By John Fogarty
TIPPERARY 1-21, CLARE 1-23
Tipperary were sent packing from the Munster and All-Ireland championships after an epic finale from Clare in Semple Stadium.
The lead changed hands in additional time as Noel McGrath followed a Peter Duggan free to give Tipperary the advantage that they had held for most of the game.
However, Clare, who had bloomed after Ian Galvin’s 65th minute goal just seconds after Jake Morris hit the post at the other end, finished on a high with inspirational substitute Podge Collins added the leveller before Peter Duggan sent over his only two points from play to seal a sensational victory.
In front of 20,782, Tipperary had responded well to Galvin’s goal and led by two points but they didn’t have the energy levels of Clare when it mattered most and paid the cost.
After a series of lethargic opening halves, Tipperary bucked that form with an impressive start and were 0-4 to 0-1 up when, in the 13th minute, Billy McCarthy struck the ball to the Clare net. There were some suggestions Paud O’Dwyer blew for a free on McCarthy by David McInerney before the Tipperary player struck but the score counted.
McCarthy was excellent in giving the home side a foothold from their puck-outs and he and Patrick Maher, who assisted for the goal, worked well on a few occasions. Clare, meanwhile, had to rely heavily on Peter Duggan’s frees as their inside forward line were starved of ball and they registered eight wides in the first period.
Despite losing Dan McCormack to an early injury after a clash with Tony Kelly, Tipperary retained the initiative for two-thirds of the first half and led by eight points on two occasions.
However, Clare steadied themselves towards the end, enjoying the wide space between the Tipperary half-back line and midfield, and sent over four points to leave it 1-10 to 0-9 on the turnaround.
Scorers for Tipperary: J. Forde (0-10, 8 frees, 1 65); B. McCarthy (1-0), J. McGrath (0-3); S. Callanan, N. McGrath (0-2 each); R. Maher, C. Barrett, Pádraic Maher, Patrick Maher (0-1 each).
Scorers for Clare: P. Duggan (0-15, 13 frees); I. Galvin (1-0); P. Collins (0-3); T. Kelly (0-2); J. Conlon, J. Browne (0-1 each).
TIPPERARY: B. Hogan; D. Maher, S. Kennedy, S. O’Brien; J. O’Dwyer, Pádraic Maher (c), B. Maher; R. Maher, C. Barrett; D. McCormack, Patrick Maher, B. McCarthy; J. McGrath, J. Forde, S. Callanan.
Subs for Tipperary: N. McGrath for D. McCormack (inj 10); J. Morris for Patrick Maher, A. Flynn for Joe O’Dwyer (both 60); W. Connors for B. Maher (inj 68); John O’Dwyer gotr
CLARE: D. Tuohy; P. O’Connor (c), D. McInerney, J. Browne; D. Fitzgerald, C. Cleary, J. Shanahan; C. Galvin, C. Malone; D. Reidy, T. Kelly, P. Duggan; C. McGrath, J. Conlon, S. O’Donnell.
Subs for Clare: P. Collins for C. McGrath (35+3); S. Morey for D. Fitzgerald (47); I. Galvin for D. Reidy (60); J. McCarthy for C. Malone (62); D. Corry for C. Galvin (64).
Referee: P. O’Dwyer (Carlow).