Tipperary look like they have the edge over Clare in Munster under-21 decider
Forward power will settle this intense rivalry
Tipperary’s Jason Forde has 3-16 in two games in the Munster under-21 hurling championship.
Clare senior forward Pádraic “Podge” Collins is politely predicting it to be “an absolute dogfight” and that is putting it mildly, because the last thing Tipperary will want is any repeat of what happened last year.
Holding out, it seemed, for victory, leading 0-16 to 0-14 in injury time, Tipperary were suddenly left stunned when Clare’s Niall Arthur hit them with a last-gasp goal. Now there is a way for Tipp to make some amends.
Tipperary have been brilliant in getting back into the final, taking out Limerick (2-18 to 2-11) and then Cork (5-19 to 2-13) – hitting 2-8 without reply and Jason Forde has 3-16 in two games.
The rivalry at this grade is now intense. They’ve met in three Munster finals in the last six years – Clare winning twice and Tipperary once, although last year marked Clare’s only second ever title in the grade, while Tipp have won 20.
Clare’s first task then will be handling Tipp’s forwards. They boast nine of Davy Fitzgerald’s senior panellists who defeated Galway last Sunday week, and if that performance is anything to go by they certainly won’t mind being back in Thurles again.
Clare looked comfortable in beating Waterford 2-15 to 0-17 in their semi-final, while captain Paul Flanagan leads by example. But if it does come down to who can score more then Tipperary look poised to hold out this time.