Tipperary settled an old score today in front of a 20,452 spectators crowd in Limerick. They had been beaten by Clare when last these great hurling counties came face to face in Semple stadium just last month, with Co.Clare’s Conor McGrath rifling home a hat-trick of goals.
This afternoon the tables were turned with Seamus Callanan scoring twelve points for the Premier County, latter finishing winners with 2-23 (29 Pts) to 2-17 (23 Pts) against last year’s All Ireland Champions Clare, in the Allianz Hurling League semi-final, held at the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick.
Tipperary will now greet their old rivals Kilkenny in a second successive final, possibly on May 4th next and at home here in Semple Stadium, subject to official approval.
It was Clare who quickly scored the game’s opening goal in just the third minute and indeed Tipperary would concede yet another, but two matching goals, one goal in each half, coming courtesy of stalward Patrick Maher, would eventually match this Tipperary deficit.
Tipperary gained full form into the second part of the first half to lead by 1-14 (17 Pts) to 1-07 (10 Pts) at the break. Clare did however manage to creep back to within three points of Tipperary during the second half, but it was to be this same opposition who remained relatively comfortable hindering Clare from getting back to within any real striking distance.
Tipperary must now surely be within sight of another title as they look ahead to what promises to be yet another explosive collision with Kilkenny, who today also booked their place, having defeated Galway 1-16 (19 Pts) to 0-15; to also reach the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 final.
Tipperary Scorers: N. O’Meara 0-03; S. Bourke & J O’Dwyer 0-02 each; S. Callanan 0-12; P. Maher 2-00 (6 Pts) and J. Barry, J. Woodlock, D. Maher, N. McGrath and G. Ryan all scoring 1 point apiece.
Tipperary Team: D. Gleeson (Portroe); C. Barrett (Holycross-Ballycahill); P. Maher (Thurles Sarsfields); M Cahill (Thurles Sarsfields); J. Barry (Upperchurch-Drombane); B. Maher (Borris-Ileigh – Captain); C. O’Mahony (Newport); K. Bergin, J. Woodlock (Drom & Inch); N. McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney); P. Maher (Lorrha/Dorrha); J. O’Dwyer (Killenaule); D. Maher (Thurles Sarsfields); S. Callanan (Drom & Inch) and N. O’Meara (Kilruane MacDonaghs).
Tipperary Substitutions: S. McGrath for N. McGrath, G. Ryan for D.Maher, S. Bourke for J. O’Dwyer and M. Breen for J. Woodlock .