TIPPERARY will play beaten Ulster finalists Tyrone in next weekend’s 2nd round of qualifiers in the TG4 All-Ireland ladies senior football championship.
Tipp, managed by Derry Peters and Libby Grogan Murphy, overturned last year’s qualifier defeat against Clare with a comprehensive 13-point victory against the Bord Gáis Energy National League Division 3 champions in Birr on Monday afternoon.
Full-forward Trisha Hickey scored 1-8 for Tipp on a memorable afternoon but it was Mairead Morrissey who claimed the player of the match award after scoring 2-2.
Gillian O’Brien was Tipp’s other scorer with 0-3 while defensively, the Premier County were extremely solid against a Clare team held to just 1-3 from play.
The early exchanges hinted at a close encounter, with the sides level twice, before Tipperary gradually pulled further clear to record what will be viewed by many as a surprise result.
By half-time, the winners had established a 1-9 to 0-4 lead as Hickey struck for Tipperary’s goal in the 23rd minute.
The Brian Borus forward had scored 1-5 by the midway point while a brace of points apiece from Morrissey and O’Brien completed Tipp’s first half total.
In contrast, Clare had struggled badly for scores and didn’t do themselves any favours with six first half wides as midfielder Louise Henchy (both frees) and captain Niamh Keane scored two points each.
But Clare will look back and feel that they could have scored a goal or two in the opening half as Ailish Considine spurned a decent opportunity in the eighth minute before Marie Considine rattled the Tipperary crossbar three minutes before half-time.
And Clare were rocked back on their heels three minutes after the restart when Catriona Walsh fed Morrissey for a fine close range finish, as Tipp moved 2-9 to 0-4 clear.
Eimear Considine responded with a well-taken goal for Clare in the 36th minute but they would add just two more points before the finish, one from Ailish Considine and a Henchy free.
Tipp, who won the second half by 2-4 to 1-2, added a third goal before the finish and it was Morrissey on target again in the 42nd minute.
Scorers for Tipperary: T Hickey 1-8 (0-7f), M Morrissey 2-2, G O’Brien 0-3.
Scorers for Clare: E Considine 1-0, L Henchy 0-3f, N Keane 0-2, A Considine 0-1.
Tipperary: N Noonan; T McGrath, C Condon, C Carroll; S Condon, S Lambert, B Ryan; J Grant, S Carew; G O’Brien, M Morrissey, S Costello; A Staunton, T Hickey, C Walsh. Subs: E Hanley for Staunton (57), E Myles for Costello (57), N Lonergan for Condon (60+4).
Clare: E O’Driscoll; C Hester, S Eustace, L Ryan; C Considine, R McMahon, L Woods; E O’Connor, L Henchy; C Corry, N Keane, M Considine; E Considine, N Carroll, A Considine.
Subs: S Bohannon for Corry (29), F Lafferty for Carroll (h.t.), L Kelly for Woods (46), N Carroll for A Considine (48).
Referee: K Tighe (Dublin).