The Tipperary Intermediate Ladies football team travelled to Fraher Field in Dungarvan on Saturday last to play Waterford in their second outing in the Intermediate Championship.
In their opening round game with Clare a much improved performance saw Tipp challenge the championship favourites right to the end before a late goal flattered the Clare team with a five-point win in Clare.
The game against Waterford was expected to be another close and tense encounter and in an added twist three of the Tipperary ladies play their club football with Ballymacarbry in Co. Waterford.
However Waterford completely dominated a one-sided encounter, winning by 6-18 to 1-4.
Tipp won the toss and elected to play against the wind. After an initial Waterford attack and a wide Tipp registered the opening score with a Gillian Oâ€™Brien point from play. Waterford then replied with three points of their own, two from centre forward Maria Delahunty who was to prove more than a handful throughout the game.
An Aisling McCarthy point from a free saw Tipp get to within a point but from here on the Waterford girls moved through the gears and added scores with almost every attack. The Tipperary defence were opened up time and time again and it was only a matter of time before the goals came. So it proved and when Waterford scored their first goal from midfielder Louise Ryan after twenty minutes the floodgates opened.
The Tipperary team appeared shell-shocked and by half time the game was effectively over, with Waterford 4-11 to 0-4 ahead. Everything Waterford did was done at pace and precision. This was a team still hurting from a league final defeat some weeks previously who were now obviously out to make a statement of intent.
The second half began with another Waterford point before Tipp replied with a goal from Gillian Oâ€™Brien following a strong run and pass from midfielder Lorraine Oâ€™Shea. This, however, was to be Tipperaryâ€™s only score of the second half and Waterford continued where they had left off, adding a further two goals and six points despite playing against a strong breeze.
Tipperary lost Aisling McCarthy to injury early in the second half, adding further to their problems. Shortly afterwards Tipperaryâ€™s Sheelagh Carew received a nasty blow to the face and was also forced to retire. Tipperary introduced Shauna Ryan, Gemma Oâ€™Dwyer and Elaine Butler but for this team there was no respite from the relentless Waterford onslaught. Waterford were simply better everywhere on the field and for Tipperary it will be a difficult defeat to forget. Forget it they must and take the next opportunity against Limerick next Saturday, June 27 in Ardfinnan. This Waterford team have Munster titles galore in recent years but the big one still eludes them. Based on this performance it will take some team to stop them in 2015.
Tipperary - Lauren Fitzpatrick; Bernie Ryan, Maria Curley, Sinead Delahunty; Niamh Lonergan, Louise Cadell, Roisin McGrath; Anne Oâ€™Dwyer, Lorraine Oâ€™Shea; Breda Feeney, Gillian Oâ€™Brien, Aoife Ryan; Aimee Pollard, Aisling McCarthy, Sarah Everard.
Substitutes - Laura Dillon for Sinead Delahunty, Sheelagh Carew for Breda Feeney, Shauna Ryan for Aimee Pollard, Elaine Butler for Aisling McCarthy and Gemma Oâ€™Dwyer for Sheelagh Carew.
THURLES SPORTS FESTIVAL
For the second year Thurles Sports Festival will host the Enda McDonnell Memorial Cup. This is a 7 a-side Ladies Football competition catering for Intermediate and Junior clubs around Ireland and within Tipperary. Full details and an application form for the competition are available on www.tipperaryladiesfootball.ie
FÃ‰ILE NA PEIL
Aherlow will travel to FÃ©ile Na Peil in County Wexford next weekend. They will play two matches in Taghmon on Friday evening - against Taghmon Camross at 5pm and against Portlaoise at 6pm. Their third game is on Saturday morning at 11am against hosts Horsewood. Depending on the results of these matches Aherlow will either have a shield quarter final at 3.45pm or a cup quarter final at 5.15pm in Pairc Gharman. The semi-finals and finals for the shield and the cup will take place on Sunday morning in Ferns Centre of Excellence. The team and mentors are wished the very best of luck.