Fox finish settles war of attrition in Tipp's favour
Tipperary 2-7 Clare 1-7
Tipperary manager Liam Kearns is still without a host of key players but there's no questioning the commitment and workrate of those he does have available.
In atrocious conditions at Sean Treacy Park in Tipperary town yesterday, the hosts scrapped for their first victory of the Division 3 campaign.
In some respects, Clare were architects of their own downfall as they registered ten first-half wides with the wind at their backs, and trailed by 1-4 to 0-4 at half-time.
Conor Sweeney struck a third-minute goal for Tipp and Brian Fox palmed the decisive score to the Clare net with eight minutes left.
It was a timely riposte from Tipp, who had been pegged back at 1-7 apiece just a minute earlier, when Jamie Malone rammed home a super Clare goal.
Tipp have now collected three points from their opening two games, a wholly acceptable return as they prepare for a visit to vulnerable Westmeath in three weeks.
Kearns lost the services of Jimmy Feehan to a black card with ten minutes, and watched Malone crack home a brilliant leveller, but Tipp still had a decisive response when it mattered.
Fittingly, their newly-appointed captain Peter Acheson was the provider, opting to go for the jugular with a pass to Fox when a point would have been the safer choice.
Another of Tipp's experience campaigners, Philip Austin, rattled the Clare crossbar in the third minute, before Sweeney picked up the pieces.
But although Tipp had that interval lead, Clare were tough opposition despite playing against the elements after half-time, as David Tubridy nailed a couple of superb frees into the wind. They even managed to get level, but Fox twisted the knife.
Man of the match: P Acheson
Scorers - Tipperary: B Fox 1-1, P Austin 0-4 (2fs), C Sweeney 1-0, P Acheson, J Keane 0-1 each. Clare: J Malone 1-0, D Tubridy 0-3fs, G Brennan, E Cleary (1f) 0-2 each.
Tipperary - C Kenrick 7; C McDonald 7, A Campbell 6, C O'Shaughnessy 7; J Feehan 6, R Kiely 7, D Leahy 6 A Moloney 7, M Dunne 7; J Keane 7, P Acheson 9, B Fox 8; N O'Donovan 5, C Sweeney 6, P Austin 8. Subs: J O'Callaghan 6 for D Leahy (53), S Leahy n/a for Feehan (BC 60), K O'Halloran n/a for Sweeney (62), B Hewitt for Austin (66), D Butler n/a for O'Donovan (68).
Clare - J Hayes 6; C O'Dea 6, K Hartnett 6, M McMahon 6; J Malone 7, G Kelly 6, P Lillis 5; G Brennan 8, C O'Connor 6; S Collins 6, E Coughlan 5, S McGrath 5; K Sexton 6, E Cleary 7, D Tubridy 7. Subs: D McMahon 6 for Coughlan (ht), P Burke n/a for Sexton (60), S Haugh n/a for McGrath (60), D Nagle n/a for Lillis (67).
Ref - P O'Sullivan (Kerry).