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Allianz Hurling League Div1 2018

posted 30 Jan 2018, 05:57 by John O'Sullivan   [ updated 23 May 2018, 14:59 ]

Clare.............. 1-21  Tipperary.............. 0-19

By Michael O Connor.

Over 6,200 patrons to Cusack park were treated to a high scoring, at time intense but still entertaining tie between two sides who wish to forget about 2017 with ease and create new positive history in the current season.

David Reidy with a championship like finish welcomed by a definite championship roar in the dying moments of a good contest sealed a deserved Allianz League Division 1A win for Clare at Clare GAA headquarters.

 The home side led (0-13) to (0-10)  after a lively opening half where both sides picked off some good points in wintry but calm conditions at Cusack Park in Ennis. The intense weather conditions had done no real harm to the surface that had held up well after the Allianz football league game 24 hours previous. The defensive efforts provided by a number of players on both sides was noticable but still 23 points scored in 35 points showed a lot to do for both sides as the league matures.

There was never much between them in the second-half but Clare finished strongly and LIT student David Reidy in stoppage time scored the game's only goal to get their campaign off to a flying start.

Former All Star Cathal Barrett was back in the Tipperary panel after he was dropped last year and scored their first point from his new position in midfield after just 28 seconds. One will expect to see the talented defender revert to a rearguard position come the hard ball and summer time

Clare had the breeze behind them in the first-half and hit back one minute later with a sublime effort from Tony Kelly. David Reidy put Clare in front before Jason Forde landed his first free. Indeed the Tipperary sharpshooter finished the day with 10 points, all from placed balls.

Despite some erratic shooting from Clare, they took the lead again with points from John Conlon and Peter Duggan. Forde’s pinpoint accuracy from frees kept Tipperary in touch but Reidy was in top form for the Banner and they went in at the break leading by 0-13 to 0-10.

Clare took control after the restart but again unlike the top sides who are adept at killing off opposition Clare left Tipperary in the game with a number of wides and half hit efforts. The visitors to Clare GAA headquarters began to cut the gap, even though they were finding it difficult to score from play against a good Clare rearguard. With the game entering the 15 minutes Tipperary were beginning to gain the upper hand in proceedings and drew level by the 58th minute to tie the match at 0-17 apiece and appeared to be preparing for a winning start.

Both sides were guilty of missing some good chances in the final ten minutes of frenzied action. Clare, however were slightly the better side in the last five minutes and it was they who pushed for home against the breeze.

David Reidy edged the home side in front with another free and any hopes of a Tipperary rally were dispelled in the closing minutes when Reidy was put through on goal and he made no mistake  past the helpless Tipperary netminder Paul Maher to ensure a vital league win for the 2013 All Ireland champions and leave Tipperary under pressure when the 2016 All Ireland champions entertain the 2017 finalists Waterford in Semple Stadium on Saturday night.

 The loser of this tie will be looking at the trapdoor and 1B hurling for 2019. Clare will make the Sunday journey to noreside to take on what may be a new fresh Kilkenny side with a few older heads. A Clare win here will leave them looking at the league knock out stages and  a Kilkenny loss will see themselves and the loser of Tipperary/Waterford meeting in a winner take all tie.

Best for the winners included the impressive Donal Touhy, David Fitzgerald, Colm Galvin, Cathal Malone who contributed four valuable scores,  John Conlon who starred in the first half, David Reidy and Shane O Donnell who worked tirelessly throughout. Tipperary experimented and very nearly sneaked the win with solid performances from Thomas Hamill, Donagh Maher, Padraic Maher, Ronan Maher, Noel McGrath and Jason Forde.

CLARE: Donal Tuohy, Jack Browne, Conor Cleary, Patrick O'Connor; David Fitzgerald, David McInerney, Seadna Morey; Colm Galvin (0-1), Tony Kelly (0-2); Cathal Malone (0-4), John Conlon (0-2), David Reidy (1-08); Shane O’Donnell, Peter Duggan (0-4), Conor McGrath.

SUBS: Podge Collins for McGrath, Ian Galvin for Duggan, Niall Deasy for Malone, Gearoid O’Connell for C Galvin.

TIPPERARY: Paul Maher,  Alan Flynn, Tomás Hamill, Donagh Maher, Séamus Kennedy, Pádraic Maher (0-1), Tom Fox; Cathal Barrett (0-1), Ronan Maher (0-1); Conor Kenny, Noel McGrath (0-5), Seán Curran (0-1); Ger Browne, Jason Forde (0-10), Patrick Maher.

SUBS: Joe O’Dwyer for Fox, Michael Breen for Kenny, John McGrath for Browne, Brendan Maher for Kennedy, Dan McCormack for Patrick Maher.

Referee: Alan Kelly (Galway)