Tipperary scooped the first trophy on offer this season with victory over Clare in the Waterford Crystal Cup at Limerick.
The 4-22 to 3-11 scoreline reflects an easy enough win for Tipperary against a Clare side with far less work done than at this stage of the season last year.
The Banner beat Tipp in the corresponding clash last year and then went on to win the All Ireland title.
Tipp will be happy to take a big scalp such as Clare and to finish the ‘Crystal’ campaign in such impressive fashion but manager Eamon O’Shea always had his main focus on this weekend’s opening league clash at home to Waterford.
Clare: Patrick Kelly; Paul Flanagan, Cian Dillon, Seadna Morey; Conor Cleary, Patrick Donnellan, Patrick O’Connor; Shane Golden , Peter Duggan; John Conlon , Tony Kelly, Colin Ryan; David Reidy, Conor McGrath, Cathal O’Connell.
Subs: Cathal McInerney () for Golden (h.t.), Sean Collins () for Ryan (50), David McInerney () for Flanagan (64).
Tipperary: Darren Gleeson (Portroe); Cathal Barrett (Holycross-Ballycahill), Conor O’Mahony (Newport), Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields); Shane McGrath (Ballinahinch), Conor O’Brien (Éire Óg Annacarty), Thomas Stapleton (Templederry); James Woodlock (Drom & Inch), Shane Bourke (JK Brackens); Denis Maher (Thurles Sarsfields), Seamus Callanan (Drom & Inch), Paddy Murphy (Nenagh Éire Óg); Kieran Morris (Moycarkey-Borris), Conor Kenny (Borrisoleigh), Michael Heffernan (Nenagh Éire Óg).
Subs: Ruairi Gleeson (Kildangan) for Bourke (63), John O’Dwyer (Killenaule) for Morris (63), Steven O’Brien (Ballina) for Kenny (63), Padraig Heffernan (Clonoulty-Rossmore) for McGrath (66).