Clare staged a dramatic late rally to stave off relegation and send Tipperary crashing down to Division 3 football next season after a highly entertaining clash at Semple Stadium.

Clare went 27 minutes without scoring at one stage in the second-half with the wind behind them but rallied to win with a late flourish as they scored 1-2 without reply in the closing stages.

The sides were level three times in the opening half but Tipperary, backed by the breeze, pulled away towards the break to lead by 1-13 to 1-08 at the interval.

Conor Sweeney was the star performer as the Premier County enjoyed a blistering start with the Ballyporeen man pouncing for a goal after less than two minutes after being set up by Philip Austin.

Sweeney quickly added a point but then Clare, working the ball well through the lines, took over and they hit 1-03 without reply in a good seven-minute spell.

Gavin Cooney and Cathal O’Connor got points before Cooney pounced for a goal after Gary Brennan’s effort for a point came back off the post.

The scoring bursts continued with Sweeney hitting the next four points, three of them from play, for Tipperary to lead by 1-5 to 1-03 after 18 minutes of an entertaining contest.

Then Clare took charge again with Jamie Malone hitting a brace and Eoin Cleary and David Tubridy also scoring to go two up with eight minutes remaining in the half.

Sweeney again led the Tipp revival as they reeled off six unanswered points to go four ahead and after Cleary responded for Clare, Liam McGrath and Liam Casey finished out the half well for the home side as they went in leading by five points.

It took Clare less than seven minutes to wipe out the lead as they struck five points in a row and then Malone set up Tubridy for a goal to lead by 2-13 to 1-13 after 42 minutes.

Gary Brennan finished with two points for Clare 

Tipperary hit back with points from Liam McGrath and Sweeney to reduce the margin to a point after 47 minutes, before McGrath levelled with a free going into the final quarter at 1-16 to 2-13.

Sweeney edged Tipperary back in front with a free from the right with 16 minutes left on the clock and efforts from Steven O’Brien and Sweeney pushed them a goal in front.

Tipperary goalkeeper Evan Comerford produced a great save to deny Kieran Malone with four minutes remaining.

But Clare finally ended 27 minutes without a score when Keelan Sexton struck in the final minute of normal time to level the match with a goal.

Both teams had chances to win it after that but it was Clare who seized the moment and they secured victory and their Division 2 status as the experienced Gary Brennan and David Tubridy saw them across the line with late scores.

Clare: Robert Eyres; Gordon Kelly, Cillian Brennan, Kevin Harnett; Sean Collins, Dean Ryan, Cian O’Dea; Sean O’Donoghue (0-01), Cathal O’Connor (0-01); Eoin Cleary (0-04, 0-02f), Conall O’hAinifein, Jamie Malone (0-02); Gavin Cooney (1-01), Gary Brennan (0-02), David Tubridy (1-03).

Subs: Keelan Sexton (1-01) for Ryan (36 mins), Kieran Malone for Cooney (64), Dale Masterson for O’hAinifein (67).

Tipperary: Evan Comerford; Brian Fox, John Meagher, Emmett Moloney; Alan Campbell, Dáire Brennan, Kevin Fahey (0-02); Steven O’Brien (0-02), Jack Kennedy; Liam Casey (0-02), Philip Austin, Paul Maher; Michael Quinlivan, Conor Sweeney (c) (1-09, 0-04f), Liam McGrath (0-04, 0-02f).

Subs: Jimmy Feehan for Maher (60 mins), Liam Boland for Austin (60), Dan O’Meara for McGrath (67).

Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford)