Cork to face Tipp in Waterford Crystal final

In a repeat of last year's Munster SHC decider, Cork and Tipperary will contest next Sunday's Waterford Crystal Cup final after wins in the competition this afternoon.

In a repeat of last year's Munster SHC decider, Cork and Tipperary will contest next Sunday's Waterford Crystal Cup final after wins in the competition this afternoon.

At the Meelick club grounds, Stephen Lillis, Eoin Kelly (penalty) and Micheal Webster all netted as Babs Keating's Tipperary side emerged as 3-14 to 1-14 winners over Clare.

Fielding an experimental side, which included Daragh Shannon and Kevin Dilleen at midfield, the Banner got off to a rocky start as Tipp's energetic centre-fielder Lillis raced through for a seventh-minute goal.

Temperatures were raised when Clare centre-back Colm Forde hit Eoin Kelly hard with a tackle that was decidedly late. Although shaken, 2006 All-Star Kelly dusted himself off to crack home a 14th-minute penalty.

Forde's afternoon was a short-lived one as midfielder Paul Kelly, Eoin's older brother, was seen to subsequently strike the Ogonnelloe defender in the face and he had to be rushed to hospital for treatment. Crusheen man Alan Brigdale was Forde's replacement in the Clare rearguard.

A dipping 75-yard free from left wing back Pat Vaughan deceived Tipp goalkeeper Brendan Cummins and managed to fly straight into the net for a 22nd-minute goal for Clare.

Tony Considine's charges only trailed by 2-8 to 1-8 at the break with Declan O'Rourke notching three points from play.

But Tipp outscored their Munster rivals by three points to one as they began the second half with menace. Recalled forward Webster then struck his side's third goal and rapid-fire points from Eoin and Paul Kelly stretched the Premier County's lead - youngster Pa Bourke also chipped in with his second point from play.

Tipp, with Philly and Shane Maher offering them an excellent spine in defence, saw out the win despite a late flurry from Clare who had 0-4 tallies from O'Rourke, Derek Quinn and Andrew Quinn.

Meanwhile, last year's All-Ireland runners-up Cork had Neil Ronan to thank for their 0-16 to 2-9 defeat of Waterford in Dungarvan today.

Ronan, an impact substitute in previous seasons, is obviously determined to nail down a starting spot in Gerald McCarthy's Rebels side.

The Ballyhea forward tallied up 0-10 today against the Deise, adding to the eight points he notched against Cork IT last week, to send Cork into the Waterford Crystal Cup final.

RESULTS:

Clare 1-14 Tipperary 3-14, Meelick

Waterford 2-9 Cork 0-16, Dungarvan

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