A role reversal in the derby spoils as Clare deservedly began their provincial campaign in commanding fashion amidst incessant rain in Wolfe Tones GAA in Shannon tonight.
Twelve months previously, Tipperary overcame the Banner on home soil before subsequently doubling the dose by edging the Munster title after penalties on their way to All-Ireland glory.
This time around, a far slicker Clare took the game to their neighbours and despite 12 first-half wides, finally settled midway through the opening period.
Trailing by 0-3 to 0-1, the hosts raided for an unanswered 1-7 in a ten-minute blitz, capped off by a superb solo goal for Michael Collins to power Clare 1-8 to 0-3 clear by the 20th minute.
That eight-point gap was maintained until the break at 1-11 to 0-6 but crucially it was the home side that belied the conditions on the resumption. Converting the first three points through chief marksmen Marc O’Brien, Michael Power and Collins, it bolstered Clare’s cushion at 1-14 to 0-6 by the 37th minute.
Tipperary’s backlash inevitably arrived through impressive duo Robbie Ryan (2) and Sam Rowan, only to be floored by a clinching Marc O’Brien goal in the 50th minute to restore an 11-point advantage.
From there to the finish, it was all about damage limitation for a tireless Tipperary side that scored five of the last six points but never looked like getting the goal that would have kick-started their challenge.
Scorers – Clare: M O’Brien 1-4 (4f); M Collins 1-2; M Power 0-4; F Hegarty 0-2 (1f); S Arthur, E Carey, E Price 0-1 each. Tipperary: R Ryan 0-6 (5f, 1’65); S Rowan 0-4; S Buckley 0-2 (1f); J Ormond, L Loughnane 0-1 each
Clare – M Sheedy; E Carey, R Keane, E Gunning; J Moylan, M O’Connor, M O’Halloran; O Fanning, R Kilroy; S Arthur, F Hegarty, M Collins; J Mescall, M O’Brien, M Power. Subs: H Doherty for Fanning (52), E Price for Keane (54, inj), E Begley for Mescall (57), R Loftus for Gunning (62, inj)
Tipperary – H Loughnane; S Nash, E Morris, C Byrne; C Ryan. O O’Donoghue, D Linnane; K Loughnane, S Buckley; D Costigan, S Rowan, J Ormond; J Hayes, R Ryan, A Ryan. Subs: T Corbett for Nash (40), S Tobin for C Ryan (40), C Kennedy for Hayes (47), L Loughnane for A. Ryan (58), J Houlihan for R. Ryan (60)
Ref – D Deady (Limerick)