Tipp move into top gear and stun Clare

Tipperary 2-20 Clare 1-11

Within a minute of the re-start Clare’s Colin Ryan fired over a magnificent point to give his side a one point advantage after a tense opening half (1-10 to 1-9).

But few could have predicted the Premier response.

Firstly midfielder Niall Bergin hit a goal as Tipperary simply powered away.

Outstanding corner forward Joey McLoughney then landed four points from play, Danny O’Hanlon tacked on another, and now at 2-14 to 1-10, a revitalised Tipperary were virtually un-catchable. With their confidence drained, a now disorganised Clare managed just one more point to the finish.

“I just cannot explain where we went wrong ... we were looking good and then we fell apart,” sighed Clare county board secretary Pat Fitzgerald.

The 2,500 crowd saw the winners’ tigerish half back trio of Pa Jo Troy, Ray McLoughney and Thomas Stapleton snuff out their opposite numbers, while Kevin Lanigan and Niall Bergin commanded midfield and Joey McLoughney was in deadly mood up front.

Jody Ryan (2), Kieran Reade and Joey McLoughney gave Tipp an early three point lead (0-4 to 0-1) with Ross Horan opening the Clare account.

Bernard Gaffney, with a goal from a 21 yards free, had the losers very much back in contention at 1-5 to 0-8 after 20 minutes. Tipperary though, responded magnificently within 30 seconds when Joey McLoughney raced on to a long clearance to beat ‘keeper Ciaran McDonogh.

Still Clare battled on and took encouragement from points by Colm Madden and Damien Browne (2), to see them on equal terms at 1-9 at the interval.

They must have felt it was going to be their day when Ryan pushed them a point clear. But Tipp went into overdrive, playing some superb one -touch hurling.

Scorers: Tipperary: J McLoughney 1-6, N Bergin 1-3, R McLoughney 0-3, J Ryan, P Ivors, P Bourke 0-2 each, K Reade, D O’Hanlon 0-1 each. Clare: B Gaffney 1-1, C Ryan 0-4, R Horan, D Browne 0-2 each, G Arthur, C Madden 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY: M Ryan; D Patterson, E Costello, P Hayes, T Stapleton, R McLoughney, PJ Troy; K Lanigan, N Bergin; J Ryan, D O’Hanlon, C McGrath, J McLoughney, K Reade, P Ivors. Subs: G Ryan for Lanigan (blood), Lanigan for G Ryan, G Ryan for J Ryan, P Bourke for Ivors.

CLARE: C McDonagh; P Canton, J Moloney, C O’Doherty, C Cooney, A Quilligan, D Kelleher; D Reidy, D O’Halloran; C Madden, R Horan, D Browne, G Arthur, B Gaffney, C Ryan. Subs: N Killeen for Arthur, C Neylon for Quilligan.

Referee: C McAllister (Cork).

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