The ultra promising Tony Kelly delivered a dynamic display to steer Clare to Waterford Crystal Cup victory at Semple Stadium.
Five sweet points from play ensured Kelly was the star for Clare, who ran out deserving winners over Tipperary.
Despite a sharp Tipperary start which featured a brilliant 13th minute goal from Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher it was Clare who did most of the first half hurling.
That was chiefly because Seadna Morey and Colin Ryan were all action at centrefield and they caused Tipp plenty of bother.
Clare led by 0-5 to 0-4 by the 14th minute when Tipp stitched a neat move together as Brendan Cummins’ crisp delivery located Eoin Kelly.
The Mullinahone attacker, Shane Bourke, and Brian O’Meara were involved in the creation of space for Maher, who rattled the Clare net.
From then until the interval, though, Clare were in command with Kelly’s excellence ensuring the visitors deservedly led 0-14 to 1-8 at the break.
After the restart Shane O’Donnell’s opportunistic 52nd minute goal put Clare in charge and Tipp couldn’t recover.
Five minutes later Tipp corner back Conor O’Brien was sent off and Clare easily closed out the game to claim some early season silverware.
Scorers for Clare: Colin Ryan (0-9, 7fs, 165), Tony Kelly (0-5), Shane O’Donnell (1-1), Seadna Morey (0-2), Fergal Lynch (0-2), Alan O’Neill (0-1), Enda Barrett (0-1).
Scorers for Tipperary: Eoin Kelly (0-6, 5fs), Patrick Maher (1-0), Shane Bourke (0-2), Seamus Callanan (0-2, 1f), John O’Brien (0-1), Brian O’Meara (0-1), Noel McGrath (0-1, f).
Clare: Patrick Kelly (Inagh Kilnamona); Domhnall O’Donovan (Clonlara), James McInerney (Newmarket-on-Fergus), David McInerney (Tulla); Brendan Bugler (Whitegate), Patrick Donnellan (O’Callaghan’s Mills), Patrick O’Connor (Tubber); Colin Ryan (Newmarket-on-Fergus), Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge); Fergal Lynch (Cloney-Quin), Tony Kelly (Ballyea), Enda Barrett (Newmarket-on-Fergus); Padraic Collins (Cratloe), Alan O’Neill (St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield), Shane O’Donnell (Eire Og). Subs: Peter Duggan (Cloney-Quin) for Lynch (53), Jonathan Clancy (Clarecastle) for Collins (63), David O’Halloran (Eire Og) for O’Donnell (64) Liam Markham (Cratloe) for Barrett (66).
Tipperary: Brendan Cummins (Ballybacon-Grange); Conor O’Brien (Eire Og Annacarty), Paul Curran (Mullinahone), Donagh Maher (Burgess); Joey McLoughney (Toomevara), Thomas Stapleton (Templederry), Seamus Hennessy (Kilruane McDonaghs); Shane McGrath (Ballinahinch), Noel McGrath (Loughmore Castleiney); Jason Forde (Silvermines), Eoin Kelly (Mullinahone), Patrick Maher (Lorrha & Dorrha); Brian O’Meara (Kilruane MacDonaghs), Shane Bourke (JK Brackens), Seamus Callanan (Drom & Inch). Subs: John O’Brien (Toomevara) for O’Meara (36), Johnny Ryan (Drom & Inch) for McLoughney (52) Timmy Hammersley (Clonoulty Rossmore) for Kelly (56), John O’Neill (Clonoulty Rossmore) for Curran (67).
Referee: Jer O’Connell (Cork).