Bonner Maher's goals fire Tipp to victory over Clare
Published 20/04/2014 | 17:48
Tipperary will face Kilkenny in a repeat of last year's league final after a 2-24 to 2-17 win over All-Ireland champions Clare at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.
Goals in either half from Patrick 'Bonner' Maher and a hugely impressive display from Seamus Callanan were the key factors in Tipp's success
Both sides had swapped points inside the first 46 seconds with Podge Collins cancelling out John O'Dwyer's opener.
A brace from Seamus Callanan was quickly followed by a goal for Clare's Cathal McInerney who forced the ball over the line after a brilliant save from Tipp goalie Darren Gleeson.
Another Callanan free levelled matters before Niall O'Meara put the Premier men back in front from close range.
Donal Tuohy produced a brilliant save to keep out Seamus Callanan's free in the 11th minute as Tipp looked to capitalise on the fact that they had the breeze.
Points from Denis Maher and John O'Dwyer were responded to by Conor McGrath and Tipp lead by 0-7 to 1-2 after 15 minutes.
Tipp needed a spark and Patrick 'Bonner' Maher provided it as he raced clear to fire past Tuohy and a brilliant brace from the in-form Callanan saw Tipp lead by six.
Colm Galvin and James Barry exchanged points before Callanan scored his sixth point of the afternoon from a free.
Colin Ryan and Callanan swapped points from dead ball situations before the latter opted to puck over a 20-metre free after his previous failure on goal.
A brilliant team move from Tipp then ended with Noel McGrath seizing on the ball and sweeping it over the bar.
Tony Kelly and Cathal McInerney scored the final points of the game final points of the half for Davy Fitzgerald's team but they trailed by seven at the break.
An early second half free for Colin Ryan was quickly followed by a Clare goal after desperate Tipp defending had kept out a number of efforts the ball fell for Patrick Donellan who struck the sliotar into the top corner.
The response from Tipp was emphatic as 'Bonner' Maher found himself in space again and he galloped towards goal before finishing to the corner for his second goal.
David McInerney and Tony Kelly roused the Banner faithful with two huge scores before Padraic Maher hit back with a point of his own in the 48th minute.
Callanan put some missed frees behind him but Colm Galvin responded with a fine score from the right sideline with 17 minutes remaining.
Tipp should have increased their lead soon afterwards but Callanan's shot was brilliantly smothered by Donal Tuohy.
Colin Ryan and Podge Collins made it a three-point game with further scores.
Tipp were then awarded a penalty which Seamus Callanan tapped over before Niall O'Meara and John Conlon exchanged points.
Seamus Callinan and Conor McGrath were next to swap scores as the tit-for-tat nature of the game continued.
Tipp tacked on another few scores and lead by five with two minutes remaining.
Further points from Niall O'Meara and Shane Bourke(2) put the icing on a seven-point win for Eamon O'Shea's team.