Waterford Crystal Cup Q-Final – Tipperary v Clare

Clare defeated Tipperary by 0-17 to 1-12 in the Waterford Crystal Cup Quarter-Final on Tuesday night  in Borrisoleigh.

Waterford Crystal Cup Quarter Final

Tipperary 1-12 Clare 0-17

By Cathal Ryan

Tuesday night under the floodlights of Borrisoleigh presented the Tipperary Senior hurlers with their first competitive encounter of 2010 against a Clare side eager to impress new manager Ger O Loughlin. With temperatures just above zero and a mild fog looming over the venue both sides undertook rigorous warm ups ahead of this Waterford Crystal Quarter Final that was evenly contested throughout. Ten minutes into the second half Tipperary were awarded a penalty when the ball broke in behind the Banner full back line. Eoin Kelly was a clear favourite to win possession when he was hauled back by Clare corner back Alan Brigdale. The resulting Eoin Kelly penalty was stopped and cleared which lifted the “Sparrow’s” troops. Soon after Diarmuid McMahon was sprung from the bench and within two minutes of his arrival the experienced Kilmaley man hit a towering point from 65 yards. This was followed by a blistering burst from Jonathan Clancy through heart the Tipperary defence where he scored off the stick from 30 yards to direct his side towards victory.

Liam Sheedy will no doubt be disappointed with the defeat but can be upbeat about some aspects of what he witnessed. Eoin Kelly picked up where he left off in last years All Ireland Final looking particularly sharp in attack and leaving his injury woes of early 2009 behind him. David Young of Toomevara gave a solid display on his competitive debut for the Portroe manager’s charges where he grew in confidence as the game developed at right half back. It was noticeable that Clare had that bit more work done heading into this encounter as they were sharper in many situations. Their defenders were impressive in terms of hooking and blocking and this was a key element in stifling the Tipperary attacks. The game started at a sharp pace and Clare took the lead in the first minute through a Fergal Lynch point. Mark Flaherty added a second through a free before the Premier returned fire with two scores from Pat Kerwick and Gearoid Ryan.

From here O’ Loughlin’s men pushed on and gained a three point lead by the tenth minute including a fine point from Alan Markham fired from the left touchline. This was a lead that they wouldn’t lose for the remainder of the contest. Tipp pushed hard to bounce back before the break but each score was matched with a Banner response and Clare ended the half stronger with a fine point from Martin Ogie Murphy. This left the Premier trailing at half time by 0-10 to 0-06.

Last years All Ireland Finalists emerged from the interval with more intent with Eoin Kelly scoring two frees among a flurry of attacks before the penalty decision. After the McMahon and Clancy points Tipp did attempt to rally again and last years Young Hurler of the Year Noel McGrath whipped on a ball that landed in the square to score the games only goal after being introduced as a substitute. This narrowed the gap to 1-11 to 0-16. Both sides added an additional point and this was as close as Tipp got to mount a comeback. Clare progress to Sunday’s Semi Final against Waterford while for Liam Sheedy and his panel will go to work in preparation for the National Hurling League.

Tipperary: Brendan Cummins, Conor O Brien, Declan Fanning, Paul Curran, David Young, Thomas Stapleton, Shane Maher, Benny Dunne(0-1), Gearoid Ryan(0-1), Pat Kerwick(0-2), Hugh Maloney, Paul Kelly, Pa Bourke(0-1), John O Brien, Eoin Kelly(0-6, 5F)

Subs: Micheal Webster for Bourke (39), Lar Corbett for Paul Kelly (44), Noel McGrath(1-0) for Kerwick (46), Shane McGrath(0-1) for G Ryan (53), Padraic Maher for B Dunne (60).

Clare: Philip Brennan, Pat Vaughan, Cian Dillon, Alan Brigdale, Domhnall O Donovan, Brian O Connell, Pat Donnellan(0-1F), Martin Ogie Murphy(0-1), Jonathan Clancy(0-2), Alan Markham(0-2), John Conlon(0-3), Fergal Lynch(0-1), Mark Flaherty(0-6,6F), Michael Scanlon, Aonghus O Brien.

Subs: Diarmuid McMahon(0-1) for O Brien, John Cusack for Scanlon, Brendan Bugler for O Connell.

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Banner stay on track

Tipperary 1-12 Clare 0-17

by Jackie Cahill for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

CHAMPIONS Clare scored a notable early season victory with a hard-fought two-point win over Tipperary in the Waterford Crystal Trophy under lights in Borrisoleigh last night. New manager Ger ‘Sparrow’ O’Loughlin made it two wins out of two as roughly 3,000 spectators braved the bitter cold to watch both sides served up some good fare. This tie was a repeat of last year’s final and once again, Clare had the upper hand to set up a clash with Davy Fitzgerald’s Waterford next Sunday in a dress rehearsal for the Munster championship. The winter of discontent which rocked Clare has now been replaced by an apparent calm and there was a noticeable hunger about O’Loughlin’s charges last night. John Conlon, a centre-forward in the traditional mould, caught the eye with a barnstorming performance decorated by three points. Fearless and direct, Conlon caused endless problems for Tipperary’s defence. Conlon was the outstanding player for Clare perspective but there were impressive performances too from livewire midfielder Jonathan Clancy and the experienced Alan Markham.

Clare started with seven players who began last year’s Munster championship match with Tipperary, while the home side fielded six of the players who lined out then. Clare signalled their intentions with the opening two points, provided by Fergal Lynch and Mark Flaherty with the first of his six pointed frees. Tipp roared back through Pat Kerwick and Gearoid Ryan and during the early stages, Eoin Kelly looked particularly keen for action. Kelly missed all of last spring with a back injury before lining out in the championship and it now appears that his long standing problem has been put to bed. Clare built up a 0-5 to 0-2 lead after 10 minutes and were comfortably holding Tipp before going on to lead 0-10 to 0-6 at the interval. Eleven minutes after the restart, and with Tipp trailing by 0-11 to 0-8, Kelly had the chance to restore parity with a penalty but his effort was batted away by Domhnall O’Donovan. Clare looked comfortable from then on but Tipp were thrown a lifeline in the 56th minute when substitute Noel McGrath netted. Tipp were now back to within two points, trailing by 0-16 to 1-11, but they could not close the gap.

Scorers for Tipperary: E Kelly 0-6 (5f), N McGrath 1-0, P Kerwick 0-2, G Ryan, B Dunne, P Bourke & S McGrath 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clare: M Flaherty 0-6f, J Conlon 0-3, J Clancy & A Markham 0-2 each, F Lynch, M ‘Ogie’ Murphy, D McMahon & P Donnellan (f) 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY: B Cummins; C O’Brien, D Fanning, P Curran; D Young, T Stapleton, S Maher; B Dunne, G Ryan; P Kerwick, H Maloney, P Kelly; P Bourke, J O’Brien, E Kelly.
Subs: M Webster for Bourke (39), L Corbett for P Kelly (45), N McGrath for Kerwick (48), S McGrath for Ryan (56), P Maher for Dunne (60 + 2).

CLARE: P Brennan; P Vaughan, C Dillon, A Brigdale; D O’Donovan, B O’Connell, P Donnellan; M Ogie Murphy, J Clancy; A Markham, J Conlon, F Lynch; M Flaherty, M Scanlon, A O’Brien.
Subs: D McMahon for O’Brien (43), J Cusack for Scanlon (51), B Bugler for O’Connell (57).

Referee: D Copps (Cork)

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