Waterford 3; South Tipperary 1
This game was predicted by many to be a very close encounter and that is how it turned out to be. It came as no surprise that an extra 20 minutes had to be played to separate the two sides.
The Waterford outfit are managed by John Furlong and the top rated coach really got his charges fired up for the extra time period and they blew the Tipperary team apart during that extra 20 minutes.
At one stage in the second half the game was played in a most incredible downpour of sleet and rain. Snow also fell at one stage and it must have made life very difficult for the players and indeed the three officials.
The RSC looked like a picture on a Christmas card at one stage.
There was never much between the two sides. Tipperary had a good spell in the first half, when they appeared to have the upper hand in the middle of the park. Paddy Dalton was pulling the strings for them but eventually he was closed down and the supply to International striker Michael Rafter and the Brazilian born Caique Silva was cut off.
It was the Waterford team who finished the stronger and they fully deserved their Munster glory. Their eyes will now be on All-Ireland glory.
South Tipperary took the lead after 8 minutes. A left-wing corner kick taken by Paddy Dalton took a deflection off defender Dean Hayes. Goalkeeper Josh Byrne caught the ball but he was deemed to be over the line and the goal was given.
Straight from the re-start Waterford got back on level terms. The ball was played out wide left to Ryan Foley and when he played the ball into the path of James Starmer he did the rest by placing the ball past goalkeeper Colm Nugent from 15 yards range.
Jack Gaule of Waterford fired in an effort from 20 yards on 12 minutes but his effort went over the crossbar. Jack Gaule’s first touch deserted him after 26 minutes in front of goal following a fine through ball from Reece Rooney. Jack Gaule, Kevin Feeley and Paul White combined superbly inside the penalty area 3 minutes later but defender Killian Troy cleared the danger with a fine tackle on White.
James Starmer burst through the Tipperary penalty area just before half-time but his low strike went narrowly wide.
Two minutes into the second half, Paddy Dalton played the ball out right to Caique Silva who in turn returned the ball to Dalton but his blistering strike was saved by Josh Byrne who touched the ball around his right upright.
Moments later Paul White went close for Waterford with a header. Michael Rafter turned and shot for Tipperary 8 minutes into the second period only to see his fine effort go wide.
Waterford had a chance on 62 minutes. A free kick taken by Kevin Feely from the right found its way to Paul White but he could not control the ball inside a crowded six yards box.
Three minutes later a Ryan Foley corner from the right caused all sorts of problems to the Tipperary defence and again Paul White was put off by a massed Tipperary defence.
In the last minute Jack Gaule played the ball to Paul White but this time he hit the side netting. One thought it was not going to be White’s day but it all came right for the Bohemians striker 2 minutes into extra-time. Shane Hayes played the ball down the right flank and into the path of White. He shook off two tackles before finding the near corner of the net with a smashing shot on the run. This was Paul White at his very best.
Ryan Foley wrapped up the game for Waterford 2 minutes into the second period of extra-time. Andrew Baxter sprayed the ball down the left wing to Foley and he drilled the ball gleefully to the net past goalkeeper Colm Nugent.
Again another cup was waiting to be collected a joyous group of Waterford players.
Waterford (panel): Josh Byrne, Dean Hayes, Luke Harney, Adam Heaslop (c), Shane Hayes, James Starmer, Kevin Feeley, Reece Rooney, Paul White, Jack Gaule, Ryan Foley, Subs: Eoin Walsh, Wayne Robinson, Andrew Baxter, James Connolly, Damien Cashin, Kevin Hurley, David Richardson.
South Tipperary: Colm Nugent, Killian Duggan, Simon Williams, Killian Troy, Paddy Dalton, Eoin Farrell, Cormac Crowe, Michael Rafter, Caique Silva, Shane Leahy. Subs: Pat Fitzgerald, Shane Leahy, Shane Power.