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24th Mar 2024

19 wides, four different free-takers & 1 red card for Tipp as Clare reach League final

Niall McIntyre

Clare 1-24 Tipperary 2-13

Clare defeated Tipperary by eight points in an Allianz National League semi-final that never really caught fire. The Banner will take on Kilkenny in the final in two weeks time, in what will be a repeat of last year’s All-Ireland semi-final.

Brian Lohan’s side started much the brighter in O’Moore Park, racing into a 0-8 to 0-0 lead early on with Keith Smyth prominent.

Tipperary finally arrived to the pitch of the game through a brilliantly taken Jake Morris goal but they still went into the interval trailing by 1-14 to 1-7, with the prolific David Fitzgerald having responded almost instantly with a breath-taker of a goal for Clare.

All the while, Tipperary’s shooting woes were apparent.

Tipperary’s shooting woes

By half-time, with first Jason Forde and then Gearoid O’Connor having missed frees, their wides were mounting.

Aided by the breeze, Tipperary exploded out of the blocks in the second half with a brilliant Sean Hayes goal coming straight from the throw-in after some direct-running from Conor Bowe.

A Jason Forde free reduced the gap to three soon after but this was merely a false dawn. The three point deficit was as close as Tipperary got to their opponents.

Tipperary continued to plunder wide after wide as, by the end of the game, they had missed nineteen of their attempted shots. Ten of these, remarkably, came from placed balls with Forde, O’Connor, Willie Connors and Sean Ryan all having missed place balls for the Premier.

The normally accurate Jason Forde had a particularly wasteful day, with the Silvermines player having shot eight of their 19 wides.

Down the other end of the field, Clare had no such problems as David Fitzgerald continued to show Tipperary how to do it, the Inagh Kilnamona player ending another fine afternoon with 1-3 from play.

Tipperary’s day, on the other hand, ended in disappointing fashion as their best forward Jake Morris was sent off on a second yellow card.

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