Tipperary 2-15 Clare 0-12: A pair of late goals sent Tipperary into the semi-final of the Munster Minor Hurling Championship at Cusack Park, Ennis last evening.
In front of a crowd of 1,191, Liam Cahill’s charges were never led over the hour but nevertheless, they relied on the late strikes to wrap it up. With two minutes of normal time on the clock, Clare trailed by three and endeavoured to send the tie to extra-time. But Tipp full-forward Cian Darcy fired past Killian Nugent’s to relieve the danger, a feat he failed to do a minute earlier, when Nugent produced a fine save. Then for good measure, deep into injury time, substitute Dylan Walsh wrapped it up with another goal.
Tipp held the upper hand in the opening half, going in 0-12 to 0-5 in front at the break. The visitors grabbed the opening three scores between the third and eighth with points by Jerry Kelly, Lyndon Fairbrother, and Shane Neville. But Clare were level by the 10th minute after good points by Ian Murray, Sean O’Loughlin, and Conor Tierney. That was as close as it got and from then on, the Premier County controlled matters.
Tipperary made it an eight-point game just after half-time when impressive wing forward Ger Browne split the posts to open up a 0-13 to 0-5 gap.
Clare never gave up and they hit four in a row in as many minutes, keeping Tipp on their toes. Sean O’Loughlin, Ian Murray, and substitute Conor Lynch all produced fine scores to make it a three-point game and all to play for.
Tipp’s physical strength came to the fore and the two late goals from Darcy and Walsh made sure of a semi-final meeting with Cork next month.
Scorers for Tipperary:
C Darcy (1-1), M Kehoe (0-4), G Browne (0-4), D Walsh (1-0), S Neville (0-2), L Fairbrother(0-2) 1 f, J Kelly (0-1) P Cadell (0-1) Clare: I Murray (0-5) 4 f’s, S O’Loughlin (0-2), S Kennedy, C Tierney,K Galvin, D Fitzgerald, C Lynch (0-1) each.
C Barrett, C O’Dwyer, M Whelan, G Dunne, B McGrath (Capt.), C Flanagan, P Cadell, J Kelly, G Browne, R Doody, M Kehoe, S Neville, C Darcy, L Fairbrother.
Subs, B O’Meara for Cadell inj. (39), J Morris for Kelly (42), D Quirke for Neville (49), K Breen for Fairbrother (55), D Walsh for Doody (71)
K Nugent, C McInerney, D O’Loughlin, K White, T O’Meara, C Noonan, R Hayes, K Galvin, D Fitzgerald, G Cooney, C Tierney, S Kennedy, S O’Loughlin (Capt.), I Murray, A Kennedy.
Subs, S Costello for Hayes (h/t), T Connellan for Tierney (h/t), C Lynch for Fitzgerald (37), B Conway for Galvin inj. (52).
J Larkin (Cork).
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