Liam McGrath leads Tipperary U-21s to semi-final victory in Thurles

Premier County too strong for Clare

Tipperary booked their place in a second Munster U21 football championship final in four seasons by comfortably disposing of Clare's challenge in last night's semi-final in Thurles.

The 2011 All-Ireland minor winning captain Liam McGrath led the scoring chart for Tipperary with an eight-point haul at a bitterly cold Semple Stadium.

McGrath, cousin of Tipp senior hurler Noel, was one of 10 members of the 2011 minor side in last night’s starting line-up.

Another, Michael Quinlivan, scored the 28th minute goal for Tipp as the hosts went on to lead by 1-8 to 0-4 at half-time, as 674 spectators looked on.


McGrath had six points posted by the break (four frees), with Cathal Duggan valiantly attempting to keep Clare in it at the other end.

But Tipp had too much craft for Clare, who notched just three points in the second half – including one each for the Cleary twins, Conor and Eoin.

But Eoin’s absence from the starting line-up had been flagged in advance as the St Joseph’s Milltown player, a graduate from last year’s minor team, suffered a recent bout of glandular fever.

Treacy could have netted a second goal for Tipp with 12 minutes left but shot straight at Darren Sexton when one on one with the Clare goalkeeper. Sexton might feel he could have done better with Quinlivan’s first-half strike but the Kilmurry-Ibrickane goalkeeper did well to deny one of six dual stars in Tipp’s team, Niall O’Meara, soon afterwards .