Old Munster rivals meet in semi-final

Cork are through to this year’s Munster SHC final on June 26, and the All-Ireland champions will discover today who they will face in the decider as Clare and Tipperary go head-to-head in the semi-final at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.

Cork are through to this year’s Munster SHC final on June 26, and the All-Ireland champions will discover today who they will face in the decider as Clare and Tipperary go head-to-head in the semi-final at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.

Clare and Tipperary’s rivalry has been intense over the past decade and today’s clash will be their 11th championship encounter since 1993.

Clare have won five, Tipperary have won four and the sides have drawn once, indicating how well-matched the teams are.

Tipperary have the benefit of two tough encounters with Limerick. They took the replay to extra time, when Evan Sweeney’s goal proved the difference between the sides.

However, Clare are bruised since the league final defeat to Kilkenny and today’s clash is their chance to atone for that humiliating loss.

The sides met in the league, with Clare winning in Thurles by 1-16 to 0-15 in April.

Banner boss Anthony Daly has handed Barry Nugent his championship debut for today’s game.

Nugent was an integral part of the Limerick Institute of Technology team that won the Fitzgibbon Cup this year under the stewardship of Banner netminder Davy Fitzgerald.

Nugent takes the left half-forward berth, with Conor Plunkett dropping to the bench.

Daly and his selectors have reshuffled their attack in the wake of defeat to Kilkenny.

Tony Griffen is named at centre-forward, flanked by Diarmuid McMahon and Nugent.

Tony Carmody moves from the from top of the left to the right, with Alan Quinn going to the other corner and Niall Gilligan in the full-forward berth.

Alan Markham, who is named at right half-back, will undergo a late fitness test.

Tipperary manager Ken Hogan has made two changes from the side that narrowly overcame Limerick.

Clonoulty-Rossmore man John Devane goes from attack to defence and deputises at full-back for the injured Philly Maher.

Maher underwent a cartilage operation on Tuesday but is set to return in the coming weeks.

Francis Devanney leads the attack and Michael Webster comes in at full-forward. Paddy O'Brien drops to the bench.

Clare are slight favourites to advance, but Tipperary’s two championship clashes against Limerick show they can go the distance and they will be up to the pace from the off.

CLARE (SHC v Tipperary): D Fitzgerald; F Lohan, B Lohan, G O'Grady; A Markham, S McMahon, G Quinn; B O'Connell, C Lynch; D McMahon, T Griffen, B Nugent; T Carmody, N Gilligan, A Quinn.

TIPPERARY (SHC v Clare): B Cummins; E Corcoran, J Devane, P Curran; D Fanning, D Kennedy, D Fitzgerald; B Dunne, P Kelly; C Morrissey, F Devanney, T Dunne; E Kelly, M Webster, L Corbett.

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