The Clare shout turned to the Clare murmur and eventually to the Clare silence. Silence because by the end of the game the scoreboard didn’t give followers of the Banner county all that much to shout about. A game that started with so much promise for Clare was turned around within 5 minutes midway through the first half with three Tipperary goals. The speed at which the Bonnar Maher and Lar Corbett’s goals flew in brought to mind the D’Unbelievables “One bullet. Bang Bang!” skit. Pat Shortt and John Kenny made their comeback this year and Lar and Bonnar made sure that Tipp made a hasty one on Sunday in Limerick.
The scoreline flattered Tipperary in the end, as a young Clare team really put it up to the All Ireland champions, particularly in the early stages. They roared into a 1-5 to 0-2 lead, with the impressive statistic of having a different forward take each score. Most notable of the Clare forwards was Conor McGrath, scoring 1-6 on his championship debut, the goal a cracker within a minute of the throw in.
Focusing on Clare however is pointless at this stage. A Munster Final against Waterford awaits the Premier, and the onus is on the panel and the management to learn from today’s game. Some of the shooting was exemplary, and four goals on any day is a good haul, however a more experienced team than Clare (i.e. Waterford) will make things a lot more difficult. The wides tally of 13 was also something which this Tipperary side can and will improve on.
Both Padraic and Bonnar Maher gave performances of the highest calibre on Sunday, with the former winning man of the match for both his defensive solidity and his ability going forward, with Bonnar gaining plaudits for his tireless work ethic.
Waterford will surely pose a stronger threat than either of the relatively inexperienced teams that Tipp have faced thus far in this year’s championship. John Mullane always seems to raise his game to another level against the Premier. However with a tightening up in defence and a sharper eye for scores, the Munster final will surely be Tipperary’s to lose.