Munster Senior Hurling Championship Round 2
Clare 3-21 Tipperary 2-16
CLARE thundered into the Munster Senior Hurling Championship to blitz hosts Tipperary and open up the door of possibility in Semple Stadium, Thurles this afternoon, writes Eoin Brennan.
With both sides craving a victory for differing reasons, three first half Banner goals with the aid of the conditions through Ian Galvin, Peter Duggan and Tony Kelly carved out a 13 point interval cushion that would effectively end Tipperary’s championship hopes, only a full week into the new campaign.
The return of Peter Duggan and Shane O’Donnell were pivotal ingredients to detonating the first championship upset as the Clooney-Quin talisman had a direct hand in all three goals while the latter was a huge source of inspiration throughout.
Those star performances took some of the attention on top scorer Tony Kelly who finished with 1-7 while John Conlon, Rory Hayes, Diarmuid Ryan and debutant Robin Mounsey were others to excel in an eight point triumph.
Clare led from start to finish to put further doubts in the minds of the hosts who had faltered coming down the final straight against Waterford seven days previously.
It took only eight minutes for Clare to ignite their challenge as O’Donnell, Kelly and Ryan Taylor combined on the left wing to centre for Peter Duggan to unleash a bullet that was saved by goalkeeper Brian Hogan off the crossbar, only for Ian Galvin to catch the rebound and billow the net at 1-3 to 0-1.
Diarmuid Ryan blocked a Jason Forde reply at the other end, a stop that would be magnified in the 20th minute when centre-back John Conlon broke through Tipperary’s cover but again would be denied by the stubborn Hogan before Peter Duggan volleyed the rebound to the net.
Duggan would be held for the third goal as Tony Kelly emphatically dispatched the resultant penalty past Hogan as Clare soared 3-7 to 0-4 clear by the half hour mark.
Indeed, further points from Taylor, Galvin, Kelly and O’Donnell would ensure a 3-11 to 0-7 half-time lead albeit that Tipperary had the wind to come.
The second period wasn’t a patch on its predecessor as the quality dipped and formations went out the window which led to a scrappy half. However, that wouldn’t unduly concern a buoyant Banner that opted to go long for the majority as they looked to maintain their stranglehold on the contest.
A goal from substitute Ger Browne only 90 seconds into the net half provided a glimmer of hope for the home side, with the deficit further lowered to eight by the turn of the final quarter when Barry Heffernan’s point attempt from halfway managed to drop into the net at 3-15 to 2-10.
However, seven points would be as close as Tipperary would come to the leaders who regained full control through inspirational scores from Robin Mounsey, a rousing David McInerney interception and clinching points from Kelly and O’Donnell to cap off a memorable afternoon.
Clare return to Semple Stadium next Sunday in confident mood, this time facing a scorned Cork who, like Tipperary, require a positive result to resuscitate their championship challenge.
Clare: Eibhear Quilligan (Feakle); Paul Flanagan (Ballyea), Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown), Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones); Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe), John Conlon (Clonlara), David McInerney (Tulla); Ryan Taylor (Clooney-Quin), Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge); David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona), Tony Kelly (Ballyea), Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg); Ian Galvin (Clonlara), Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin), Robin Mounsey (Ruan)
Subs: Patrick Crotty (Scariff) for Galvin (49), Domhnall McMahon (Michael Cusack’s) for Fitzgerald (62), Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge) for Malone (70), Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona) for O’Donnell (71), Jack Browne (Ballyea) for Taylor (74)
Scorers: Tony Kelly (1-7, 1-0 Pen, 5f); Ian Galvin, Peter Duggan (1-2 each); Robin Mounsey, Ryan Taylor, Shane O’Donnell (0-2 each); David Fitzgerald, Rory Hayes, Diarmuid Ryan, David McInerney (0-1 each)
Tipperary: Brian Hogan (Lorrha-Dorrha); Cathal Barrett (Holycross-Ballycahill), James Quigley (Kiladangan), Craig Morgan (Kilruane MacDonaghs); Dillon Quirke (Clonoulty-Rossmore), Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields), Seamus Kennedy (St Mary’s); Dan McCormack (Borris-Ileigh), Barry Heffernan (Nenagh Éire Óg); Jason Forde (Silvermines), Noel McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney), Michael Breen (Ballina); John McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney), Mark Kehoe (Kilsheelan-Kilcash), Jake Morris (Nenagh Éire Óg)
Subs: Ger Browne (Cashel King Cormac) for J. McGrath (23, inj), Brian McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney) for Quigley (26, inj), Conor Stakelum (Thurles Sarsfields) for McCormack (HT), Gearoid O’Connor (Moyne-Templetuohy) for Morris (49), Alan Flynn (Kiladangan) for Heffernan (64)
Scorers: Jason Forde (0-7, 4f, 2’65, 1’sl); Ger Browne (1-3); Barry Heffernan (1-0); Ronan Maher (0-2, 1f); Cathal Barrett, Noel McGrath, Michael Breen, Mark Kehoe (0-1 each)
Referee: James Owens (Wexford)