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John McGrath hits 0-10 as Tipperary stay top of the table with victory over Clare

The All-Ireland champions beat the league kingpins today in Thurles.

Tipperary and Clare players battle for possession in Thurles.
Tipperary and Clare players battle for possession in Thurles.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Tipperary 0-28
Clare 0-21

Jackie Cahill reports from Semple Stadium, Thurles

JOHN MCGRATH SCORED ten points as Tipperary continued their perfect start to Division 1A of the Allianz Hurling League campaign.

John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer added five from play as Tipp produced a strong second half performance in the battle of the All-Ireland and league champions at Semple Stadium.

But there was concern for Tipperary as last year’s All-Ireland winning captain Brendan Maher was forced off with a shoulder injury approaching half-time.

Tipp also lost Niall O’Meara and Donagh Maher to head knocks and when the latter went off deep in stoppage time, the hosts finished the game with 14 men.

But Clare also suffered a massive injury setback of their own, as corner back Oisín O’Brien was carried off with suspected cruciate knee ligament damage.

Weather conditions weren’t overly-conducive to good hurling but both sides served up some good passages of fare nonetheless, Tipp looking particularly fluent in patches.

But the hosts had to come from behind to claim the points on offer, as Clare led by 0-11 to 0-10 at half-time.

Tipp, playing against the breeze in front of 7,254 spectators, started in blistering fashion and led by 0-7 to 0-2 before Clare took over, landing nine of the next ten points on offer.

It was a period of play not without its collateral damage for Tipperary, as Brendan Maher suffered his injury while contesting possession on the Old Stand side of the field.

Brendan Maher Captain Brendan Maher went off injured for Tipperary today Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

But early in the second half, Tipp did get a firm grip on proceedings, now playing with the breeze blowing towards the Town End.

They would win the second half by 18 points to ten, with O’Dwyer looking particularly good.

When the dust settled, former dual player Steven O’Brien had done his chances of long-term inclusion no harm at all with three points from play, a tally matched by Noel McGrath.

There was also a neat cameo from Kiladangan’s Paul Flynn, who came off the bench to score two points.

The man of the match award went to Tomás Hamill, pushed into full-back duty when James Barry was ruled out through illness, with Pádraic Maher coming into the starting line-up at left-half-back.

Hamill tied up Clare dangerman Aron Shanagher but the visitors did have an impressive first half showing from John Conlon, whose sniping led to Seamus Kennedy, man of the match for Tipp against Waterford last time out, being taken off.

John Conlon John Conlon grabs the ball over Padraic Maher Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Podge Collins was also good in a roving role out around the middle third, picking off four points from play, while sub Ian Galvin scored three points after he was introduced.

Scorers for Tipperary: John McGrath 0-10 (0-5f), John O’Dwyer 0-5, Steven O’Brien & Noel McGrath 0-3 each, Paul Flynn 0-2, Ronan Maher (0-1f), Brendan Maher, Niall O’Meara, Sean Curran & Dan McCormack 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clare: David Reidy 0-6 (0-6f), John Conlon & Podge Collins 0-4 each, Ian Galvin 0-3, Seadna Morey, Aaron Cunningham, Cathal McInerney & Jason McCarthy 0-1 each.

Seadna Morey Clare's Seadna Morey Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO


1. Daragh Mooney (Éire Óg Annacarty-Donohill)

2. Joe O’Dwyer (Killenaule)
7. Tomás Hamill (Moyne-Templetouhy)
4. Donagh Maher (Burgess)

5. Seamus Kennedy (St. Mary’s)
6. Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)
23. Pádraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields) (captain)

8. Brendan Maher (Borris-Ileigh)
9. Barry Heffernan (Nenagh Éire Óg)

10. Steven O’Brien (Ballina)
11. Niall O’Meara (Kilruane MacDonaghs)
12. Noel McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)

15. Aidan McCormack (Thurles Sarsfields)
14. John McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)
13. John O’Dwyer (Killenaule)

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26. Willie Ryan (Clonakenny) for Kennedy (31)
18. Michael Breen (Ballina) for B Maher (inj., 34)
24. Dan McCormack (Borris-Ileigh) for O’Meara (inj., 40)
21. Paul Flynn (Kiladangan) for A McCormack (56)
22. Sean Curran (Mullinahone) for Heffernan (67)


1. Patrick Kelly (Inagh-Kilnamona)

2. Oisín O’Brien (Clonlara)
3. Cian Dillon (Crusheen – captain)
4. Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge)

5. Brendan Bugler (Whitegate)
6. Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s, Milltown)
8. David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona)

7. Jamie Shanahan (Sixmilebridge)
9. David Reidy (Éire Óg Ennis)

13. Podge Collins (Cratloe)
12. John Conlon (Clonlara)
11. Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge)

15. Cathal McInerney (Cratloe)
14. Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones)
10. Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones)


23. Shane McNamara (Clooney-Quin) for O’Brien (inj., 53)
25. Ian Galvin (Clonlara) for Cunningham (59)
20. Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona) for Shanahan (59)
18. Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin) for Shanagher (67)
19. Pat Donnellan (O’Callaghan’s Mills) for Reidy (69)

Referee: Barry Kelly (Westmeath)

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About the author:

Jackie Cahill

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