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Clare Minor Football Manager Dermot Coughlan. Photograph by John Kelly.

Clare See Off The Challenge Of Tipperary In Munster MFC

Munster Minor Football Championship Phase One Round Two: Clare 1-10 Tipperary 0-6

Clare picked up their second win in the Phase One of the Munster Minor Football championship after victory over Tipperary in Cusack Park.

A strong second half performance saw the Banner forge clear of their opponents in the closing stages to see them assured of a place in the Phase One final. They make the trip to Waterford next Wednesday evening for what is now essentially a dead rubber from a Clare perspective.

It was a strange opening half that took all of 21 minutes for the opening score to arrive. The Premier applied all the early pressure and almost got in for a goal but Oisin O’Loughlin produced a brilliant point blank save to smother the shot from Tipperary danger man Kyle Shelly before the follow-up was taken off the line.

Both sides were packing their defences with 12 men poured inside their 45-metre line, and attacks were forced into trying their luck from distance as a result. Clare were struggling to create any clear cut scoring chances, but were also defending stoutly as the pressure grew.

Shelly was the man who finally opened the scoring as he found the range from just outside the Clare 21 metre line. This seemed to inject some life into the game, and Shelly drew a free moments later as he forced Micheal Garry into fouling him as he headed for goal. Paddy Creedon converted from close range, before sending over a brilliant long distance point from play to put the Premier in the ascendency.

After a slow start last time out against Limerick, it seemed as if Clare were following a similar pattern here, and with half-time looming, they had yet to register anything on the malfunctioning Cusack Park scoreboard. That was until a perceptive interception by Jamie Stack on an attempted short kick out allowed him to feed Shane Meehan, and the captain spun around before playing in Eoin Talty. The St Joseph’s man made no mistake with the finish as he hammered a brilliant effort into the bottom corner. Conor Hassett added a point soon after before Meehan converted a free to leave Clare 1-2 to 0-3 ahead at the break.

While 21 minutes passed before the opening score of the game, it took just over 21 seconds before the second half scoring started. It came for Tipperary as Creedon angled over a fine effort to cut the gap. Clare captain Shane Meehan was growing into the game and he converted a free he won himself on the left wing, but this was cancelled out when Tipperary wing-back Conor Shanahan raided for a brilliant curled effort to keep just the minimum between them.

Clare were now settling into the game and good interchange between Brendan Rouine, Cillian McGroary and Meehan draw another free which the captain gladly dispatched to see Clare lead 1-4 to 0-5 with 40 minutes on the clock. Another point followed shortly after when Jamie Stack converted a free after a foul on the raiding Conor Hassett, and Clare looked to be taking control.

Dermot Coughlan’s outfit started to put the squeeze on the Tipperary defence, and further pressure led to a foul on Brendan Rouine which was sent over once more by Meehan as Clare stretched four clear as the closing quarter loomed. That lead stretched even further when Meehan slipped a pass through to Talty, and he slotted it over to leave Clare 1-7 to 0-5 in front.

Shelly cut the gap to four with a free inside the closing five minutes, but Meehan, Stack and substitute Stephen Casey kept the scoreboard ticking over to ensure the points were going to the home side

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), Matthew Reidy (Shannon Gaels); Eoin Rouine (Ennistymon), Brendan Rouine (Ennistymon); Eoin Talty (St Joseph’s Doora Barefield), Diarmuid Fahy (Ennistymon), Dara Nagle (St Joseph’s Doora Barefield); Conor Hassett (Kildysart), Shane Meehan (Banner, c), Jamie Stack (St Breckan’s).

Subs: Eoin Walshe (Banner) for Hassett, Stephen Casey (Clondegad) for Nagle

Scorers: Shane Meehan (0-5, 3f), Eoin Talty (1-1), Jamie Stack (0-2, 2f), Conor Hassett and Stephen Casey (0-1)

Wides: 9 Frees: 20

Tipperary: James Griffin (Upperchurch-Drombane); Christy McDonagh (Cahir), Tadhg Condon (Clonmel Commercials), Emmet Butler (Kilsheelan-Kilcash); James Armstrong (Thurles Sarsfields), Donagh Hickey (Arrvale Rovers), Conor Shanahan (Inane Rovers); Paddy Creedon (Thurles Sarsfields), Tom Tobin (Rosegreen); Luke Seacy (Inane Rovers), Ben Comerford (Grangemockler-Ballyneale), Dara King (Ballina); Liam McCormack (Thurles Sarsfields), Kyle Shelly (Moycarkey-Borris, c), Eoin McCarthy (Clonmel Commercials).

Scorers: Paddy Creedon (0-3, 1f), Kyle Shelley (0-2, 1f), Conor Shanahan (0-1).

Wides: 3 Frees: 13

Referee: Seamus Mulvihill (Kerry).

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