Second-half goals from Seamus Callanan and goalkeeper Darren Gleeson helped Tipperary beat Waterford 2-13 to 0-16 in this Allianz National Hurling League Division 1A opener at Semple Stadium.
Tipperary shrugged off a poor first half display to claim maximum points against the Déise in front of 4,786 spectators in Thurles.
Waterford will rue a tally of 13 wides, including eight in the first half, as manager Derek McGrath's first League game at the helm ended in defeat.
Tipp were three points behind at half-time but they recovered after the break to get their League campaign off to winning start.
Callanan hit 1-04 in a blistering 14-minute spell and Gleeson sealed the win with a bizarre goal in stoppage time, as his long-range free drifted all the way into the Waterford net.
And that goal capped a slightly fortuitous victory for a Tipperary side that flattered to deceive in freezing conditions.
McGrath’s players were excellent in the first half, opening up a 0-08 to 0-05 lead by the interval.
But Waterford were guilty of some poor shooting in that opening half as Pauric Mahony, scorer of six first-half points (including five frees), also registered five wides before the break.
Tipperary were struggling to make any inroads as John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer hit three first-half frees, with Noel McGrath and James Woodlock adding points from play.
But McGrath pulled the strings in the second half for Tipperary, with fellow forward Seamus Callanan also sparking into life.
Callanan’s 47th-minute goal was drilled home from an acute angle after the Drom & Inch forward was picked out by Noel McGrath’s brilliant pass.
Callanan’s strike hauled Tipp level at 1-07 to 0-10, after they had fallen five points behind early in the second half, 0-05 to 0-10, with Maurice Shanahan and Jake Dillon raising white flags for Waterford after half-time.
But Tipp, to their credit, rallied and Callanan’s 56th minute free handed them lead for the very first time. It was an advantage that they would hold all the way to the finish as Waterford ran out of gas.
The Deise had their misery compounded when Gleeson’s free ended up in the back of the Town End net.
But overall, there are plenty of reasons to be positive for Waterford as they contested the game with vigour, particularly in the first half.
They were unfortunate to lose by three in the end and Tipp know they have plenty of work to do ahead of next weekend’s visit to bitter rivals Kilkenny.
Tipperary: D Gleeson (1-00f); C Barrett, C O’Mahony, M Cahill; S McGrath, P Maher, C O’Brien; B Maher, J Woodlock (0-01); S Callanan (1-04, 0-02f), N McGrath (0-02), K Bergin (0-01); J Forde, P Murphy, J O’Dwyer (0-04f).
Substitutes: L McGrath for Forde (43), D Maher (0-01) for O’Dwyer (49), S Bourke for Murphy (56), R Maher for Woodlock (59),
Waterford: S O’Keeffe; B Coughlan, S Fives, N Connors; J Nagle, M Walsh, Philip Mahony (0-02); K Moran (0-01), S O’Sullivan; J Barron, Pauric Mahony (0-10, 9f), J Dillon (0-01); M Shanahan (0-01), S Walsh, B O’Sullivan (0-01).
Substitutes: S Molumphy for S Walsh (48), S Prendergast for Dillon (58), E Barrett for Shanahan (67), S Roche for S O’Sullivan (70).
Referee: C Lyons (Cork).