Tipperary teed up a second Munster SHC final against Limerick in three years after turning the tide on neighbours Clare.
Having been sucker-punched by a Tony Kelly goal right on the stroke of half-time to trail by 2-11 to 1-13, Tipperary would take full advantage of their own slice of fortune on the restart as a controversial sin bin and penalty call by referee James Owens in the 38th minute would irrevocably alter the narrative of this semi-final.
It stemmed from a mistimed tackle by Aidan McCarthy on Jake Morris just inside the 20-metre line in the left corner that was deemed a goalscoring chance, with chief marksman Jason Forde dispatching the resulting penalty to the net, which was soon followed by a mishit Seamus Callanan strike that also found the net.
Aidan McCarthy was sin-binned for this challenge and a penalty was also given in the crucial moment in this game. Did you agree with the decision? pic.twitter.com/rxa0JAdwCd— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) July 4, 2021
In all, Tipperary outscored their neighbours by 2-04 to 0-02 in that period to soar 3-17 to 2-14 in front, a flooring blow that Clare never recovered from.
The Banner, fresh from their opening victory over Waterford seven days earlier, were the ones to reap dividends from an early blitz as 1-02 from Ian Galvin helped his side to a 1-07 to 0-04 lead by the 11th minute.
A stunned Tipperary admirably responded with an unanswered 1-03 of their own just before the water break including an opportunist goal for Michael Breen.
The sides would be level on three more occasions in a blow-for-blow second quarter albeit Clare were thankful to goalkeeper Eibhear Quilligan for producing two superb stops to deny Morris and Callanan.
Those saves were duly magnified when Tony Kelly struck on the turn to billow the net in injury-time after a clever flick by Ian Galvin to go into the dressing rooms with a minimum advantage.
Indeed, Kelly would double Clare's lead on the restart but the match hinged on that subsequent cynical foul decision that boosted Tipperary into the ascendancy, a position that their experienced side was certainly not going to pass up as they eventually powered nine clear entering the final ten minutes.
Clare did hit the last five points including singles for defenders John Conlon and Rory Hayes, but without a goal they would never get within striking distance.
Instead, it is Tipperary that advance to the provincial decider against three-in-a-row chasing Limerick on 18 July as they chase down a first Munster crown since 2016.
"Do I need to mention what everyone is talking about I presume? "The boos from the crowd were a reflection on happened."— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) July 4, 2021
Brian Lohan spoke about the penalty decision which was a factor in Clare's defeat today. pic.twitter.com/wJO0eVkaZF
Tipperary: Barry Hogan; Padraic Maher, Cathal Barrett, Barry Heffernan; Seamus Kennedy, Brendan Maher, Ronan Maher (0-01); Noel McGrath, Dan McCormack (0-02); Michael Breen (1-01), Jason Forde (1-08, 1-00 pen, 0-03f, 0-01'65, 0-01s/l), Seamus Callanan (1-01); John McGrath, Jake Morris (0-03), John O’Dwyer (0-04).
Subs: Willie Connors (0-01) for J McGrath (ht), Alan Flynn (0-02) for N McGrath (48), Dillon Quirke for O’Dwyer (66).
Clare: Eibhear Quilligan; Rory Hayes (0-01), Conor Cleary, Paul Flanagan; Diarmuid Ryan, John Conlon (0-01), Paidi Fitzpatrick; Colm Galvin (0-01), Cathal Malone (0-02); Aidan McCarthy (0-01), David Reidy (0-01), Ryan Taylor (0-02); Aron Shanagher (0-01), Tony Kelly (1-09, 0-08f), Ian Galvin (1-03).
Subs: David McInerney for Fitzpatrick (53), David Fitzgerald for Taylor (59), Mark Rodgers for I Galvin (59).
Referee: James Owens (Wexford).