Tipperary and Clare claim wins in Waterford Crystal Cup
Tipperary and Clare made winning starts to their competitive action for 2013, recording quarter-final wins in the Waterford Crystal Cup this afternoon.
At MacDonagh Park, Nenagh, Eamon O'Shea's tenure as the new Tipperary Senior Hurling manager got off to a winning start following a 0-22 to 1-9 win over Limerick.
The sides were tied on six occasions inside the opening 31 minutes, before points from Brian O'Meara and Eoin Kelly powered the hosts to a 0-10 to 0-8 interval lead, and one they wouldn't relinquish.
11 first-half wides would prove costly for the visitors in an opening half which saw five players on target for Limerick, with Shane Dowling leading the charge with three points.
John Allen's side looked shell-shocked on the restart, as Tipperary showed great composure with scores from Timmy Hammersley, John Ryan, Eoin Kelly and Brian O'Meara extending their lead to six points by the 40th minute.
Limerick's first point of the second half arrived eight minutes after the restart after Dowling fired over a free from 55 metres.
O'Meara added his second point of the half, before Limerick cut the gap to three points after Dowling blasted a 49th minute penalty to the net, following a foul by Paul Curran on Seanie Tobin.
The Shannonsiders failed to build on this as Tipperary took command, with Ryan adding a trio of points coupled with scores from John O'Neill and Shane McGrath to ensured a nine-point lead with 13 minutes remaining.
Scores were at a premium in the closing stages, but it mattered little as O'Meara cemented victory with his fifth point late on to ensure a 10-point win.
Tipperary will now meet Limerick IT in the semi-final next weekend.
Clare set up a last four encounter against Cork, following a 3-13 to 1-13 win over University of Limerick at Sixmilebridge.
483 spectators watched an entertaining encounter, which saw the hosts overturn the students in the second half.
UL led by 0-8 to 0-6 at the interval, with scores from Shane Golden and Cathal Malone the difference.
The sides were well balanced in the opening half, with the students having held a 0-4 to 0-3 lead after the opening quarter.
Clare turned the tide on the restart, firing 1-5 inside 12 minutes after the break without reply.
Nicky O'Connell claimed the Banner County goal as his side claimed a 1-11 to 0-8 lead, also adding two points during this spell.
UL bounced back with a Kieran Morris goal as the students cut the gap to the minimum.
But Clare sprung to life once again with a Tony Kelly point followed up by three-pointers from Seadna Morey and Alan O'Neill as the hosts held out for a two-goal win.