/ GAA

Waterford 1-12 Tipperary 2-13

Updated: Sunday, 08 Feb 2009 18:41

Waterford's Richie Foley and Willie Ryan of Tipperary tussle for possession at Walsh Park
Waterford's Richie Foley and Willie Ryan of Tipperary tussle for possession at Walsh Park

Reigning Allianz NHL champions Tipperary held off a resilient Waterford to open their title defence with a well-earned victory at Walsh Park.

Played in tricky, wet conditions, it was the visitors who started strongest leading by three points to one after 15 minutes.

And it should probably have been a three point lead as Paul Kelly appeared to have scored a point that wasn’t awarded, despite one of the umpires appearing to signal that a point had been scored.

Waterford were hit with an early injury blow as Shane Walsh had to be replaced after only 15 minutes of the first half.

Tipperary were up by 1-06 to 0-03 at half-time and it would have been a greater lead had it not been for the brilliance of Deise keeper Clinton Hennessey who was in inspired form.

The only goal of the first half came after 30 minutes with Pat Kerwick striking the ball home for the visitors.

Waterford came into the game in the second half with Dan Shanahan and brother Maurice helping the Deise reduce the gap to four points.

And then keeper Hennessey travelled the length of the pitch to smash a penalty home past Brendan Cummins to give Waterford a chance.

But the Deise revival was short lived as Paul Kelly immediately struck back with a well-taken goal to ensure a victorious start for the reigning champions.

Seamus Prendergast almost grabbed a late goal for the home side in a goalmouth scramble but it was too little too late for Waterford.