By John Fogarty
Clare 1-21 Tipperary 0-19
David Reidy’s injury-time free and goal sealed and capped off a deserved win for Clare in Cusack Park.
In front of a 6,277 attendance, Tipperary came within a point before Reidy’s fifth free put two between and with the last puck of the game he was set free to drive the ball to the net.
Tipperary won’t be too unhappy with their performance – Noel McGrath impressed – but the Banner were just about good value for their win having been five points ahead in the 46th minute.
Tipperary, largely through a series of frees, levelled matters 11 minutes later only for Clare to find another gear as Tony Kelly and Reidy split the posts from play.
Two Jason Forde frees brought the visitors close once more but Reidy was on the mark to secure the points.
The teams were level on seven occasions in the opening 36 minutes before Clare ensured the wind advantage in their favour was seen on the scoreboard with the last three scores of the half to lead 0-13 to 0-10.
Peter Duggan sent over his second free of the game but was then taken off them after missing a couple. Cathal Malone sent over his third point and Reidy, assigned deadball duties, struck the final score of the opening period.
The breeze, which was helping Clare but causing difficulty at times for both sides, convinced both teams to shoot from distance although the wide count at the break – eight for Clare and seven for Tipperary – said little about accuracy.
Tipperary’s shot-taking was good in the opening quarter, Pádraic Maher’s floated effort in the 16th minute the best of them, but they let themselves down with a flurry of off-target strikes in the closing stages of the half.
There were scarcely any goal opportunities for either team although Clare would have been further ahead but for some indiscipline, which Forde punished for the most part in the form of five frees.
Even if Cathal Barrett was enjoying the battle in the middle, Malone and Duggan’s prominence in open play, though, provided the home crowd with reasons to be cheerful at that juncture.
Scorers for Clare: D. Reidy (1-8, 0-5 frees); P. Duggan (2 frees), C. Malone (0-4 each); J. Conlon, T. Kelly (0-2 each); C. Galvin (0-1).
Scorers for Tipperary: J. Forde (0-10, frees); N. McGrath (0-5, 1 free); C. Barrett, Pádraic Maher, R. Maher, S. Curran (0-1 each).
CLARE: D. Tuohy; P. O’Connor (c); C. Cleary, J. Browne; S. Morey, D. McInerney, D. Fitzgerald; C. Galvin, T. Kelly; C. Malone, J. Conlon, S. O’Donnell; D. Reidy, P. Duggan, C. McGrath.
Subs for Clare: P. Collins for C. McGrath (h-t); I. Galvin for P. Duggan (65); N. Deasy for C. Malone (67); G. O’Connell for C. Galvin (69).
TIPPERARY: Paul Maher (Moyle-Templetuohy); A. Flynn, T. Hamill, D. Maher; S. Kennedy, Pádraic Maher (c), T. Fox; C. Barrett, R. Maher; C. Kenny, N. McGrath, S. Curran; Patrick Maher, J. Forde, G. Browne.
Subs for Tipperary: Joe O’Dwyer for T. Fox (35); M. Breen for C. Kenny (46); J. McGrath for G. Browne (51); B. Maher for S. Kennedy (60); D. McCormack for Patrick Maher (66).
Referee: A. Kelly (Galway).