Allianz HL D1A: Tipperary earn victory
Allianz Hurling League Division 1A
TIPPERARY 2-16 CLARE 1-11
By John Fallon at Semple Stadium
Liam Sheedy’s second term in charge of Tipperary got off to a winning start in difficult conditions at Semple Stadium.
The hero of the night was new captain Seamus Callanan, who shot 2-7 despite managing just a point from two penalties.
Clare were making inroads into Tipperary’s seven-point interval lead when Tony Kelly was issued with a red card for a challenge on Padraic Maher.
Callanan struck for his two goals after that and there was no way back for Clare as both sides struggled in the wind and rain in front of a crowd of 8,217.
Tipperary led by 0-13 to 1-3 at half-time, having opted to play with the wind and rain behind them in the opening half.
But their hopes of a flying start were dashed when Clare goalkeeper Donal Tuohy produced a superb save which broke his hurley when he saved a third minute penalty from Callanan after he himself had been fouled.
But Callanan and Tipperary kept their composure and the Drom and Inch man went on to hit five frees from five as they built up a seven points interval lead.
Noel McGrath scored three points in the opening half, two of from play and the first from a superb sideline on the left after ten minutes, with Padraid Maher reveling in his sweeper role at the back.
Jake Morris picked off a couple of points from the right, while wing-back Alan Flynn landed one from distance as Tipperary built up a good lead.
It took Clare 14 minutes to get their first score against the wind when Niall Deasy pointed a free from close range.
Tipperary led by 0-9 to 0-2 after 28 minutes when Clare got a lifeline seven minutes from the break when the impressive Colin Guilfoyle was fouled by Cathal Barrett and Deasy stepped forward and blasted into the bottom left corner.
Willie Connors and McGrath responded for Tipperary and when Kelly hit back for Clare, efforts from Michael Breen and Callanan left Sheedy’s men seven points in front at the interval.
Podge Collins and Kelly hit early points for Clare after the restart but then Kelly was sent off.
Tipperary took over and sealed the win when Callanan hit 2-1. He pointed a free and then Morris and Robert Byrne combined to set him up and the captain blasted to the net from close range after 50 minutes.
He repeated the dose inside a minute, this time Morris supplied the final pass to Callanan and the Tipperary skipper again beat Tuohy from close range.
That left Tipp ahead by 2-14 to 1-6 going into the final quarter and they never looked like surrendering that advantage.
Scorers for Tipperary: Seamus Callanan 2-7 (6fs, 1pen), Noel McGrath 0-3 (1 sideline), Jake Morris 0-2, Alan Flynn 0-1, Michael Breen 0-1, Willie Connors 0-1, Robert Byrne 0-1.
Scorers for Clare: Peter Duggan 0-4 (3fs, 1 65), Niall Deasy 1-1 (1-0 pen,1f), Tony Kelly 0-2 (0-1 sideline), Mike O’Malley 0-2 (0-1f, 0-1 ’65), John Conlon 0-1, Podge Collins 0-1.
TIPPERARY: Brian Hogan; Cathal Barrett, Padraic Maher, Donagh Maher; Alan Flynn, Ronan Maher, Barry Heffernan; Michael Breen, Robert Byrne; Dan McCormack, Noel McGrath, Patrick Maher; Willie Connors, Seamus Callanan, Jake Morris.
Subs: Mark Kehoe for McGrath (60), John O’Dwyer for Morris (63), Niall O’Meara for McCormack (69), Killian O’Dwyer for D Maher (69), Cian Darcy for Byrne (70).
CLARE: Donal Tuohy; Jason McCarthy, David McInerney, Jack Browne; Aidan McCarthy, Conor Cleary, Cathal Malone; Shane Golden, Tony Kelly; Diarmuid Ryan, Niall Deasy, Ryan Taylor; Colin Guilfoyle, John Conlon, Michael O'Neill.
Subs: Podge Collins for O’Neill (36), Peter Duggan for Deasy (36), Colm Galvin for J McCarthy (36), Mike O’Malley for Taylor (53), Ian Galvin for Conlon (63).
REFEREE: Colm Lyons (Cork).