Tipperary work past Clare to earn a 42nd Munster hurling title

Stefan Tobin (1-3) and Cillian Minogue (1-1) raise the flag for Tipp in a seven-point win at the Gaelic Grounds

Munster MHC: Tipperary 2-17 Clare 0-16

The John Doyle Cup is heading to Holycross as Tipperary’s Cathal O’Reilly became the first captain to lift the new Munster minor hurling trophy.

Tipperary did it by inflicting a first defeat on reigning All-Ireland champions Clare with goals from Stefan Tobin (1-3) and Cillian Minogue (1-1) to collect their 42nd title.

The Banner’s season has been founded upon their imperious defence, with no goal allowed and only 60 points conceded across four group games. Tipp had leaked eight goals by comparison but they flipped the script in front of 4,287 fans at the Gaelic Grounds.

They advance to the All-Ireland semi-finals, while Clare will get another shot in the quarters.

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Clare played with the Ennis Road breeze at their backs but it was Tipp who flew into an early lead. Tobin led the charge, picking up 0-2 either side of a Minogue effort.

After James Cullinan’s solo response, they pushed four ahead via Euan Murray and an Eoghan Doughan free. That duo would share 0-9 by the finish, with six for Doughan.

Clare hit back with six of the next seven points to edge into their first lead, including a pair from Harry Doherty and rounded out by a fine Paul Rodgers catch and score.

They traded the lead from there to the break, with Liam Murphy’s acute attempt tying things up at 0-10 apiece.

The O’Callaghan Mills forward had blitzed 5-5 in Clare’s last two outings and he almost conjured up a goal before the interval but could only find the side-netting under pressure from Shane Ryan and O’Reilly.

Tipp could’ve netted on the restart but Tobin whipped wide of the post. When Doherty profited from a Tipp mistake moments later, his shot was comfortably saved by Daire English.

They were still evenly matched, 0-14 apiece, until Tipp broke through on the three-quarter mark.

Billy O’Brien batted down a short puck-out, Tobin drew the last two defenders, and Minogue rifled to the far corner. Murray and impact-sub Aaron Cagney added points for a lead of five.

In the 52nd minute, they found a second goal from Jake Donelan-Houlihan’s long delivery as Tobin applied a composed finish.

Clare went goal-hunting but between English in goal, captain O’Reilly, and centre-back Owen O’Dwyer, the Tipp defence held out.

Tipperary: D English; S Ryan, C O’Reilly, P Ryan; J Donelan-Houlihan (0-1, free), O O’Dwyer, D Ryan; T Ryan, A Ryan; D O’Hora (0-1), E Doughan (0-6, three frees), B O’Brien (Nenagh Éire Óg); S Tobin (1-3), E Murray (0-3), C Minogue (1-1).

Subs: A Cagney (0-1) for O’Hora (45 mins), P Cummins for A Ryan (55), K Cantwell (0-1) for T Ryan (60), J O’Dwyer for Minogue (60+1), J Cahill for Doughan (60+4).

Clare: M Crotty; S McNamara, S Óg Kilkenny, D Moroney; D Kennedy (0-1), J Cullinan (0-2), R Mulcahy (0-1, 65); G Ball (0-2), M Corbett (0-3, two frees); H Doherty (0-3, two frees), P Finneran, C Ralph (0-1); J O’Connor, L Murphy (0-1), P Rodgers (0-1).

Subs: R Hayes (0-1) for Ralph (37 mins), M Vaughan for O’Connor (43), T Lohan for Finneran (48), D Ball for Corbett (55).

Referee: C O’Regan (Cork).

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