All to play for.

Back underway here.

38 minutes, Tipperary 1-9 Waterford 0-11: Lar Corbett wandering everywhere in first half, he’s now gone over to Tony Browne, but the first action of the second half is at the other end as the pass from John Mullane is superb as is Stephen Molumphy’s finish under pressure. That’s their first lead since the 13th minute but it doesn’t last long as Brian O’Meara clips over from the sideline after going through, rather than around, Kevin Moran.

40 minutes, Tipperary 1-9 Waterford 0-13: John Mullane wins a free and goes bananas. Maurice Shanahan sends over that free from 50. He’s been very good from deadballs after all the questions about who would take up that duty for Waterford in the lead up.

45 minutes, Tipperary 1-11Waterford 0-13: Noel McGrath and John O’Brien in a heartbeat swing the pendulum back the other way. But for every reaction… Maurice Shanahan is fouled after some serious hard work but misses the free. Eoin Kelly on for Gavin O’Brien on the Waterford side. And Paul O’Brien comes on for Pauric Mahony.

48 minutes, Tipperary 1-12 Waterford 0-14: You get the sense Tipperary have the greater scoring power and could pull away with a couple of bursts. Michael Cahill extends the lead but Waterford keep clinging to coattails and have yet to be shaken free.  Shanahan from where he missed a free from moments ago does get this one. Important score.

52 minutes, Tipperary 1-13 Waterford 0-14: Paul O’Brien pulls on the ground but is denied by Brendan Cummins. This is end to end. Now Padraic Maher wins a free and Eoin Kelly points as Shane Bourke comes on for Brian O’Meara,

54 minutes, Tipperary 2-13 Waterford 0-14: Huge moment. Shane Bourke is just on and a long free in is batted down in his direction by John O’Brien – he has been immense. Bourke pulls on the ground and sends it to the net. Waterford, physically, were struggling to hang on. Have they got it in them to come back?

57 minutes, Tipperary 2-13 Waterford 0-14: Shanahan’s frees have been decent for the most part but that’s the wrong time to miss from in front of the posts. Tony Browne sends the next chance wide, they could have done with those two points.

60 minutes, Tipperary 2-14 Waterford 0-14: Eoin Kelly has a goal chance saved by Brendan Cummins, Shane Walsh is blocked at close range and at the end of that Waterford pressure Noel McGrath picks off another point. The embers are dying here by the minute as Seamus Prendergast fluffs Waterford’s eighth wide.

62 minutes, Tipperary 2-14 Waterford 0-15: Maurice Shanahan’s dip in form from frees see Eoin Kelly take over that duty king and he nails it. They’ve taken their first steps up the mountain that’s in front of them. Jamie Nagle on for Tony Browne who gets a serious roar.

65 minutes, Tipperary 2-15 Waterford 0-16: Eoin Kelly adds to Tipp’s lead, decided to go high with a 21-yard free. The air has been sucked out of this game. There’s only going to be one winner, even as Shanahan gets one back from play.

68 minutes, Tipperary 2-15 Waterford 0-16: Eoin Kelly has a short-range free stopped by Brendan Cummins, the angle wasn’t great, neither was the connection. He misses the subsequent 65 too.

69 minutes, Tipperary 2-17 Waterford 0-16: Jamie Nagle drops one short at one end, Eoin Kelly shows him how it’s done at the other end. And now Shane Bourke. Salt in the wound. Bourke has looked really good since he’s come on. Gets in some great positions.

Full-time,  Tipperary 2-17 Waterford 0-16: Waterford enter the draw for the quarter-finals tomorrow, Tipp retain their title and go to the semi-finals. They had too much physical power and endurance and while Waterford were game for as long as their bodies allowed them, they just couldn’t keep up and that Shane Bourke goal was the knockout punch.

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