Banner rely on late Malone strike to overcome Tipp
Clare 1-10 Tipperary 1-9
Colm Collins' Clare team enjoyed the slenderest of victories over Tipperary in the opening round of the McGrath Cup at Miltown Malbay yesterday.
The Banner county had to rely on a late goal by Kieran Malone to achieve the win on a day when Tipperary held the lead for 57 minutes of play, but poor shooting by their forwards proved to be their undoing.
Springing Gary Brennan and David Tubridy from the bench was also a factor in the home win.
Clare's Keelan Sexton opened the scoring after five minutes, but Tipperary gained control and registered 1-5 to no score, all from play over a ten minute spell, with Kevin O Loughlin grabbing the goal.
They maintained the pressure and led by 1-6 to 0-4 at half-time.
Clare got two early scores after the break, but the Premier county kept their noses in front, and led 1-9 to 0-8 before the introduction of Tubridy changed the game's complexion.
He immediately kicked two vital scores, reducing the margin to just two points.
Then he set up the all-important goal. Gathering possession in the half-forward line, he gave one Tipperary defender the slip before unleashing a hand pass that found Malone on the edge of the square.
Introduced as a sub at half-time, the youngster made no mistake from close range, giving Ciarán Kendrick little chance in the Tipperary goal.
The visitors had chances to draw the game, but a free by O' Loughlin sailed wide in injury time.
Scorers - Clare: K Sexton 0-4 (3 f), K Malone 1-0, D Tubridy 0-2, E Cleary (f), C O'Connor ('45), G Brennan, S O'Donoghue 0-1 each. Tipperary: K O'Halloran 1-3 (2 f), B Hewitt 0-2, B Fox, A Moloney, C Sweeney, C O'Shaughnessy 0-1 each
Clare - P De Loughrey; M Malone, K Harnett, M McMahon; S Haugh, E Coughlan, P Lillis; C O'Connor, S O'Donoghue; C O'Dea, S Collins, K Sexton; M O'Leary, A O'Neill, E Cleary. Subs: G Brennan for O'Dea (28), K Malone for O'Leary (half-time), E Ralph for O'Neill (49), D McMahon for Haugh (51), D Tubridy for Cleary (56)
Tipperary - C Kendrick; J Feehan, A Campbell, C O'Shaughnessy; J O'Callaghan, R Kiely, S Leahy; A Moloney, M Dunne; B Fox, C Sweeney, J Keane; K O'Halloran, L Casey, B Hewitt. Subs: N O'Donovan for Moloney (54), D Leahy for Keane (61), L Boland for S Leahy (62), G Cronin for D Leahy, Black Card (63)
Ref - S Mulvihill (Kerry)