Sunday 25 March 2018

David Reidy the difference as Clare put Tipperary to the sword

Clare 1-21 Tipperary 0-19

David Fitzgerald of Clare in action against Tom Fox of Tipperary
David Fitzgerald of Clare in action against Tom Fox of Tipperary
Vincent Hogan

Vincent Hogan

A rousing finish enabled Clare see off the tough challenge of a makeshift Tipperary team in Ennis to get their National League campaign off to a flier.

David Reidy's injury-time goal (the only shot on goal in the whole game) finally put daylight between them and the visitors in a contest that was largely dominated by defences.

Clare led 0-13 to 0-10 at the mid-point, but would have been frustrated not to have gone to the dressing-room with a more significant advantage given the aid of a strong breeze blowing from the town-end goal.

Tipp were largely dependent upon Jason Forde's frees to keep them in touch, although the majestic Noel McGrath was stepping up to the plate too with three first-half points from play while operating on the 'forty'.

He was certainly making life difficult for David McInerney, albeit the rest of the Tipp forward line seemed to be struggling against their direct opponents.

Clare, by contrast, were getting bright attacking performances from Cathal Malone, John Conlon and Peter Duggan, while Tony Kelly and Colm Galvin were clearly edging the midfield battle.

The Banner might have had a goal too on the half hour only for David Reidy's pass to fall behind Duggan who, forced to check and turn, opted instead to fire over his fourth point of the half (two of which had been from frees).

That score eased Clare a point ahead and they finished the half strong with additions from Malone and Reidy to take that three points advantage to the dressing-room.

They looked to be in trouble when Tipp drew through a Forde free with thirteen minutes remaining but, despite bringing men like Michael Breen and John McGrath off the bench, Tipp just could not close the deal with Man of the Match, Reidy's, goal decisive in the end.

SCORERS: Clare - D Reidy 1-7 (0-5 frees, P Duggan 0-4 (0-2 frees), C Malone 0-4, J Conlon and T Kelly 0-2 each, C Galvin 0-1.

Tipperary - J Forde 0-10 (frees), N McGrath 0-5 (0-1 free), Paraic Maher, C Barrett, R Maher and S Curran 0-1 each.

Clare: D Tuohy, J Browne, C Cleary, P O'Connor, D Fitzgerald, D McInerney, S Morey, C Galvin, T Kelly, C Malone, J Conlon, D Reidy, S O'Donnell, P Duggan, C McGrath. Subs - P Collins for McGrath (half-time), I Galvin for Duggan (65 miuns), N Deasy for Malone (67 mins), G O'Connell for C Galvin (68 mins).

Tipperary: P Maher, A Flynn, T Hamill, D Maher, S Kennedy, Padraic Maher, T Fox, C Barrett, R Maher, C Kenny, N McGrath, S Curran, G Browne, J Forde, Patrick Maher. Subs - J O'Dwyer for Fox (35 mins), M Breen for Kenny (45 mins), J McGrath for Browne (50 mins), B Maher for Kennedy (60 mins), D McCormack for Patrick Maher(66 mins).

Referee - A Kelly (Galway).

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