*Photograph: Gary Collins
Clare have been defeated in their opening game of the Allianz National Hurling League.
Venue: Semple Stadium, Thurles
Liam Sheedy’s return to Tipperary has got off to a successful start as they recorded a comprehensive eight point win over Clare on Saturday night.
In the absence of Tubber’s Patrick O’Connor, Tony Kelly has been the Clare captain and he was given his marching orders by Colm Lyons on forty four minutes. The Cork man’s decision to dismiss Kelly has caused confusion by spectators in Thurles and those watching at home.
There is a big step up from pre-season competitions like the Munster Senior Hurling League to more competitive action like the National League. Tipperary certainly were aware of that heading into proceedings, they were determined and clinical while Clare took far too long to settle, scoring just two points in the opening twenty six minutes of the game. They were playing against a strong breeze but their poor distribution pumped ball after ball on top of Padraic Maher who was operating as a sweeper.
From the off, the hosts dictated, they were in complete control for the opening half, luckily for Clare Niall Deasy dispatched a penalty towards the end of the opening half which made the half-time score some bit respectable. Playing with the aid of the breeze, it was Tipp that led 0-13 1-03 at the interval.
Donal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor called for the cavalry with Peter Duggan, Podge Collins and Colm Galvin all introduced at half-time. Collins pointed immediately, his effort was followed by a Tony Kelly score and the next piece of action saw the Ballyea attacker given the line by Colm Lyons following a clash with Padraic Maher.
This decision sucked further life out of the men in Saffron and Blue with two Seamus Callinan goals moments later to add another blow. A trio of scores from Peter Duggan gave the Clare fans among the attendance of 8,217 something to shout about but it was more a case of damage limitation.
1. Brian Hogan (Lorrha-Dorrha)
2. Cathal Barrett (Hollycross-Ballycahill)
3. Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)
4. Donagh Maher (Burgess)
5. Alan Flynn (Kiladangan)
6. Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)
7. Joe O’Dwyer (Killenaule)
8. Michael Breen (Ballina)
9. Paddy Cadell (JK Brackens)
10. Dan McCormack (Borris-Ileigh)
11. Noel McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)
12. Patrick Maher (Lorrha-Dorrha)
13. Jason Forde (Silvermines)
14. Seamus Callanan (Drom-Inch)
15. Jake Morris (Nenagh Éire Óg)
1. Donal Tuohy (Crusheen)
2. Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona)
3. David McInerney (Tulla)
20. Jack Browne (Ballyea)
5. Aidan McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona)
6. Conor Cleary (St Josephs Miltown)
7. Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge)
8. Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge)
9. Tony Kelly (Ballyea) – Captain
10. Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe)
11. Niall Deasy (Ballyea)
12. Ryan Taylor (Clooney-Quin)
13. Colin Guilfoyle (Newmarket On Fergus)
25. John Conlon (Clonlara)
15. Michael O’Neill (Kilmaley)
17. Podge Collins (Cratloe)
19. Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin)
21. Colm Galvin (Clonlara)
22. Ian Galvin (Clonlara)
18. Michael O’Malley (Kilmaley)
Referee: Colm Lyons (Cork)