Clare won the toss and elected to play with a very strong wind. But it was the visitors that impressed early on. Quick hands, swift passing and fine finishing were features of their game, whereas Clare were far too tentative.
Clare led by 0-5 to 0-4 after 20 minutes but Tipp flexed their muscles in the final 10 minutes of the half and recorded five unanswered points in that period. Steven O’Brien, Greg Henry twice, Michael Quinlivan and Sean Flynn all got on the scoresheet to give the Premier County a deserved four-point advantage at the first whistle, Clare trailing by 0-9 to 0-5.
The Banner did rally a little after the break and thanks to free-taker Niall Hickey they trailed by 0-12 to 0-8 by the 39th minute. But that was as close as they got. Tipp picked off their opening goal in the 44th after a good move out of defence ended with Greg Henry coolly slotting a low shot to the Clare net. Tipperary added a further nine points in what looked like shooting practice, to Clare’s solitary point before the final whistle.
Tipp grabbed a second goal at the death, as Liam McGrath deceived Clare goalie Darren Sexton.
Scorers for Tipperary: M Quinlivan (0-6), G Henry (1-2), L McGrath (1-1) J McGrath (0-4), S O’Brien (0-3), C O’Riordan (0-2), S Flynn (0-2) 1 f, B Maher, C Kennedy (0-1) each.
Scorers for Clare: N Hickey (0-7) 6 fs, M O’Leary (0-2) 1 f.
TIPPERARY: G Slattery, N O’Sullivan, J Feehan, C O’Sullivan, A McGuire, S Kennedy, B Maher, S O’Brien, C O’Riordan, J McGrath, I Fahey, G Henry, L McGrath, M Quinlivan (Capt) S Flynn.
Subs: P Quirke for Flynn (38), J Lonergan for Henry (45), C Kennedy for Fahey (49), L Casey for O’Riordan (53), J Keane for O’Brien (55). J Loughnane for Feehan (57).
CLARE: D Sexton, C Brennan, E Ralph, J O’Dea, S Lineen (Capt.), L Corry, E Brew, D McDonagh, C Devitt, N Hickey, L Brannock, D Bolton, M O’Leary, E Cleary, J Malone.
Subs: T Lynch for Brannock (half time), D Doyle for Bolton (43), D Masterson for Cleary (59).
Referee: R Moloney (Limerick).