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CLARE’S SENIOR HURLERS sent out a clear statement with in their opening outing of the 2022 championship dismantling of the Tipperary challenge with ease.

Clare 3-21
Tipperary 2-16
Venue: FBD Semple Stadium, Tipperary

Shouts of ‘My Lovely Rose of Clare’ echoed across Semple Stadium in the closing minutes following a display where the Banner County certainly quietened their Tipperary rivals with an eight point winning margin.

In the fifty sixth championship meeting between the sides, Clare recorded their fourteenth win and arguably it was the most facile one enjoyed on their behalf, played in front of 17,260.

Appearances would have suggested that it was Tipperary not Clare making their first foray into this year’s championship based on the start to proceedings such was the difference in how they began. Goals from Ian Galvin and Peter Duggan inside the opening twenty minutes sent the visitors on their way to victory in what was a dominating performance from their end and an abysmal one from the Premier County.

Leading by thirteen points at half-time, it was all but game over for Brian Lohan’s charges. Points from Tony Kelly and Ian Galvin had them leading 0-03 0-01, Clare exerted further control when Galvin goaled on seven minutes, the ever-calm poacher tucked a tidy effort to the net following excellent inter-play between Kelly and Ryan Taylor which resulted in a Peter Duggan boomer ricocheting off the cross bar.

Duggan raided for a green flag himself on the twenty minute mark, John Conlon strolled through the Tipp defence from his centre-back position, his effort was stopped and Duggan made no mistake to make it 2-05 0-04.

To lift the Clare spirits even more, Rory Hayes followed this with a superb point from distance before Kelly converted a penalty won by the dangerous Duggan. Tipp had a two point rally quenched when Taylor, Galvin and Kelly all hit the target. David McInerney combined with Taylor to set up Shane O’Donnell for the final score of the half leaving it 3-11 0-07 in favour of Clare.

A response was needed from Colm Bonnar’s Tipperary on the restart, Ger Browne found it easier than expected to manoeuvre into the danger area and hit a powerful shot past Eibhear Quilligan. Scores dried up on either side with Duggan and Kelly pointing within a seven minute period while Tipperary’s next score was a goal, Barry Heffernan’s shot from distance caught Quilligan who will know he should have done better, the Feakle netminder to his credit made half a dozen important saves during the game.

Having struck for two goals, Tipperary needed to do more damage but their return of 2-00 in sixteen minutes was detrimental for any aspirations of a comeback.

Lohan’s men on the other hand would keep the scoreboard ticking with debutant Robin Mounsey, Kelly, Diarmuid Ryan, David McInerney, Taylor and O’Donnell doing their bit. Tipperary hit the final three scores but matters had concluded long before, a reflection shared by the observing Cork management who had departed Thurles by then.

From the outset, this game had been viewed as essentially knockout for Clare, they needed to start on a high and that they certainly did. While Tipperary were dreadful, Clare were full value for their win and dispatched of the challenge at hand. The return of Peter Duggan and Shane O’Donnell really bolsters the attacking options and lessens the weight on Tony Kelly’s shoulders while the exploits of Ian Galvin and Robin Mounsey is another plus. The constant movement of the Banner attack early on was a well-worked move from Lohan’s management.

A suspected hamstring injury ruled out Shane Meehan from making his senior debut and Ruan’s Mounsey brought an impressive workrate and composure when on the ball in his absence. O’Donnell was consistent throughout, Duggan had a strong first half with John Conlon and David McInerney also solid for the winners. It’s job done for Clare and hopefully a case of starting as they mean to go on.

For Tipperary, this will certainly be a dark hour in their hurling history. They could have been proud of their showing against Waterford but this is far from the standards they have set before. For the second week in succession, they had to substitute both of their midfielders while leadership was certainly lacking from their display.

James Owens won’t generate as much headlines as he did when the sides met in last year’s Munster SHC. It is worth noting that the Wexford official appears to be influenced very much by the crowd. Prior to giving Cathal Barrett a yellow card for a strike on David Fitzgerald, he hadn’t awarded Tipp a free in the first nineteen minutes of the second half, frustration was voiced by the Tipp line on this decision and he would end up giving them eight frees in the remaining fifteen plus minutes of the game.

Scorers for Clare: Tony Kelly 1-7 (0-5f, 1-0 pen), Peter Duggan 1-2, Ian Galvin 1-2, Ryan Taylor 0-2, Robin Mounsey 0-2, Shane O’Donnell 0-2, Diarmuid Ryan 0-1, David McInerney 0-1, David Fitzgerald 0-1, Rory Hayes 0-1.
Scorers for Tipperary: Jason Forde 0-7 (0-4f, 0-2 ’65), Ger Browne 1-3, Barry Heffernan 1-0, Ronan Maher 0-2 (0-1f), Cathal Barrett 0-1, Michael Breen 0-1, Noel McGrath 0-1, Mark Kehoe 0-1.
Clare:
1: Eibhear Quilligan (Feakle)

4: Paul Flanagan (Ballyea)
3: Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown)
2: Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones)

5: Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe)
6: John Conlon (Clonlara)
7: David McInerney (Tulla)

10: Ryan Taylor (Clooney/Quin)
9: Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge)

12: David Fitzgerald (Inagh/Kilnamona)
11: Tony Kelly (Ballyea)
26: Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg)

15: Ian Galvin (Clonlara)
13: Peter Duggan (Clooney/Quin)
19: Robin Mounsey (Ruan)

Subs:
20. Patrick Crotty (Scarriff) for Galvin (49)
18. Domhnall McMahon (Tubber) for Fitzgerald (62)
8. Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge) for Mounsey (70)
22. Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona) for O’Donnell (70)
23. Jack Browne (Ballyea) for Taylor (74)14: Shane Meehan (Banner)

Tipperary:

1: Brian Hogan (Lorrha Dorrha)

2: Cathal Barrett (Holycross Ballycahill)
3: James Quigley (Kiladangan)
4: Craig Morgan (Kilruane MacDonaghs)

5: Dillon Quirke (Clonoulty Rossmore)
7: Seamus Kennedy (St Mary’s)
6: Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)

8: Dan McCormack (Borris-Ileigh)
9: Barry Heffernan (Nenagh Éire Óg)

13: Jake Morris (Nenagh Éire Óg)
11: Noel McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)
12: Michael Breen (Ballina)

15: John McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)
14: Mark Kehoe (Kilsheehan Kilcash)
10: Jason Forde (Silvermines)

Subs:
17. Ger Browne (Cashel King Cormacs) for John McGrath (inj) (23)
24. Brian McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney) for Quigley (inj) (27)
25.Gearoid O’Connor (Moyne-Templetuohy) for Morris (49)
20. Alan Flynn (Kiladangan) for Heffernan (64)

Referee: James Owens (Wexford)

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