GAA Hurling: Clare beat Tipp in league final

Clare 0-17, Tipperary 1-19 (full-time)

Tipperary have beaten Clare in the final of the National Hurling League at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.

Clare will rue five missed chances in front of goal - three in the first half - and two in the second half.

Jamesie O'Connor missed the first free of the game, but Clare took the lead and put Tipperary under considerable pressure in the first half with scores from David Forde, Ollie Baker and two frees from Jamesie O'Connor.

Tipp responded with two points each from Eddie Enright and Mark O'Leary and points from Lar Corbett and Eoin Kelly kept them in the game.

Gilligan, Murphy and O'Connor then struck for Clare to give them a half-time lead of 0-10 to 0-07.

Within seconds of the restart Tipp were a point up as full-forward Declan Ryan first put over a point and then soloed through the middle and blasted past Davy Fitzgerald for the only goal of the game.

Clare forwards missed clear-cut opportunities in front of goal eight minutes and 29 minutes into the second half - Niall Gilligan and David Forde will surely rue their chances.

Clare introduced Alan Markham for Gearoid Considine who, after inspirational form in previous league matches, failed to make an impression on John Leahy.

They then introduced PJ O'Connell for Griffin and Tipp brought on Brian O'Meara and Eugene O'Neill for Declan Ryan.

Tipperary, through points from Lar Corbett, Eoin Kelly and Mark O'Leary extended their lead and points from O'Connor and Ollie Baker towards the end of the game could not keep Clare in touch.

Both sides now concentrate on their Championship clash in June.

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