/ GAA

Tipperary 0-20 Clare 4-14

Updated: Monday, 10 Mar 2014 12:06 | Comments

Clare proved too good for their neighbours
Clare proved too good for their neighbours

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Conor McGrath scored a hat-trick of goals as All-Ireland champions Clare beat Tipperary 4-15 to 0-20 in Division 1A of the Allianz Hurling League in Semple Stadium. 

The Cratloe forward was in red-hot form in Thurles as Clare collected a second League victory of the season.

For Tipperary, this was a sobering experience as the Premier County slumped to a second successive defeat.

Tipp leaked five goals at Nowlan Park against the Cats and goalkeeper Darren Gleeson was beaten four times today. 

McGrath was the star of the show for Clare as he gave Tipp full-back Paddy Stapleton the run-around.

Premier manager Eamon O’Shea elected to line out without Conor O’Mahony from the start and the home side paid a heavy price.

O’Mahony did come on approaching half-time, in place of Tomás Hamill, but the real damage had been done by then.

McGrath shrugged off Stapleton in the 11th minute before cutting inside to deliver Clare’s first goal, striking a shot that beat Gleeson at his near post.

And the Cratloe hitman was on target again in the 30th minute after taking a clever pass from Padraic Collins.

Clare’s third goal arrived with two minutes remaining in the first half as John Conlon collected Colm Galvin’s delivery before rifling a shot past Gleeson.

Again, Tipp had been punished for turning over possession in a key area and rampant Clare attack took full advantage.

In front of 8,133 spectators, Clare were 3-07 to 0-08 clear at half-time but Tipp opened the second half with some intent and reduced the deficit to just three points, 0-14 to 3-08, with 20 minutes left.

But Clare picked up the pace again and McGrath rounded off his hat-trick in the 52nd minute to make the game safe.

Tipp did come with a late flurry of scores but Clare were content to keep the scoreboard ticking over throughout the second half.

The hosts struggled to create goalscoring opportunities but when they did in the second half, Donal Tuohy did well to deny John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer and James Woodlock.

Clare could have had at least another goal but Gleeson did well to keep out Peter Duggan and Shane O’Donnell, hat-trick hero in last year’s All-Ireland final replay.

Clare: D Tuohy; S Morey (0-01), C Dillon, D McInerney; B Bugler, C Ryan, P O’Connor; P Donnellan (0-01), C Galvin (0-01); J Conlon (1-03), P Duggan (0-02), C Ryan (0-04, 2f, 1 65); D Honan (0-01), C McGrath (3-01), C O’Connell.

Subs: P Collins for Honan (inj, 26), T Kelly (0-01) for Galvin (50), S O’Donnell for O’Connell (51), C McInerney for Duggan (65), P Flanagan for Morey (70+1).

Tipperary: D Gleeson; P Stapleton, T Stapleton, C Barrett; S McGrath (0-01), T Hamill, M Cahill; B Maher, J Woodlock (0-02); K Bergin (0-01), N McGrath (0-1), P Murphy (0-01); J Forde (0-02, 1f), J O’Dwyer (0-07, 3f, 1 65), S Bourke (0-02).

Subs: C O’Mahony for Hamill (35), D Maher for Murphy (40), C Kenny (0-02) for Bourke (58), M Heffernan (0-01) for Bergin (61), R Maher for Forde (64).

Referee: J Owens (Wexford). 

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