Monday 24 April 2017

Tipperary now 11 months unbeaten after seeing off Clare at Semple

Aaron Shanagher, left, and Aaron Cunningham of Clare in action against Ronan Maher, left, and Joe O'Dwyer of Tipperary during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A Round 3 match between Tipperary and Clare at Semple Stadium in Thurles, Co Tipperary. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Aaron Shanagher, left, and Aaron Cunningham of Clare in action against Ronan Maher, left, and Joe O'Dwyer of Tipperary during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A Round 3 match between Tipperary and Clare at Semple Stadium in Thurles, Co Tipperary. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Vincent Hogan

Vincent Hogan

Tipperary stretched their unbeaten record into an eleventh month with a late surge to victory over Munster rivals, Clare, at Semple Stadium.

Trailing by a point at half-time, the All-Ireland champions powered away in the dying minutes to record a third consecutive National League victory.

Despite starting with the aid of a strong wind blowing from the Killinan goal, Clare were slow out of the blocks and slipped five points down inside the opening seven minutes. Podge Collins eventually registered their first point in the ninth minute and, thereafter, the remainder of the half all but became the John Conlon show.

The Clonlara man scored four points from play between the 14th and 28th minutes resulting in struggling Tipp wing-back, Seamus Kennedy, being replaced by Willie Ryan just after the half-hour.

Tipp's red hot opening, in which Steven O'Brien and John McGrath were especially prominent, had petered out now as they were out-scored 0-11 to 0-3 between the 9th and 34th minutes. And their cause wasn't helped when captain, Brendan Maher, had to go off with an injury just approaching half-time.

Tipp did get the last two scores of the half to be just a point adrift (0-10 to 0-11) at the interval and, with the wind to come, their suppiorters in a 7,254 attendance would have been relatively confident of the All-Ireland champions finding another gear on the resumption.

And that they did, edging in front within three minutes of the resumption and leading all the way home before finishing with a late five points from play in injury-time to record a relatively comfortable seven points victory.

SCORERS: Tipperary - J McGrath 0-10 (0-5 frees), J O'Dwyer 0-5, S O'Brien and N McGrath 0-3 each, P Flynn 0-2, B Maher and N O'Meara 0-1 each R Maher , S Curran

Clare - D Reidy 0-6 frees, J Conlon and P Collin 0-4, I Galvin 0-3, J McCarthy, S Morey 0-1, A Cunningham 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY: D Mooney, Joe O'Dwyer, T Hamill, D Maher, S Kennedy, R Maher, Padraic Maher, B Maher, B Heffernan, S O'Brien, N O'Meara, N McGrath, John O'Dwyer, J McGrath, A McCormack. Subs - W Ryan for Kennedy (31 mins), M Breen for B Maher (34 mins), D McCormack for O'Meara (39), P Flynn for A McCormack (56)..

CLARE: P Kelly, O O'Brien, C Dillon, S Morey, B Bugler, C Cleary, J Shanahan, D Fitzgerald, D Reidy, A Cunningham, C Malone, J Conlon, P Collins, A Shanagher, C McInerney. Subs - I Galvin for Cunningham (59), P Duggan for Shanagher (67), J McCarthy for Shanahan (59), S McNamara for O'Brien (52).

Referee - B Kelly (Westmeath)

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