Shanagher strikes late as jubilant Clare snatch victory against Tipperary
Clare 2-13 Tipperary 0-18
A superb solo goal by sub Aaron Shanagher in the 67th minute proved crucial for Clare as they booked a place in the Allianz hurling League Division 1 semi-finals in Ennis.
Tipperary led by two points when Shanagher grabbed possession and despite being fouled, he surged forward before batting the ball to the net.
John Conlon extended Clare’s lead to two points before Padraig Maher pared the margin back to one.
Tipperary had two chances to draw level in stoppage time but sub, Jason Forde was off-target from a free and open play.
Clare led by 1-7 to 0-8 at half-time after a first half that took a long time to come to life. The first 19 minutes yielded only four points - two each - before John Conlon pounced for Clare’s goal.
He collected Aaron Cunningham’s crossfield cross, raced in on goal and fired the ball past Darragh Mooney.
Clare enjoyed a period of superiority after that and led by 1-6 to 0-3 after 24 minutes.
However, Tipperary rallied strongly and points by Seamus Callanan (free), Michael Breen, John McGrath and Ronan Maher took them within two points of Clare.
Both sides shot points lae on to close out the half Tipperary would have been ahead if the usually accurate Callanan hadn’t hit an off-day with his frees.
He drove three scorable frees wide, the first from 21 metres early on. Inaccuracy continued to undermine Tipperary, who shot a further 11 wides in the second half to take their total to 18.
Clare will play Kilkenny in the semi-final on Sunday week.
Scorers: Clare: J Conlon 1-1, A Shanagher 1-0, B Duggan (2f), D Honan 0-3 each, C Galvin, C McGrath, C O’Connell (2f) 0-2 each.
Tipperary: J McGrath 0-6, J O’Dwyer 0-3 (3f), S Callanan (2f), M Breen P Maher 0-2 each, J Forde, R Maher, N McGrath 0-1 each.
CLARE: P Kelly; C O’Doherty, C Dillon, P Flanagan; B Bugler, C Cleary, P O’Connor; D Reidy, C Ryan; A Cunningham, B Duggan, J Conlon; C Galvin, D Honan, C McGrath.
Subs: G O’Connell for Doherty (31) C O’Connell for Duggan (42), C Ryan for Galvin (53), A Shanagher for Cunningham (55), D Fitzgerald for Reidy (62).
TIPPERARY: D Mooney; C Barrett, J Barry, C O’Brien; B Heffernan, R Maher, P Maher; B Maher,M Breen; N McGrath, D McCormack, N O’Meara; J O’Dwyer, S Callanan, J McGrath.
Subs: K Bergin for O’Meara (ht), J Forde for Callanan (51), T Hamill for O’Brien (58), G Ryan for McCormack (66),S O’Brien for O’Dwyer (71),
Referee: D Kirwan (Cork).