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Davy penalty, Nicky smile, Jamesie point - famous Clare-Tipp championship memories

As the counties prepare to lock horns in the All-Ireland senior hurling quarter-final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, relive some great memories from clashes of yesteryear.

CLARE AND TIPPERARY are preparing for their first senior hurling championship clash since 2011, when they do battle in the All-Ireland quarter-final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh next Saturday.

But the 1990s and 2000s were pockmarked by some classic meetings between the counties, which served up a host of memories.

From Nicky’s smile in 1993 to Conor McGrath’s debut goal in 2011, we’ve picked out ten of the best moments from senior summer games when the Banner crossed swords with the Premier County….

1. Nicky’s smile

The 1993 Munster senior final was a black day for Clare hurling, as Tipp inflicted a crushing 3-27 to 2-12 defeat on the Banner County at the Gaelic Grounds.

But it was also the start of a huge Clare hurling renaissance, as they bounced back a year to dump Tipp out of the championship in a Munster quarter-final.

For many Clare hurling people, Nicky English’s smile after popping over a point, as Tipp ran riot, was a turning point:

Source: HurlingGoals/YouTube

While English would later insist that the moment was wholly innocent, Clare construed it as disrespectful and would use it to their advantage in the years that followed.

2. David Forde’s 1997 Munster final goal

Clare beat Tipperary in the 1997 Munster senior hurling final, as David Forde’s goal separated the sides at Páirc Uí Chaoimh (go to 0:49): 

Source: HurlingGoals/YouTube

3. Anthony Daly’s ‘whipping boys’ speech

As he accepted the silverware, Banner captain Anthony Daly took the opportunity to let the province know that Clare were here to stay:

Source: hjmartin1/YouTube

4. Jamesie’s point

Not content with slaying Tipp in a Munster final, Clare backed that up with an All-Ireland final win in September.

In a tense encounter, Jamesie O’Connor had the final say, as he slung over the winning point at the Hill 16 end:

Source: TG4/YouTube

5. Davy’s save

Davy Fitzgerald, the current Wexford senior hurling manager, played a crucial role in Clare’s 1997 All-Ireland win, denying John Leahy with a crucial late save.

A goal then for Tipp would have seen them crowned Liam MacCarthy Cup winners, but Fitzgerald pulled off a fantastic stop (go to 0:55 in video for Davy’s save):

Source: LovelyHurling Ire/YouTube

6. Davy’s penalty

Clare were staring a championship exit squarely in the face in stoppage time at the end of the 1999 Munster semi-final against Tipperary in Cork.

But with the final play of the game, Davy Fitzgerald stepped up and slammed an equalising penalty goal to the net:

Source: HurlingGoals/YouTube

Clare ran out easy winners in the replay.

7. Familiarity breeds contempt in 2001

It was all on the line when Tipp met Clare in the 2001 Munster hurling semi-final, in the last knock-out provincial championship clash between the counties.

The video below captures the story of a one-point win for Tipp, in a game that saw John Leahy sustain cruciate knee ligament damage.

But what the video doesn’t show is an iconic passage of play for Tipp supporters, when a teenage Eoin Kelly survived a ferocious double-hit from Ollie Baker and Seanie McMahon, before turning and firing the ball towards the Clare goalmouth:

Source: CR's Video Vaults/YouTube

8. Eoin Kelly’s stunning goal

It took a special player to leave the Lohan brothers (Brian and Frank) in his wake before leaving Davy Fitzgerald rooted to the spot.

But that’s exactly what Eoin Kelly did in the 2002 Munster quarter-final, with a brilliant goal. 

If you run the video below from 48 seconds, you’ll catch a superb Brendan Cummins save to keep out Niall Gilligan, before Kelly strikes at the other end:

Source: PJ's Classic GAA Channel/YouTube

Tipp ran out 1-18 to 2-13 winners against Clare on the day.

9. The first of Seamus Callanan’s 27 championship goals

A Munster senior hurling final’s not the worst occasion to register your first championship goal.

In the 27th minute of the 2008 provincial decider, Seamus Callanan did just that (go to 3:10): 

Source: CR's Video Vaults/YouTube

10. Conor McGrath’s debut goal

Tipp and Clare haven’t met in championship hurling since a Munster semi-final in 2011.

Tipp won on that occasion by 4-19 to 1-19 but one of the real highlights of the game was Conor McGrath’s early goal, on his senior championship debut for the Banner:

Source: HurlingGoals/YouTube

What are your favourite memories from Clare and Tipperary senior hurling championship clashes? Leave your feedback in the comments section below…

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