Cork are collateral damage as Clare edge Tipperary
The Banner county start and finish second half strongly to maintain Division Two status
Clare’s David Tubridy scored 1-3 as his team avoided the drop. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
Tipperary 1-19 Clare 3-15
Clare footballers delivered a big finish at Semple Stadium in Thurles to maintain their place in Division Two for next season and in the process condemn Tipperary and Cork to the drop.
Tipperary needed to win and hope that Cork slipped up in Armagh but while Liam Kearns’ men produced some of the best football they have shown this year they were unable to give themselves a fighting chance.
Instead, it was Clare who came good when it mattered most despite not scoring for 27 minutes at one stage in the second-half with the wind behind them.
Colm Collins’ men trailed by 1-13 to 1-8 at the end of an entertaining opening half but they took control after the restart and wiped out the deficit inside seven minutes before David Tubridy finished a good move to the net.
That put them 2-13 to 1-13 in front after 42 minutes but they didn’t score again until the final minute of regular time.
By then they were trailing by four points after Tipperary hit them for six points without reply but Kearns’ side were unable to close out the deal.
And they paid the price when Keelan Sexton shot to the net to level the match heading into six minutes of injury-time.
Clare pushed on from there with experience duo Gary Brennan and David Tubridy shooting the points which ensured that Clare will be in Division 2 next season.
Tipperary, whose campaign was disrupted by a lot of injuries, looked set for victory in the opening half as Conor Sweeney was outstanding. The Ballyporeeen full-forward hit 1-6 in the opening half, all but a point of it from play.
But while Tipperary bounced back after Clare’s strong start to the second-half, they were unable to hold on.
Clare: R Eyres; G Kelly, C Brennan, K Harnett; S Collins, D Ryan, C O’Dea; S O’Donoghue (0-1), C O’Connor (0-1); E Cleary (0-4, 0-2 frees), C O’hAinifein, J Malone (0-2); G Cooney (1-1), G Brennan (0-2), D Tubridy (1-3).
Subs: K Sexton (1-1) for Ryan (36 mins), K Malone for Cooney (64 mins), D Masterson for O’hAinifein (67 mins).
Tipperary: E Comerford; B Fox, J Meagher, E Moloney; A Campbell, D Brennan, K Fahey (0-2); S O’Brien (0-2), J Kennedy; L Casey (0-2), P Austin, P Maher; M Quinlivan, C Sweeney (1-9, 0-4 frees), L McGrath (0-4, 0-2 frees).
Subs used: J Feehan for Maher (60 mins), L Boland for Austin (60 mins), D O’Meara for McGrath (67 mins).
Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford)