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Dara Nagle scored Clare's second goal in their Munster MFC win over Tipperary. Photo by John Kelly

Clare Cruise To Munster Minor Football Phase One Title

Munster Minor Football Phase One Final: Clare 3-12 Tipperary 0-6

Clare made it four wins from four in the opening phase of the Munster Minor Football championship to claim the Darrel Darcy Cup and move through to the second phase of the competition in front of a crowd of 1,180 the Gaelic Grounds.

Their next game will come at home to Cork next Wednesday evening, with the Rebels coming into that off the back of a heavy defeat to Kerry in their first outing of 2019.

Dermot Coughlan’s charges were superior throughout, as they strung some brilliant moves together to cause problems for the Tipperary defence across the 60 minutes.

Clare captain Shane Meehan opened the scoring with a tidy free, but his Tipperary equivalent levelled the sides for the only time in the half with a brilliant run and finish.

From here on, Clare outscored the Premier 2-5 to 0-1 with a powerful display that saw them lead by ten points heading to the dressing rooms. The first goal came when Diarmuid Fahy cooly slotted home as he danced inside the cover after good work from Dara Nagle. Ben Comerford sent over an impressive score in reply, but two more from Meehan kept Clare well in control.

Clare’s second goal arrived after 25 minutes when Nagle his shot from the right hand side drop over the head of James Griffin in the Tipperary goal, to effectively end the game as a contest even at that early stage. Jamie Stack kicked two eye catching points while Cillian McGroary raided from the half-back line to split the posts, and at the break Clare were 2-6 to 0-2 clear.

In truth, the gap was no more than Clare deserved. Tipperary defended in numbers with Clare forced to be patient which they did in style. Tipperary were guilty of missing some promising scoring chances, kicking six wides in the opening period. The Clare defence was standing firm, with Micheal Garry and Tadgh Lillis carrying ball from the back on numerous occasions, while the duo of Rouine’s in the middle of the field were well on top.

Tipperary needed a strong start to the second half, and got the opening point through Comerford. The Premier were much more fluid in attack, but were wasteful in front of goal at crucial times. Clare were not in a forgiving mood, and punished loose Tipperary defending as Meehan and Conor Hassett sent over brilliant scores to stretch the lead. Liam McCormack slotted a free for the Premier, but two scores of real quality followed for Clare with Brendan Rouine and the brilliant Meehan (2) on target to leave Clare 2-10 to 0-4 clear as the clock hit 50 minutes.

McCormack popped another for the Premier, but a strong run from Brendan Rouine after great build up resulted in the Ennistymon man rolling home Clare’s third goal to put the icing on the cake. McCormack and McGroary traded points late on, but there was never a doubt about the result as Clare cruised home with Tomas Meenaghan fisting over to end the scoring for the Banner.

Clare: Oisin O’Loughlin (St Breckan’s); Tadgh Lillis (Doonbeg), Micheal Garry (Cooraclare), Ciaran McMahon (Ennistymon); Cillian McGroary (Corofin), Alan Killeen (St Joseph’s Doora Barefield), Fionn Kelliher (St Joseph’s Doora Barefield); Eoin Rouine (Ennistymon), Brendan Rouine (Ennistymon); Conor Hassett (Kildysart), Diarmuid Fahy (Ennistymon), Dara Nagle (St Joseph’s Doora Barefield); Eoin Talty (St Joseph’s Doora Barefield), Shane Meehan (Banner, c), Jamie Stack (St Breckan’s).

Subs: Liam Murphy (Wolfe Tones) for Talty, Shane Browne (O’Currys) for Meehan, Tomas Meenahan (Banner) for Fahy, Keith Crowley (Kilrush Shamrocks) for Kelliher, Eoin Walshe (Banner) for Hassett.

Scorers: Shane Meehan (0-5, 2f), Brendan Rouine (1-1), Diarmuid Fahy and Dara Nagle (1-0 each), Jamie Stack (0-2, 1f), Cillian McGroary (0-2), Conor Hassett and Tomas Meenaghan (0-1 each).

Wides: 6

Tipperary: James Griffin (Upperchurch-Drombane); Christy McDonagh (Cahir), Tadgh Condon (Clonmel Commercials), Emmet Butler (Kilsheelan-KIlcash); James Armstrong (Thurles Sarsfields), Donagh Hickey (Arravale Rovers), Conor Shanahan (Inane Rovers); Paddy Creedon (Thurles Sarsfields), Tom Tobin (Rosegreen); Luke Seacy (Inane Rovers), Rory Collins (Moyle Rovers), Ben Comerford (Granglemockler Ballyneale); Eoin McCarthy (Clonmel Commercials), Kyle Shelley (Moycarkey Borris), Jamie Holloway (Carrick Swans).

Subs: Liam King (Ballinhinch) for McCarthy, Liam McCormack (Durlas Óg) for Holloway, James Corcoran (JK Brackens) for Armstrong, Jack Lills (Drom Inch) for Tobin, Darragh McCahey (Loughmore Castleiney) for Butler (inj), Conor Cadell (JK Brackens) for Collins.

Scorers: Ben Comerford and Liam McCormack (0-2 each), Conor Shanahan and Kyle Shelly (0-1 each).

Wides: 9

Ref: Sean Joy (Kerry).

The Clare lads celebrate following the Munster Minor Football Phase One final at The Gaelic Grounds. Photograph by John Kelly.
Shane Meehan of Clare collects the trophy from Sean and Nancy Darcy following the Munster Minor Football Phase One final at The Gaelic Grounds. Photograph by John Kelly.

Brendan Rouine of Clare goals against Tipperary during the Munster Minor Football Phase One final at The Gaelic Grounds. Photograph by John Kelly.
Alan Killeen of Clare in action against Ben Comerford of Tipperary during the Munster Minor Football Phase One final at The Gaelic Grounds. Photograph by John Kelly.
James Griffin of Tipperary in action against Conor Hassett of Clare during the Munster Minor Football Phase One final at The Gaelic Grounds. Photograph by John Kelly.

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