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Published: 11:50 | 4/6/18

McGrath dampens controversy after Tipp thriller

Waterford boss Derek McGrath refused to blame the officials after being on the wrong end of controversial decisions as the Deise and Tipperary played out a 2-22 draw in their Munster Senior Hurling Championship round three clash at the Gaelic Grounds.

Injury-hit Waterford looked set for a first Championship victory over their rivals since 2008 when they went in at the break with a six point lead and a man advantage after Mickey Cahill's dismissal for two yellows, only to wilt under pressure after the interval and concede an 11-point lead.

Their fortunes were not aided by the awarding of a goal for Tipp's Jason Forde just after the hour mark despite replays clearly showing that Austin Gleeson had not fumbled the ball behind his goal-line.

Then, deep in injury time, Ronan Maher was awarded a point that had been signaled wide before the referee over-ruled to award it. It meant a first Championship draw between the sides since 1933.

Deise backroom staff swamped referee Alan Kelly on the final whistle to remonstrate on decisions that ultimately cost them victory, but later Derek McGrath moved to dampen the controversy.

"The points could be important yet – that’s the message in our dressing room," McGrath said. "We don’t want any discussion about referee’s decisions, VAR [Video Assistant Referee] or not if you like, if that’s coming down the line. We just move on.

"The decision or otherwise in terms of the goal may only tally if you don't qualify from the group.

"it may become a point of conjecture as the summer goes on. You might feel a little bit more aggrieved about it. 

"Albeit, if it's not the correct decision what can you do only move on."

Despite being under the cosh, Waterford looked set to hold on, but with just 20 seconds of four added minutes to play, Forde was fouled and stepped up to secure the point that leveled the game.

"You never feel safe with Tipp because of the potency of their attack and the quality of their subs." added McGrath.

"We just felt we'd see it out. We were hit with a kind of a storm, a force from Tipperary that we weren't able to weather it."

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