*Brian McNamara. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
CLARE’S U20 footballers have recorded an away win in the Munster championship for the first time since 2012.
Venue: Semple Stadium, Thurles
For the second year in a row, Clare will face Kerry in the semi-finals of the U20 Munster championship, they secured their date with the reigning provincial champions with a three point win over Tipperary on Monday evening.
Mikey Kelleher’s goal on the second minute which was Clare’s first score of the game served as an invaluable bridge between the two sides. Midfielder Brian McNamara who was influential throughout, burst through the Tipperary defence before offloading to the Killimer man to pull the trigger, his shot was stopped but pushed into the net rather than away from it.
Tipperary playing with the aid of the breeze managed to regain the lead, kicking three points on the trot, all of which were frees from Cian Smith. Patience was lacking in Clare’s tackling as they rushed onto their counterparts, allowing the Clonmel Commercials attacker to get plenty of shooting practice.
Goalkeeper Thomas Collins slotted over a free from an approximate forty metres to steady Clare and level matters, ending a sixteen minute spell without a score. The wait flew by for the next score with Brendy Rouine opening his account on twenty eight minutes in the following attack.
Sean McMahon had a composed finish to split the posts in the final attack of the half, seeing Clare finish with a flurry of 0-03 in a row to hold a 1-04 0-05 advantage at the break.
Collins with a free and an excellent score from Rouine saw Clare kick the opening scores of the second half before the Lissycasey goalkeeper was called upon to deny Micheál Lowry with his feet. Rory Collins pointed in the resulting passage from the 45 but Clare responded through Kelleher.
Substitutes then began to make their mark, the lively Niall O’Connor kicked the first of his two points before Doora/Barefield’s Tom Curran added two scores on the bounce. Smith and Collins traded efforts before O’Connor and Darragh McVicker narrowed the deficit to two points.
Though it may have become nervy in the five minutes of additional time, Clare held on for a deserved victory, Curran kicking the final score from a free.
Best for Clare were Brian McNamara, Fergal Guinane, Brendy Rouine and Joshua Moloney. Michael Neylon’s charges will be well aware a much tougher challenge awaits in the semi-finals when they travel to Tralee next week.
Scorers Clare: M Kelleher (1-02), T Collins (0-03 2f 1’45), T Curran (0-03 1f), B Rouine (0-02), S McMahon (0-01).
Scorers Tipperary: C Smith (0-05 4f), N O’Connor (0-02), J Lawrence (0-01), D Hogan (0-01), R Collins (0-01), D McVicker (0-01).
1: Thomas Collins (Lissycasey)
2: Eoghan Casey (Wolfe Tones)
3: Fergal Guinnane (Kildysart)
4: Joshua Moloney (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
5: Liam Cotter (Ennistymon)
6: Liam Culligan (Killimer)
7: Josh Guyler (Ennistymon)
8: Brian McNamara (Cooraclare)
9: James Curran (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield)
10: Mikey Kelleher (Killimer)
11: Cillian McGroary (Corofin)
12: Brendy Rouine (Ennistymon)
13: Odhran Cunningham (Killimer)
14: Joe Rafferty (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield)
15: Sean McMahon (Banner)
18: Tom Curran (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield) for McGroary (42)
20: Paul Frawley (St Joseph’s Miltown) for Cunningham (49)
17: James Cullinan (Ennistymon) for Culligan (59)
24: Connor Meaney (Lissycasey) for Kelleher (62)
23: Nicki Hardiman (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield) for Rafferty (65)
1: Shane Ryan (Moyle Rovers)
2: Jack O’Neill (Ardfinnan)
3: Jack Nevin (JK Brackens)
4: Eoin O’Connell (Loughmore-Casteliney)
7: Sean O’Meara (Grangemockler-Ballyneale)
6: Charlie King (Ballina)
5: Rory O’Dowd (Clonmel Commercials)
8: Joseph Lawrence (Rockwell Rovers)
9: Eoin Craddock (Holycross-Ballycahill)
10: Micheál Lowry (Arravale Rovers)
11: Declan Nee (Clonmel Commercials)
12: Rory Collins (Moyle Rovers)
13: Cian Smith (Clonmel Commercials)
14: Evan Hawkins (Arravale Rovers)
15: Daithí Hogan (St Patricks)
22: Niall O’Connor (Clonmel Óg) for Nee (41)
20: Liam McCormack (Thurles Sarsfields) for Hawkins (51)
18: Eoin Doocey (Arravale Rovers) for O’Connell (53)
21: Darragh McVicker (Clonmel Óg) for Lowry (55)
Referee: John Ryan (Cork)