McGrath brothers star as Tipperary crush Clare to close in on Munster final spot
Eoin Brennan reports from Cusack Park
TIPPERARY’S DEVASTATING RUN through Munster continued unabated this afternoon after putting Clare to the sword in ruthless fashion to effectively ensure their passage to a first provincial decider since 2016.
Clare’s perfect home record in the new championship format was essentially shattered by timely goals through Noel McGrath, Seamus Callanan and Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher by the 49th minute to soar 13 points clear, a chasm that they would hold until the finish.
Indeed, McGrath’s pulled goal in the 21st minute provided the spark to finally ignite Tipperary’s challenge as from there to the finish, they would outscore a flagging Banner by 2-14 to 0-11, with only two of Clare’s points stemming from play.
Up to that opening major, the sides had gone blow-for-blow on five occasions but with the wind at their backs, a buoyant Tipperary would up the ante considerably for the remainder of the half, with the McGrath brothers John (3) and Noel (2) helping their side to a 1-14 to 0-11 cushion by the break.
Patrick Maher and Seamus Callanan with Cathal Malone of Clare.
Source: James Crombie/INPHO
Any hopes of a home rebellion were quashed only five minutes into the new half when Seamus Callanan profited from a slice of fortune when Jason Forde’s 60 metre free cannoned off the upright to crash the rebound to the net.
Nine minutes later, Patrick Maher outpaced Clare’s last line to effectively finish the game as a contest at 3-16 to 0-12.
A disappointing home side never recovered, with their afternoon epitomised by the treble withdrawal of usual chief threats Peter Duggan, John Conlon and Shane O’Donnell.
Instead, Tipperary matched anything a deflated Banner could throw at them for the final 20 minutes as they impressively took their scoring tally to the 100 point mark after only three outings to assure their place in the All-Ireland series at a minimum.
Scorers for Tipperary: Jason Forde 0-7 (7f); John McGrath 0-6; Noel McGrath 1-2, Seamus Callanan, Patrick Maher 1-2 each; John O’Dwyer, Brendan Maher 0-1 each
Scorers for Clare: Peter Duggan 0-9 (8f); Tony Kelly 0-3 (2f); Diarmuid Ryan, Podge Collins, David Fitzgerald, Shane Golden, Aidan McCarthy 0-1 each
1. Brian Hogan (Lorrha-Dorrha)
2. Cathal Barrett (Holycross-Ballycahill)
20. Barry Heffernan (Nenagh Éire Óg)
7. Alan Flynn (Kiladangan)
4. Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)
5. Brendan Maher (Borris-Ileigh)
6. Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)
8. Noel McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)
9. Michael Breen (Ballina)
23. Dan McCormack (Borris-Ileigh)
11. John O’Dwyer (Killenaule)
12. Patrick Maher (Lorrha-Dorrha)
10. Jason Forde (Silvermines)
14. Séamus Callanan (Drom-Inch) (Captain)
13. John McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)
19. Willie Connors (Kiladangan) for Breen (55)
25. Jake Morris (Nenagh Éire Óg) for O’Dwyer (60)
18. Robert Byrne (Portroe) for R. Maher (66)
17. Ger Browne (Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams) for McCormack (68)
1. Donal Tuohy (Crusheen)
4. Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge)
2. Patrick O’Connor (Tubber) (Captain)
3. David McInerney (Tulla)
5. Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge)
6. Jack Browne (Ballyea)
7. David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona)
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8. Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge)
9. Colm Galvin (Clonlara)
10. Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin)
11. Tony Kelly (Ballyea)
12. Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe)
15. Podge Collins (Cratloe)
14. John Conlon (Clonlara)
13. Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg)
22. Conor Cleary (St. Joseph’s Miltown) for Morey (52)
18. Aidan McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona) for Duggan (57)
19. Gary Cooney (O’Callaghan’s Mills) for Conlon (59)
24. Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones) for O’Donnell (64)
21. Ryan Taylor (Clooney-Quin) for Golden (67)
Referee: Alan Kelly (Galway)
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