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Diarmuid Ryan of Clare celebrates a goal during their Munster Senior Hurling Championship game at Thurles. Photograph by John Kelly

HURLING: Munster Final fever returns as Clare top Tipp in Thurles

Munster Senior Hurling Championship Round 5
Clare 1-24 Tipperary 0-24

It’s Clare and Limerick in the Munster Senior Hurling Final for a third successive year after Clare completed a merited final group win over Tipperary in Semple Stadium, writes Eoin Brennan.
Having never won in Thurles before 2018, Clare recorded their third straight victory in a row over the Premier on their own home patch, soaring as much as eight clear by the turn of the final quarter.
In the end, Brian Lohan’s side did make harder work of it than entirely necessary but on the flip side, never looked like losing the whip hand at any stage in what was Clare’s first clean sheet of the campaign.
Level six times by the 38th minute, Clare, now backed by the conditons, upped the ante considerably as led by inspirational performances from key protagonists Shane O’Donnell, John Conlon and Cathal Malone, the visitors hit 1-5 without reply to swung the pendulum firmly in Clare’s side to soar eight clear at 1-17 to 0-12 by the 46th minute.
O’Donnell scored the first teed up Darragh Lohan for a second point while was also intrumental in a 42nd minute goal for the overlapping Diarmuid Ryan before also earning a brace of frees for Aidan McCarthy to arrow over.
With the result appearing without doubt, Clare did take their foot off Tipperary’s throats enough for a home recovery as Jake Morris inspired six of the next seven points to lower the deficit to a goal entering the final ten minutes.
To their credit, the Banner were able to answer on three more occasions including a monster insurance free from Tony Kelly from his own ’45 to allieviate any late nerves.
Clare also had to respond to an inevitable Tipp circling of wagons from their flooring 18 point reverse to Cork at the same venue seven days earlier.
The home side were the more clincial early on to power 0-7 to 0-3 clear but once Clare settled, they swiftly moved through the gears to seize total control over the next 30 minutes. Shane O’Donnell struck wide with the goal at his merfy in the 21st minute, Peter Duggan had a subsequent effort blocked after being teed up by the back-to-back All-Star but Lohan’s side did have much better luck over Barry Hogan’s crossbar as McCarthy (3), David Reidy, Mark Rodgers and David Fitzgerald catapulted Clare 0-9 to 0-8 in front by the 30th minute.
Tipperary did reel in the Banner twice to finish level by the break at 0-11 to 0-11 but once Clare found their third quarter groove, there was no doubting their passage to their third Munster Final in a row for the first time since 1999 when taking on Limerick in yet another Shannonside derby decider showdown back in Thurles in two weeks time.

Clare: Eibhear Quilligan (Feakle); Adam Hogan (Feakle), Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown), Conor Leen (Corofin); Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe), John Conlon (Clonlara), Cian Galvin (Clarecastle); Darragh Lohan (Wolfe Tones), Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge); David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona), David Reidy (Éire Óg), Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin); Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg), Mark Rodgers (Scariff), Aidan McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona)
Subs: Tony Kelly (Ballyea) for Reidy (47), Ian Galvin (Clonlara) for McCarthy (53), Paddy Donnellan (Broadford) for Lohan (64), Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones) for Duggan (68)

Scorers: Aidan McCarthy (0-8, 6f); Diarmuid Ryan (1-2); David Fitzgerald, Mark Rodgers (2f) (0-3 each); Shane O’Donnell, Tony Kelly (1f) (0-2 each); Peter Duggan, David Reidy, Darragh Lohan, Ian Galvin (0-1 each)
Tipperary: Barry Hogan (Kiladangan); Eoghan Connolly (Cashel King Cormacs), Johnny Ryan (Arravale Rovers), Craig Morgan (Kilruane MacDonagh’s); Brian McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney), Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields), Barry Heffernan (Nenagh Éire Óg); Paddy Cadell (JK Brackens), Willie Connors (Kiladangan); Seanie Kenneally (Moneygall), Jake Morris (Nenagh Éire Óg), Alan Tynan (Roscrea); Andrew Ormond (JK Brackens), Gearoid O’Connor (Moyne-Templetuohy), Mark Kehoe (Kilsheelan-Kilcash)
Subs: Darragh Stakelum (Thurles Sarsfields) for O’Connor (29), Bryan O’Mara (Holycross-Ballycahill) for Heffernan (43), Noel McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney) for Cadell (45), Conor Stakelum (Thurles Sarsfields) for Ormond (51), Patrick Maher (Lorrha-Dorrha) for Kehoe (56)
Scorers: Jake Morris (0-11, 6f); Seanie Kenneally (0-3); Gearoid O’Connor (2f), Eoghan Connolly, Ronan Maher (1f) (0-2 each); Barry Heffernan, Alan Tynan, Bryan O’Mara, Noel McGrath (0-1 each)
Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick)

About Eoin Brennan

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