Tipperary are Munster champions again – and beaten finalists Waterford will have to face rivals Cork in the All-Ireland quarter-final.
Declan Ryan’s Tipp side pulled away from Waterford in the final quarter of Sunday’s provincial final to win by 2-17 to 0-16 thanks to a late goal from sub Shane Bourke.
Ryan admitted the Premier County were far from their best as they retained their title after the teams were level at the break.
He said: “It was not more than we were expecting. We were delighted to go in level at half-time as we had not played particularly well in the first half.
“But we were delighted then when the guys knuckled down in second half and they finished very strongly.
“It is great to have people like Shane Bourke, Eoin Kelly and Seamie Callinan to bring in. It was a fantastic introduction for Shane today. He stuck one in the back of the net and that is what all forwards like to do.
“The guys showed a lot of character there today even though we were not at our best. They battled away to the end and we finished out the game.
“The guys have been working very hard since 1 January and they have put a huge amount of work in. I think it has paid off in our last couple of games and paid off again today.
“We’ve come through a pretty stiff challenge in Munster. Getting to the All-Ireland semi-final is what we were after and we’ve achieved that today. The Munster Championship is over and we look forward to the All-Ireland series.”
Beaten Waterford must now pick themselves up for an All-Ireland quarter-final tie against Cork on Sunday week.
All-Ireland champions Kilkenny will be favourites to beat Limerick in the other quarter-final following Monday morning’s draw.
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