GAA: Injury-time goal seals it for Clare

Clare 1-14 Tipperary 1-10

Yet, it needed an injury-time goal from Kieran Considine to give them a win in a game which they never dominated.

Tipperary were a little too dependant on Declan Browne, forced off before the end by the effects of 'flu.

The two managers used the word 'sloppy' in separate post-match interviews to describe some of the passing from the teams, but it was an inevitable result of their first competitive game of the year.

Laois-born manager Andy Shorthall, clearly unhappy with aspects of Tipperary's play, conceded that it would require a significant improvement if they are to be competitive in their opening NFL game away to Down in a fortnight.

Kennedy viewed the outcome more positively, stressing the importance of a win to start the season.

Clare controlled the game out around midfield where Ger Quinlan was quick to make an impact and in the half-forward line where the experienced Denis Russell was most influential.

As the game progressed, Tipperary's approach play wasn't effective enough to create scoring opportunities, or to give Browne the type of service he needed. In contrast, the Clare forwards were quite sharp.

The trend of the play was reflected in the scoreline of 0-7 to 0-2 in favour of the Banner men after 22 minute before the second of seven points from frees by Browne signalled a Tipperary rally.

While Browne was finding it hard to get away from the close attentions of Conor Whelan at full-back, the increased pressure overall earned the team a number of frees from close range which he easily converted.

The result was that the home side trailed by just two points at the break, 0-8 to 0-6.

Rather against the run of play, Tipperary went in front for the first time through Browne seven minutes after the resumption.

That was after he had helped set up wing-back Niall Fitzgerald for an unlikely goal a few minutes earlier. From a sideline kick on the left, Browne landed the ball to the unmarked defender on the opposite flank and Fitzgerald's kick beat one defender and then deceived the goalkeeper.

Clare's response was immediate, with an Alan Clohessy equaliser and three unanswered points from the hard-working Considine. Clare were threatening to dominate, but Tipperary again lifted their challenge with points from James Williams, Browne and the equaliser from Glen Burke in the 55th minute.

As the clock wound down and Clare failed to capitalise on a few late attacks extra time loomed until the impressive Denis Russell broke the deadlock in the last minute. And, their victory was ensured when Michael O'Shea made the opening for Kieran Considine to goal with a chip over the 'keeper's head.

Scorers Clare: K. Considine 1-5; A. Clohessy 0-4 (0-2 frees); Denis Russell 0-4 (0-1 sideline); J. Daly 0-1.

Tipperary: D. Browne 0-7 frees; N. Fitzgerald 1-0; J. Williams 0-2; G. Burke 0-1 free.

CLARE: D. O'Brien; P. Gallagher, C. Whelan, C. Kirwin; P. Smith, D. Kelly, R. Slattery; G. Quinlan, B. Considine; Denis Russell, David Russell, A. Clohessy; J. Daly, M. O'Shea, K. Considine. Subs: N. Griffin for Smith (injured, 26th minute); B. Harte for Daly (42nd); J. Dowling for David Russell (52nd).

TIPPERARY: P. Ryan; S. Collum, D. Byrne, B. Hahessy; P. Hally, T. Russell, N. Fitzgerald; K. Mulryan, M. Tarrant (capt.); G. Burke, A. Fitzgerald, J. Williams; T. Doyle, D. Browne, D. O'Brien. Subs: J.P. Looby for Doyle (26th); R. Costigan for Hally (38th); E. Hanrahan for N. Fitzgerald and L. England for Tarrant (46th); C. Maher for Browne (52nd).

Referee: M. Meade (Limerick).

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