Tipperary turn up the pressure in second half of Waterford Crystal Cup final
Clare land three goals in five-minute spell to make scoreboard respectable
Tipperary Denis Maher: scored two goals and two points in the Waterford Crystal Cup final against Clare. Photograph: Inpho
Tipperary triumphed at a wet Gaelic Grounds in Limerick when they proved too good for All-Ireland champions Clare. Played in front of a crowd of 1,248. Tipperary laid down a marker for the National League by giving their opponents a 14-point drubbing.
Clare were unfocused at times and only for a three-goal spree during a five-minute spell in the first half the losing margin could have been worse. Tipperary opened the scoring in the third minute with a point from play by James Woodlock.
Clare replied with points by Colin Ryan and John Conlon before Tipperary got a hold on the game to lead 0-8 to 0-4 by the 20th minute. When Michael Heffernan was in for a goal in the 24th minute, Clare knew they were in a contest. They rallied with three goals by Conlon, Tony Kelly and Conor McGrath as well as a Peter Duggan point from play, all in a very short space of time. When the half-time whistle blew Clare lead by a single point 3-5 to 1-10, Tipperary having late scores from Conor O’Brien and Heffernan.
After the break Tipperary quickly hit 1-3 without reply. Full-forward Conor Kenny goaled in the 38th minute following a clever pass by Denis Maher. Further goals by Maher himself hammered a nail in the Clare coffin as Tipperary ran out easy winners on a night when their second-half performance especially earned them a deserved victory.