NHL Div1 Semi: Déise delight for McGrath
WATERFORD hurlers have been bucking the odds all spring - and they did it once more at Nowlan Park yesterday, giving Tipperary a seven-point head start and still bouncing back to reach their first Allianz League final since 2007.
Pauric Mahony lofted over a 69th minute free - his 13th point of the day - to seal a thrilling 1-19 to 2-15 victory.
They now face Cork in the decider, just five weeks before the pair renew Munster semi-final battle on June 7.
For manager Derek McGrath, this was further validation of their year-two progress, even in the face of criticism about their defensive set-up.
"We're a tight unit - no more than any other inter-county teams," McGrath explained. "We don't have ego but we have absolute confidence - you don't want a fella who'll crawl into his shell."
They could have done so after falling 2-4 to 0-3 adrift after Tipp struck for two goals, via Patrick 'Bonner' Maher and John O'Dwyer, inside 13 minutes.
But they were back within touch (2-8 to 0-11) at the break while Colin Dunford's 52nd minute goal put them ahead for the first time in the second half. They were four clear before Tipp fought back to parity, only for Mahony to land the killer free.
nhl div 1 semi: waterford 1-19 tipp 2-15