Tipperary survive dramatic shootout to preserve senior status

TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship

Tipperary 0-8

Waterford 0-8

(After extra-time. Tipperary win 6-5 in free-taking competition)

By Tomás McCarthy

Tipperary secured their TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship status for 2024 in dramatic fashion at a wet and windy Piltown in this relegation play-off match.

Peter Creedon’s side defeated Waterford 6-5 in a free-taking competition after the sides finished level at eight points apiece after extra-time. Corner back Emma Cronin converted the decisive kick in sudden death to spark wild celebrations among the Tipp players and mentors.

The Déise will now take on Cavan next weekend to decide which team drops to intermediate.

Waterford played with wind assistance in the first half. Lauren McGregor opened the scoring from a free after eleven minutes. At the other end, a dangerous high ball from Aishling Moloney bounced left and wide.

Kellyann Hogan knocked over two long range points in the space of a minute, the second from 45 metres. McGregor converted another placed ball to open up a four point gap at the break. Tipp midfielder Niamh Martin was sent to the sin bin in first half injury time for a challenge on Laura Mulcahy.

A torrential downpour spoiled the start of the second half. Aishling Moloney curled over Tipperary’s first point after 38 minutes. She added a free four minutes later. Laura Dillon landed a long range point before Moloney supplied Angela McGuigan for the equaliser from a quick free. Elaine Kelly edged Tipp 0-5 to 0-4 ahead with ten minutes left. McGregor levelled from a free on 54 minutes after Laura Mulcahy was fouled. The Waterford attacker had a chance to snatch victory five minutes into added time but kicked short into Lauren Fitzpatrick.

Déise sub Katie Murray lashed over 50 seconds into the first period of extra time. Moloney equalised again from a free. With wind assistance, Tipp’s star forward nailed another. Kellyann Hogan took over on the placed balls for Waterford and levelled matters at 0-7 apiece at the interval. She struck the crossbar in injury time. Tipp were reduced to fourteen when Martin received her second yellow for a high tackle on Aoife Murray.

Despite this setback, Laura Morrissey put the Premier County in front a minute into the second period. Hogan tied the scores for the fifth time. She could have won it for Waterford but her late free drifted wide.

The crowd fell silent for the free-taking contest. It took sixteen kicks to separate them as Emma Cronin held her nerve to knock over the winner.

Scorers – Tipperary: A Moloney 0-4 (3fs), E Kelly, L Dillon, A McGuigan, L Morrissey 0-1 each.

Waterford: K Hogan 0-4 (2fs), L McGregor 0-3 (3fs), K Murray 0-1.

TIPPERARY: L Fitzpatrick; E Kelly, L Spillane, E Cronin; L Dillon, M Curley, C O’Dwyer; L Morrissey, Niamh Martin; S English, E Morrissey, Nora Martin; A McGuigan, E O’Sullivan, A Moloney.  Subs: M Creedon for O’Sullivan (35), C English for S English (60), A Delaney for Creedon (75).

WATERFORD: E O’Brien; H Power, Karen McGrath, L Mulcahy; E Murray, A Waring, A Murray; B McMaugh, E Power; A Fitzgerald, K Hogan, A O’Neill; L McGregor, Kate McGrath, C Hynes. Subs: K Murray for Hynes (39), C McCarthy for Fitzgerald (58), C Murray for Waring (63), A Murphy for McGregor (73), A Fitzgerald for Mulcahy (78).

Referee: P Burke (Louth)

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