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GAA: TIPP ON TOP IN MUNSTER; Tipperary 1-18 Clare 1-15 Clare fail at eleventh time of asking.

IN an incident packed and thrilling Munster under-21 hurling championship final, played before a record attendance of 17,000 at Cusack Park in Ennis last night, favourites Tipperary came out on top.

For Clare their long wait for success in this championship goes on as this was the 11th occasion that they contested the final and they have yet to capture the title.

In last night's final Tipp were a better balanced outfit and in the end deserved their victory.

However, Clare fans left the grounds wondering what might have been as for a period midway through the game they held the upper hand.

The turning point came halfway through the second half when Declan Browne got away from his marker to score the all important goal for Tipperary.

At the time they were trailing by two points but Browne's score gave them a lead they would hold to the finish and proved the inspiration for the visitors to regain control.

Tipperary had made the better start and were four points clear after 15 minutes.

Clare's tactic of operating with a two man full forward line and with playing an extra defender wasn't working. When they reverted to the orthodox line up they came storming back into the game.

Tipperary led by three points when Clare were awarded a 20 metre free which senior star Alan Markham duly dispatched to the net.

It was a score which clearly lifted Clare and it came just after an incident in which Clare forward Brian McMahon was injured and had to be helped off the pitch.

Clare were clearly angered over this incident and they dominated the game from here to half time when they led 1-7 to 9 points.

Tipperary resumed with 17-year-old Eoin Kelly in their line up and he played a crucial role in the second half when he scored three excellent points.

Clare still held the lead as the third quarter drew to a close but then Browne struck for the all important goal and after this Clare were always chasing the game.

With John Caroll in control at centre back Tipperary set up attack after attack and they had opened a three point lead with ten minutes remaining.

Clare to their credit kept battling on but they were unable to break Tipperary's dominance in the vital area and at the final whistle the visitors were deserving winners.

Tipperary now face Galway in the all Ireland semi-final at Tullamore on Saturday.
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 1, 1999
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