Tipperary were left with Limerick to thank for keeping their championship dreams alive although their Munster final hopes were ended after Waterford exposed a flat Premier performance.
The Déise signed off with their best showing of the Munster championship, with Dessie Hutchinson's 52nd-minute goal, their first in six games, helping them to preserve a nine-point half-time lead.
Limerick's one-point win means Tipperary will now meet Offaly in an All-Ireland preliminary quarter-final, while Waterford can go back to their clubs with some pride restored after Davy Fitzgerald’s troops got the better of their former boss Liam Cahill.
There were five injury-enforced changes, with Cathal Barrett and Jake Morris missing out for Tipperary, while Conor Prunty, Jamie Barron, and Austin Gleeson were absent for Waterford.
There was a first championship start for Séamus Callanan since the 2021 All-Ireland quarter-final but that took second billing to Fitzgerald’s decision to play goalkeeper Billy Nolan as the Déise sweeper.
The Roanmore stopper plays outfield for his club but has never done so for his county. He lined out wearing an outfield version of the no.16 sub-keeper’s jersey and picked off a Noel McGrath handpass that led to a Peter Hogan point.
He had a couple more contributions to scores before landing one of his own from his own 65 in the 31st minute.
Nolan’s role relieved Jack Fagan to advance more from wing-back and he clipped three points inside the first dozen minutes, while the Ballygunner inside duo of Dessie Hutchinson and Patrick Fitzgerald were causing all sorts of problems to add another three each.
They were devouring Tipp on puck-outs, both long and short, as the hosts went 13 minutes before their first shot from play, a Callanan point.
Tipp were totally flat, seemingly feeling the effects of their Limerick epic, but took every chance they got in the first 25 minutes. They needed every one just to stay in touch.
They were out-shot by 20 to 7 but the scoreline didn’t fully reflect that gap, 0-12 to 0-07, until Waterford landed their next five to move 10 ahead.
Gearóid O’Connor had 0-04 but picked up an early ankle knock as McGrath took over frees on his eventual withdrawal. He made it 0-17 to 0-08 at the break. With Cork and Limerick level at the Gaelic Grounds, Tipp were out as it stood.
Waterford’s best score this summer was 0-19 against Limerick. It took them just one half to score 17 points here and within nine seconds of the throw-in, Neil Montgomery had notched the next.
Conor Bowe raced in on goal from the puck-out and though Shaun O’Brien saved, Tipp struck the next five, with Bowe’s long-ranger cutting the gap to five, while Mark Kehoe was adjudged to have overcarried when closing in on the posts.
Waterford replied with 1-02, their first goal in six games coming after Rhys Shelly fumbled the sliotar and Bryan O’Mara failed to gather before Hutchinson nipped in.
Tipp needed to lose by no more than four in case of a draw at the Gaelic Grounds but they weren’t taking their points as attempted to force goals. Noel McGrath was blocked by Stephen Bennett, who scored 0-09, and O’Brien saved an acute John McGrath effort.
Tipperary: R Shelly; B O’Mara, M Breen, R Maher (0-02, 1f); E Connolly (0-01), D McCormack, B McGrath (0-01); S Kennedy, C Stakelum; A Tynan (0-01), N McGrath (0-07, 4f, 3 65), G O’Connor (0-04, 3f); P Maher, S Callanan (0-03), M Kehoe (0-01).
Subs: C Bowe (0-01) for O’Connor (25 inj), Johnny Ryan for B McGrath (44-50, blood), Johnny Ryan for B McGrath (53 inj), S Ryan for Stakelum (54), J McGrath for P Maher (61), J Fogarty for Kehoe (67).
Waterford: S O’Brien; C Gleeson, M Fitzgerald, I Daly; B Nolan (0-01); J Fagan (0-03), C Lyons (0-01), D Lyons; P Leavey, N Montgomery (0-02); P Hogan (0-01), S Bennett (0-09, 7f), J Prendergast; D Hutchinson (1-03), Patrick Fitzgerald (0-03).
Subs: P Curran for Hutchinson (8-10, blood), C Ryan for C Gleeson (27-30, blood), Curran (0-01) for Montgomery (56), C Dunford for Prendergast (61), K Mahony for Hogan (61), DJ Foran for P Fitzgerald (65), C Ryan for C Gleeson (70+4).
Referee: J Keenan (Wicklow).