Premier men left counting the cost of beating Clare
TIPPERARY were left nursing a number of worrying injury concerns ahead of the Munster SHC quarter-final showdown with Cork on Sunday week following a challenge outing against Clare in Thurles last night.
Midfielder Gearóid Ryan, returning to action following a recent lay-off with a broken finger, lasted just 13 minutes before coming off with apparent damage to his other hand.
And wing-forward Pat Kerwick appears unlikely to make the Cork clash after suffering a recurrence of his persistent groin injury.
And it got worse for Tipperary as All Star centre-back Conor O'Mahony and wing-forward John O'Brien were also taken off in the second half after suffering hand injuries.
On the plus side, skipper Eoin Kelly came through another 70 minutes and showed no ill-effects of the hamstring injury which he sustained during the final round of the NFL against Offaly. Lar Corbett did not feature but the All Star attacker bagged three goals against Laois last Friday night in another workout and is being kept fresh for the Leeside visit.
Brian O'Meara strengthened his claims for a start with another solid outing in a tie that lacked any real championship spark.
Clare arrived with a depleted panel and carried just four subs but Tipp manager Liam Sheedy did get the chance to run the rule over his squad as he introduced a host of substitutes.
Tipp were left hanging on for a one-point victory at the finish as Clare sub Mark Flaherty added to his four second-half frees with a well-taken goal two minutes from time.
The home side had been in complete control from the first whistle and established an early 1-2 to 0-1 advantage, with O'Meara supplying 1-1. The Kilruane McDonaghs clubman, a recent call-up to the Tipp senior squad, has made quite an impact in recent challenge outings and showed his footballing skills when he kicked home a sixth minute goal.
Scorers -- Tipperary: E Kelly 0-7 (2f, 2 65s), B O'Meara 1-1, M Heffernan & S McGrath 0-2 each, N McGrath, S Callanan, P Kerwick & T Hammersley 0-1 each. Clare: M Flaherty 1-4 (0-4f), C Ryan 0-4 (2f), J Clancy & S Collins 0-3 each, P Donnellan 0-1.
TIPPERARY -- D Gleeson; C O'Brien, Pádraic Maher, P Curran, D Fanning, C O'Mahony, M Cahill; G Ryan, B Maher; N McGrath, S Callanan, J O'Brien; E Kelly, B O'Meara, T Hammersley. Subs: H Maloney for Ryan (13), S McGrath for B Maher, S Maher for Cahill, P Kerwick for N McGrath, D Egan for Hammersley, D Young for Fanning (all half-time), S Hennessy for O'Meara (45), J Brennan for Kerwick (47), Patrick Maher for Callanan (55), M Heffernan for O'Mahony (52), P Stapleton for Young (56), P Fanning for J O'Brien (57).
CLARE -- D Touhy; P Vaughan, C Dillon, C Cooney; B Bugler, D McMahon, P Donnellan; B O'Connell, J Clancy; S Collins, J Conlon, C O'Donovan; M 'Ogie' Murphy, F Lynch, C Ryan. Subs: M Flaherty for O'Donovan (half-time), E Glynn for Vaughan (42), M Scanlan for Lynch (45).
Ref -- B Gavin (Offaly).