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Tipperary 1-16 Clare 1-15

Updated: Saturday, 26 Apr 2014 19:24 | Comments

Tipperary's Paddy Codd lifts the Division 4 trophy
Tipperary's Paddy Codd lifts the Division 4 trophy

Conor Sweeney came up trumps again with 1-8 as Tippeary secured the Allianz Football League Division 4 title with a 1-16 to 1-15 win over Clare. 

The corner-forward scored a vital goal in the first-half and also shot the game's last three points to snatch victory in a tight Croke Park encounter.

It was the second time he's scored 1-8 this season and took his overall tally in Division 4 to 6-49 in eight games.

It's the perfect result for Peter Creedon's side ahead of their Munster championship opener with Limerick on May 31.

But Clare fought bravely too and rued the 12 wides they kicked after coming up a point shy.

There was never more than three points between the sides throughout and they were level eight times.

Both sides finished with 11 points in the Division 4 table but Tipp came into the final as slight favourites.

They beat Clare by four points early last month in Round 4 and took a slender one-point lead at the break this time.

Tipperary just about deserved the advantage having carved out several goal chances.

Sweeney (above) took advantage of one of them in the 19th minute to hit the game's first goal.

An initial shot was saved by Clare 'keeper Pierce De Loughrey but Sweeney netted with the follow up.

Clare had forged two points clear thanks to David Tubridy's third point of the game.

But the Tipp goal put them 1-4 to 0-6 up and they retained that one-point lead until early in the second-half.

Clare took advantage of the strong breeze as Jamie Malone drew them level in the 40th minute at 1-8 to 0-11.

And a spectacular Martin O'Leary goal three minutes later put Clare in pole position.

O'Leary spun away from his marker Andrew Morrissey before planting a left-footed shot in the top-right corner of the net.

The Banner looked set to kick on but were suckered by four Tipp points in a row.

Sweeney booted three of those four scores and Tipp led 1-12 to 1-11 with 15 minutes left.

The sides were level twice more in a tit-for-tat affair but Sweeney's 70th-minute point put Tipp two ahead.

Clare reduced the deficit to one through David Tubridy but although they had their chances to take the game to extra-time Tipp defended strongly to hold out.

Tipperary: P Fitzgerald; J Coghlan, P Codd, A Morrissey; R Kiely (0-01), P Acheson, D Leahy; S O'Brien (0-01), G Hannigan (0-01); B Fox, I Fahey (0-01), P Austin; C Sweeney (1-08, 0-04f), M Quinlivan, B Grogan (0-04, 0-02f).

Subs: S Grogan for Austin, C McDonald for Morrissey, C O'Riordan for Fahey, C McCullagh for S Grogan (black card).

Clare: P De Loughrey; D Ryan, K Hartnett, M McMahon; S Hickey (0-01), G Kelly, E Coughlan; G Brennan, C O'Connor (0-01); S Brennan, S McGrath (0-04), C Russell (0-01); M O'Leary (1-00), J Malone (0-01), D Tubridy (0-07, 0-04f).

Subs: M Murphy for Hickey, P McMahon for Brennan, J Hayes for De Loughrey, R Donnelly for Malone.

Referee: N Mooney (Cavan).

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