HL1A: Tipp topple Banner

March 05, 2017

Tipperary's Barry Heffernan and Cathal Malone of Clare.
©INPHO/Cathal Noonan.

A 0-28 to 0-21 defeat of holders Clare at Semple Stadium sees Tipperary continue to set the pace at the top of the Division 1A table.

The All-Ireland champions went into this game on the back of impressive victories over Dublin and Waterford last month and they made another statement today, despite falling three points behind late in the first half.

With 7,254 looking on as the two teams served up some good fare in demanding conditions, John McGrath scored ten times for the league leaders, five from play, while John O'Dwyer notched 0-5. Five of the winners' starting forwards registered. For Clare, David Reidy, John Conlon and Podge Collins shared 14 scores.

After the dust settled, there were fears that the game may have come at a potentially big cost to both teams as Tipp lost All-Ireland wining captain Brendan Maher to a shoulder injury before the break and finished the game with 14 men as Niall O'Meara and Donagh Maher also cried off with head injuries, while the visitors lost corner back Oisin O'Brien to a suspected cruciate ligament tear.

Quick out of the blocks, the Premier reeled of the first five points and Collins finally got the holders up and running in the eighth minute. Tipp led by seven points to two after 15 minutes but the Banner enjoyed a real purple patch between the 21st and 32nd minutes when they reeled off six unanswered scores courtesy of Conlon (2), Reidy (2), Cathal McInerney and Collins to lead by 0-11 to 0-8, Collins notching their eleventh after Reidy had levelled the scores for the first time.

John McGrath raised the last flag of the first period as the losers led by the odd points from 21 at the short whistle.

Noel McGrath equalised upon the restart and further strikes from Noel and John McGrath made it 0-15 to 0-12 ten minutes into the second half. Collins, Ian Galvin (3) and Seadna Morey were all on target as the away team refused to roll over.

The gap was down to three by the 68th minute but Tipp duly rose to the challenge in this tussle between the championship and league title holders to comfortably keep their noses in front until the end.

There's something of a pile-up on the table now as Clare, Cork, Dublin and Kilkenny all sit on two points after three rounds of games in the top flight, behind Waterford (4) and Tipperary (6).

Tipperary - D Mooney; J O'Dwyer, T Hamill, D Maher; S Kennedy, R Maher (0-1f), Padraic Maher; B Maher (0-1), B Heffernan; S O'Brien (0-3), N O'Meara (0-1), N McGrath (0-3); A McCormack, J McGrath (0-10, 5f), J O'Dwyer (0-5f). Subs: W Ryan for S Kennedy, M Breen for B Maher, D McCormack (0-1) for N O'Meara, P Flynn (0-2) for A McCormack, S Curran (0-1) for B Heffernan.

Clare - P Kelly; O O'Brien, C Dillon, S Morey (0-1); B Bugler, C Cleary, D Fitzgerald; J Shanahan, D Reidy (0-6f); P Collins (0-4), J Conlon (0-4), C Malone; C McInerney (0-1), A Shanagher, A Cunningham (0-1). Subs: S McNamara for O O'Brien, I Galvin (0-3) for A Cunningham, J McCarthy (0-1) for J Shanahan, P Duggan for A Shanagher, P Donnellan for D Reidy.

Referee - B Kelly.

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