Tipperary have set up a possible championship dress-rehearsal against Limerick following their impressive win over Clare in the final round of the league on Sunday.
The 3-19 to 1-14 win puts Tipp top of the table and through to the semi-finals.
And in the last four they will play the winners of Limerick and Dublin who meet in the 1B final this weekend.
Tipp and Limerick are scheduled to meet in the first round of the Munster championship.
Looking ahead to the possibility of a league semi-final meeting with Limerick, Tipp’s championship opponents, manager Eamon O’Shea did not have any particular view on the situation.
“You cannot pick or choose who you will play so we just take the games as they come”, he said.
He said that Kilkenny and Galway were the top two teams in the country and it is against them you measure your ability.
“We have to try to get up to their level and we are not at that level yet”, he added.
However he was delighted to beat Clare and top the table - a scenario that astounded him
The former Kilruane man said he was delighted with the Tippeerary win, but, considering where they were at the start of the day, did not expect to be topping the league table that evening.
He was pleased that his team kept hurling all through which he suggested was a lesson learned from the loss to Waterford a week previously when a decent lead was lost in the closing minutes.
He acknowledged that they were a bit fortunate for a couple of the goals, and that the performance was somewhat better than that against Waterford.
“We are moving along nicely. We are getting slightly better with each game but we have a bit to go yet to get to the level we want to be at”.
Particularly pleasing on Sunday was the defensive performance which reduced a lively Clare forward line which had been scoring well to 1-6 from play. Paul Curran, Paddy Stapleton and Padraic Maher shone while Darren Gleeson’s excellence in goal underlines the wealth of talent the management has for this position.
Brendan Maher had a fine outing at midfield while Shane Bourke was a lively attack with Larry Corbett and Eoin Kelly getting back to their match-winning best. “Bonnar” Maher will be happy with his contribution on his return to the side.
Tipperary corers – E Kelly(2-8, 1-7fs), S Bourke(0-4), L Corbett (1-1),N McGrath(0-3), B Maher(0-2 ), M Cahill (0-1);
Clare scorers – Colin Ryan (0-8, 8fs); T Kelly (1-1), J Conlon(0-2), S Morey, F Lynch, Conor Ryan (0-1) each;
Tipperary – D Gleeson, P Stapleton, P Curran, M Cahill; C O Brien, C O’Mahoney, Padraig Maher; B Maher, S McGrath; S Callanan, L Corbett, N McGrath; J O Dwyer, E Kelly, S Bourke; Subs- Patrick Maher for O Dwyer; J Woodlock for S McGrath; J O’Brien for Callanan; T Stapleton for O’Mahoney; B O’Meara for Kelly;
Clare – P Kelly; D O Donovan, D McInerney, S Morey; B Bugler, P Donnellan, P O’Connor; N O’Connell, Conor Ryan; Colin Ryan, T Kelly, S Collins; C Galvin, S O’Donnell, J Conlon; Subs – F Lynch for O Connell; C McGrath for Collins; E Barrett for Conor Ryan; D Honan for O Donnell;