Munster Under 17 Football Quarter-Final – Tipperary 0-14 Clare 0-10

Tipperary defeated Clare by 0-14 to 0-10 in the Munster Under 17 Football Competition Quarter-Final on Tuesday April 4th at Semple Stadium Thurles.


Tipperary hold on as Clare leave it too late

Report by Michael Dundon for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Tipperary 0-14 Clare 0-10

Tipperary survived a determined Clare rally in the closing 20 minutes of the inaugural Munster U17 football quarter-final at Semple Stadium, Thurles, last evening to clinch a semi-final clash with Kerry next month.

Tipp deserved their win thanks to the excellence of their first-half performance, but manager Matt Doherty conceded afterwards that they were happy to hang on. “Everything went our way in the first half but then they got on top at midfield in the second half and the pressure came on us, and we did well to hold out at the finish,” he said.

Tipp were leading by eight points (0-10 to 0-2) and coasting after 40 minutes and it seemed only a matter of how much they would have to spare at the finish. However, Clare, having struggled for most of the first half, finally got their game together to outscore their rivals eight to four in a tense finish.

Aided by the breeze, Tipp dominated the first half. Darragh Tynan was a major thorn in Clare’s side, kicking four points, three from play, as the home county surged to an interval lead of 0-8 to 0-2. Cian O Sullivan and Eanna McBride were other key figures for Tipperary. Tipperary had further points from Conor Ryan and Adam McGrath to extend their lead in the early stages of the second half, but a smashing point from centre halfback David McNamara after 40 minutes finally got Clare moving, and from that to the finish, Tipp backs were to the wall as they fought to protect their lead.

McNamara’s surges from defence were causing Tipp problems and with Seamus Casey and Gearoid Grady also to the fore, Clare cut the lead to three points as the game drifted towards added time. Two spectacular frees by sub Sean Conway were crucial to the recovery. In a tense finish, Tipperary held their nerve, a point from a Rian Quigley free in the 62nd minute giving them enough breathing space to see out the five minutes’ additional time allowed.

Tipperary have a Munster minor football clash with Cork next week, and with 15 of the minor panel included in this squad, and club games scheduled at the weekend, Doherty said it is difficult to juggle the eight-day turn-around. All six Tipperary forwards scored, with Darragh Tynan taking top honours, but Cian O’Sullivan, Mark Stokes, Eanna McBride, Dara O’Leary, and Paul Devlin were others to turn in big performances. Clare lost the game in the first half and left themselves with too much ground to make up. However, they never threw in the towel, with David McNamara, Seamus Casey, Gearoid O’Grady, and Euan Reidy leading by example.

Tipperary scorers: D Tynan (0-4,1f), R Quigley (0-4,2fs), C Ryan (0-2), M McFadden, I Holloway, A McGrath, C O’Sullivan (0-1 each).

Clare scorers: S Casey (0-3, 2fs), S Conway (0-2, 2fs), D McNamara (0-2), M Garry, P Talty, C Meaney (0-1) each.

TIPPERARY: C Quinn; M McFadden, D O’Leary, D Mulcahy; J Ryan, P Devlin, E McBride; S Grogan, M Stokes; C Ryan, R Quigley, I Holloway; A McGrath, C O’Sullivan, D Tynan.
Subs: M Egan for C Ryan; S Murphy for Holloway; K Bracken for Stokes; A Keane for Tynan; S McAdam for O’Sullivan.

CLARE: T O’Brien; G Collins, O O’Looney, E Reidy; D O’Brien, D McNamara, S O’Brien; T Clancy, M Murray; D Walshe, S Casey, C Meaney; M Garry, E Thynne, G O’Grady.
Subs: J Murphy for Murray; C Conway for Walshe; P Talty for Garry; E Petty for D O’Brien; D O’Donnell for Casey.

Referee: D O’Callaghan, Limerick.