CLARE’s minor hurlers hopes of securing a fifth provincial crown were devastatingly crushed after losing to Tipperary on penalties.
Tipperary win 3-0 on penalties
In what was a tremendous showing from both sets of teenagers, it unfortunately had to take penalties to determine a winner with the youngsters from Tipperary gaining the upperhand after converting three from three while their saffron and blue counterparts failed to hit the back of the net during the shootout.
Brian O’Connell’s youngsters exhibited a character filled performance from start to finish in what is an experience that won’t define but one that has the potential to be the making of them.
If ever there was a moment to set the tempo, it was the early actions of defender Fionan Treacy. Within thirty seconds, it appeared that his Munster final was over just as it had begun, a signal from a member of the Banner backroom team indicated to the sideline that he had to be replaced due to injury. Fortunately, Treacy defied the instructions and stayed on the field, delivering a fine performance worthy of the number three shirt.
Alongside him, Eoghan Gunning made vital interceptions while the custodian Mark Sheedy was cool and composed on each occasion he was in possession. Clooney/Quin’s Jack O’Neill was electric at centre forward with 0-05 to his name while the showings of Sean McMahon and James Hegarty also caught the eye.
While Clare were talented and hardworking, so too were Tipperary who made better use of their substitutes bench which effectively made the advantage of an extra player look like it didn’t exist. Tipp captain Sam O’Farrell picked up a second yellow card on forty six minutes but they didn’t falter, instead it was their substitutes that led the way, Sam Rowan raided for goal while Cathal English, Darragh McCarthy and Jamie Ormonde the fellow substitutes registered 1-05 between them.
Though they allowed Tipperary separate rallies of 0-03 without reply in the first half, Clare’s response was just as good notching exact replicas, they trailed by a single score at the interval. On the restart they hit the front with Piaras Ó Sé and Jack O’Neill pointing, in total they hit a second half return of 0-12 but came undone with the impact from the opposing bench.
All looked lost in injury time, trailing by two, Oisin Whelan reduced the gap to a single score before substitute Dylan Keane Hayes send the game to extra time.
In extra time, Clare led by two points but Jack O’Callaghan and Paddy McCormack with the most pressurised free of his career ensured penalties decided the winner and on this occasion, victory was to be for Tipperary.
Scorers Tipperary: D Corbett (0-05 4f), P McCormack (0-03 1f), D McCarthy (0-03 1f), S Rowan (1-00), C Foley (0-02 1f), S O’Farrell (0-02), J Egan (0-02), J O’Callaghan (0-02), C Martin (0-01), C English (0-01), J Ormonde (0-01).
Scorers Clare: O Whelan (0-09 8f 1’65), J Organ (0-05), J O’Neill (0-05), M Collins (0-02), J Hegarty (0-01), P Ó Sé (0-01), S Scanlon (0-01), C Neylon (0-01), D Keane Hayes (0-01).
1: Eoin Horgan (Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams)
2: Chris O’Donnell (Ballylooby-Castlegrace)
3: Aaron O’Halloran (Carrick Swans)
4: Jack Quinlan (Fethard)
5: Sam O’Farrell (Nenagh Éire Óg)
6: Tadhg Sheehan (St Marys)
7: Jack O’Callaghan (Portroe)
8: Ciarán Foley (Borrisokane)
9: Adam Daly (Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams)
12: Paddy Phelan (Upperchurch-Drombane)
11: Joe Egan (Moycarkey-Borris)
10: Conor Martin (Cappawhite)
14: Tom Delaney (Cahir)
15: Paddy McCormack (Borrisoleigh)
13: Damien Corbett (Gortnahoe-Glengoole)
24: Sam Rowan (CJ Kickhams Mullinahone) for Martin (45)
21: Darragh McCarthy (Toomevara) for Corbett (49)
18: Cathal English (Fr Sheehys) for Foley (50)
23: Jamie Ormond (JK Brackens) for Delaney (60)
22: Evan Morris (Holycross-Ballycahill) for O’Donnell (70)
19: Jack Hayes (Moycarkey-Borris) for Delaney (70)
Conor Martin for Rowan (76)
1: Mark Sheedy (Sixmilebridge)
3: Fionan Treacy (Éire Óg)
4: John Cahill (Clooney/Quin)
2: Eoghan Gunning (Broadford)
5: Sean McMahon (Smith O’Briens)
6: James Hegarty (Inagh/Kilnamona)
7: Riain McNamara (Cratloe)
8: Piaras Ó Sé (Ruan)
9: Matthew O’Halloran (Sixmilebridge)
10: Michael Collins (Clonlara)
11: Jack O’Neill (Clooney/Quin)
12: James Organ (Corofin)
13: Sam Scanlon (Clooney/Quin)
14: Oisin Whelan (Clarecastle)
15: Cian Neylon (Kilmaley)
19: Dylan Keane Hayes (Kilmaley) for Collins (51)
20: Eoin O’Regan (Éire Óg) for O’Halloran (55)
23: Fred Hegarty (Inagh/Kilnamona) for Neylon (59)
21: Frankie Lyons (Ruan) for O’Regan (70)
Cian Neylon for Scanlon (76)
Michael Collins for Organ (79)
Referee: Nicky Barry (Waterford)