A late goal from Paul Kelly proved decisive as Tipperary kicked off their NHL campaign with an impressive win (2-13 to 1-12) away to Waterford on Sunday. "Waterford were always going to come at us but, in fairness to the backs, the amount of ball they hit out and the tenacity of the tackles, as a manager that's what you're looking for," said Tipp boss Liam Sheedy. "Up front, the guys showed they're not happy to be sitting on the subs' bench. We came out and got two scores just after half time, which was an important impetus." Waterford boss Davy Fitzgerald agreed that Kelly's goal made all the difference. "It was a killer blow. If we could have just held on for another few minutes it would have been interesting because the momentum would have been with us," said Fitzgerald. "Our goal was a big momentum shift for the crowd but then: bang, flat again within a minute. We're definitely two to three weeks behind compared to the rest of them. You can see that. But Tipp brought on a few of their big guns at the end. "Unfortunately I had none of mine to bring on as they were sitting up in the stand.