Tipperary v Clare U21 Match Reports

Bourke breaks Banner hearts


Tipperary 1-16 Clare 2-12

By Brendan Larkin, Cusack Park

THERE can scarcely have been a more dramatic end to a hurling match that the one which occurred at Cusack Park last night.

With the sides locked together, Clare were within minutes of an historic first Munster U21 hurling win as Conor Tierney lined up a 20 metre free straight in front of the Tipperary posts.

Amazingly play was halted as the referee’s attention was drawn to an umpire at the opposite end of the pitch who had his hand up. After consultation with him, the referee cancelled the Clare free and awarded Tipperary a 65 as the umpire had adjudged the goalkeeper had stepped outside the small parallelogram.

And Pa Bourke became the unlikeliest of heroes for Tipperary as he drilled the 65 over the bar to break Clare hearts, and give his side victory.

At the final whistle the umpire was jostled as he made his way off the pitch and had to receive a garda escort.

For Munster Council Chairman Jimmy O’Gorman it was a massive embarrassment as he tried in vain to present the cup to the winning Tipp captain Seamus Hennessy.

The hostile crowd which has gathered in front of the podium refused to let him speak. Mr O’Gorman proceeded nonetheless but he could not be heard over the chorus of boos.

A crowd of 11,287 packed into the venue in anticipation of a Clare victory and they couldn’t have expected a better start.

Ace free taker Caimin Morey opened their scoring with a point after a minute and three minutes later the roof came off the stand when Morey flashed home a goal.

It came after Tipperary ‘keeper Mathew Ryan saved brilliantly from Colin Ryan but the sliothar ran loose and Morey was on hand to finish it to the net.

A great start for the home side, but in typical Tipp fashion, the Premier County hit back with three points in-a-row. All those scores came in the opening five minutes and set the scene for a rousing contest.

Tipp’s hurling was marginally better and they hit five wides in the same period but it was Clare who were creating the majority of scoring chances and it took another superb save by Mathew Ryan to deny Ger Arthur another goal.

The pressure on the Tipp defence was relentless but Brendan Maher and Pádriag Maher were coping well, but they were powerless to prevent Clare’s second goal in the 15th minute.

Nicky O’Connell drove a long ball deep into the Tipp defence where Conor Ryan plucked it superbly out of the air before racing clear and he gave Mathew Ryan no chance with a powerful shot to the net.

Clare were rampant at this juncture and they finished the half with three points in-a-row to turn over 2-6 to 0-7 in front and an historic first win in this grade beckoned.

The second half developed in to a magnificent contest with the hurling out of the top drawer. Play swung one way then the other and six points were scored, four by Tipp and the margin was a down to a goal after 37 minutes.

However Seamus Hennessy was ruling the roost at midfield for Tipperary and with Pa Bourke and Seamus Callinan giving the Clare defence a torrid time, it came as no surprise when they finally breached the Banner defence for a goal by Callinan which tied the game for the first time after 40 minutes.

Amid tremendous excitement on and off the field, Pa Bourke edged Tipperary in front for the first time and it looked as if Clare’s chance of their first title had bone.

Clare weren’t quite ready to roll over and as the time ticked away two superb teams were level on four more occasions at the end of normal time.

Inexplicably the referee, who didn’t have a good game, called for five minutes of added time.

But urged on by their huge following Clare looked to be about to create their own bit of history as Conor Tierney lined up that close in free, only to have it ruled out the referee.

Pandemonium broke out after he awarded Tipp a 65 instead which Pa Bourke converted to give the Premier County their 19th title in all. Damien Browne did have one final chance to force a replay but his free was inches wide.

Scorers for Tipperary: S. Callinan 1-4; P. Bourke 0-6 (0-3 frees, 0-1 65); S. Bourke 0-2; T. McGrath, T. Stapleton, K. Lanigan, S. Hennessy (line cut) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clare: C. Morey 1-4 (0-4 frees); C. Ryan 1-0; D. Browne 0-3 (frees); J. Conlon 0-2; N. O’Connell, D. Horan, G. Arthur 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY: M. Ryan; B. Maher, Padraig Maher, K. Maher; K. Lanigan, T. Stapleton, M. Cahill; G. Ryan, S. Hennessy; T. McGrath, M. O’Meara, Patrick Maher; P. Bourke, S. Callinan, S. Bourke.

Subs: M. Gleeson for G. Ryan (half time); J. McLoughney for S. Bourke (45); P. Ivors for Gleeson (56); J. Ryan for O’Meara (58th).

CLARE: D. Tuohy; E. Glynn, C. Cooney, C. O’Doherty; G. O’Connell, A. Quilligan, J. McInerney; D. Browne, N. O’Connell; J. Conlon, G. Arthur, S. Collins; D. Honan, C. Morey, C. Ryan.

Subs: C. Tierney for Collins (44); P. Kelly for N. O’Connell; N. O’Connell for Morey.

Referee: J. O’Mahony (Limerick).


Clare fans stage sit down protest

Thursday, 31 July 2008 12:17


Clare GAA supporters vented their fury at match officials at Cusack Park Wednesday night as the Banner’s quest for a first Munster Under-21 hurling title ended in controversy.

A 64th-minute injury-time point from Pa Bourke secured a 19th crown for Tipperary on a 1-16 to 2-12 score-line in Ennis.

But the decision of referee Jason O’Mahony to award a fourth minute injury-time free to Tipperary instead of Clare, following consultation with his umpire, riled the Clare players and fans.

Limerick official O’Mahony had initially awarded a close range free at the opposite end to Clare, following a foul on centre-forward Nicky O’Connell on the 21-metre line.

However, the referee was called back to the opposite end by his umpire, who deemed that Clare goalkeeper Donal Tuohy had stepped outside the square, following a quickly taken puck-out in the lead-up to O’Connell winning his free.

Television replays later confirmed that Tuohy had put one foot outside the square, a practice that is quite common amongst goalkeepers when taking puck-outs.

A ’65’ was awarded. Tipperary free-taker Bourke stepped to take it and the senior panellist converted the match-winning score which dashed Clare’s hopes.

The referee and officials had to be given a Garda escort off the pitch following the full-time whistle.

There was some verbal abuse towards the match officials, while a section of the Clare supporters also staged a sit down protest across the centre of the pitch.

Clare PRO Syl O’Connor confirmed after the game that a replay has not been considered by the Clare County Board.

‘It’s not even up for discussion, there has been no talk of a replay,’ O’Connor said.

‘The turning point was that Clare were awarded a free, which was subsequently overturned but the referee was only going by the letter of the law.

‘The circumstances were completely outside of the control of both Clare and Tipperary.’

It is of little consolation now but Clare will be back-boned by the majority of their players for next year’s competition – only five of their current Under-21s will be over-age for the 2009 championship.


Last-score controversy mars Tipp title success Tipperary 1-16 Clare 2-12


Thursday July 31 2008

THE GAA just can’t avoid controversy these days and so it was at Cusack Park last night as Tipperary edged out Clare by a hotly disputed late point.

With the sides level (Clare 2-12, Tipp 1-15), referee John O’Mahony awarded a 20m free to the home side after Damien Browne was fouled in possession.

While Clare’s Conor Tierney was lining up to take the free, the referee’s attention was called by an umpire at the other end.

After consultation with the flag waver, who judged that the Clare goalkeeper was outside the square for his puck out, the ref changed his decision and awarded a mandatory ’65m’ free to Tipperary, which Pa Bourke duly slotted over to claim victory.

Clare had the better of the opening half exchanges against the wind and went in 2-6 to 0-7 ahead at the break.

They were quicker to settle and lead by 1-1 to no score inside five minutes thanks full-forward Caimin Morey.

When the Premier County eventually settled, they hit three scores in a row from senior star Seamus Callinan, Thomas McGrath and a Pa Bourke ’65,’ also after the Clare ‘keeper Donal Tuohy was adjudged to have taken a puck-out from outside his square.

The Banner claimed a second goal midway through the half when Colin Ryan superbly gathered a long ball and drove it to the Tippeary net.

After the break, Tipp regrouped and after putting four good points on the board, the ever dangerous Seamus Callinan struck for goal in the 38th to level matters at 2-8 to 1-11.

A Pa Bourke point gave the visitors the lead for the first time in a thrilling encounter. Clare levelled with a Damien Browne point from a free in the 57th minute and when James McInerney gave then the lead on the hour the crowd of over 11,000 were on their feet. Bourke levelled matters for Tipp and then came the dramatic finish.

SCORERS — Tipperary: S Callinan (1-5), P Bourke (0-6, 2 65s ,1f), K Lanigan, T Stapleton, S Hennessy, T McGrath, S Bourke (0-1) each. Clare: C Morey (1-4, 0-4 fs), C Ryan (1-0), D Browne (0-3fs, J Conlon (0-2), D Honan, N O’Connell, G Arthur (0-1) each.

Tipperary — M Ryan; M Cahill, Pádraig Maher, K Maher; K Lanigan, T Stapleton, B Maher; G Ryan, S Hennessy; Pat Maher T McGrath S Callinan; P Bourke, M O’Meara, S Bourke. Subs: M Gleeson for G Ryan (half-time), J Mc Loughney for S Bourke (46), P Ivors for Gleeson (56), J Ryan for O’Meara (63)

Clare — D Tuohy; E Glynn, C Cooney, C O’Doherty; G O’Connell, A Quilligan, J McInerney; D Browne, N O’Connell; J Conlan, G Arthur, S Collins; D Honan, C Morey, C Ryan. Subs: C Tierney for Collins (44), P Kelly for O’Connell (47), N O’Connell for Morey (58).

Ref — J O’Mahony (Limerick)


Clare fury over umpire’s call


By Colm O’Connor

GAA chiefs are set to commence an investigation into disgraceful scenes after last night’s Munster U21HC final in Cusack Park, Ennis.

Hundreds of Clare supporters ran on to the pitch after Tipperary controversially won the decider by a point, with numerous fans confronting referee Jason O’Mahony, his linesmen and umpires.

Gardaí had to escort the officials from the field.

Banner fans were furious with the controversial conclusion to the game. With the scores level and a minute remaining, Clare were awarded a free in front of the Tipperary posts. However, the referee’s attention was then drawn by one of his umpires at the other end of the field who pointed out that home goalkeeper Donal Tuohy had marginally stepped outside the small square with his last puckout – a decision subsequently confirmed by broadcaster TG4.

O’Mahony then cancelled the Clare free, gave Tipperary a 65 which was pointed by Pa Bourke to hand the Premier County the title.

It was the second time in the match Tuohy had been punished for that offence.

Seconds later the final whistle sounded, to the delight of Tipperary supporters and to the dismay of the hosts, who have never won at this grade.

Hundreds of Clare fans then swarmed on to the pitch, forcing the intervention of up to 20 gardaí in an effort to secure safe passage for the match officials to the dressing-rooms. Television pictures showed a number of supporters verbally attacking the referee and umpire, with a number making physical contact.

Many Banner fans remained on the field during the trophy presentation, booing the speeches of Munster Council Chairman Jimmy O’Gorman and victorious Tipperary captain Seamus Hennessy.

After the formalities were over, Clare fans remained at the ground and the match officials required a garda escort after the game and were taken from the ground via an alternative exit.

Munster Council PRO Jim Forbes vowed the matter ‘wouldn’t be brushed under the carpet.’

Said Forbes: "I know there was a lot of jostling and pushing. I was down at ground level so I could not see what was going on exactly. It was a pity to witness something like this after such a great game of hurling. We wouldn’t brush it under the carpet. It was serious. I don’t know much more until we see the referee’s report.

"It was a pity after a tremendous game of hurling before 11,000 people. Having to have gardaí provide protection for our match officials is a sad, sad situation and one I don’t want to see again. It was a sad end to a wonderful game."

Clare senior manger Mick McNamara was amongst those in the crowd and slammed the referee’s decision.

"It is a disgrace to the game of hurling what I saw out there this evening. In 50 years watching Clare hurling teams I have never seen anything like it. It is an affront to the game of hurling."

Irish Examiner reporter Brendan Larkin, who covered the match, described the scenes he witnessed: "I have been going to games for many, many years and I have never seen anything like that. There was a very hostile feeling in the ground. The game finished at 9.05pm and there were still many people around Cusack Park three quarters of an hour later. If the gardaí weren’t there, there would have been mayhem.

"It was a pity that it had to end this way as there was nothing ill-tempered in the match. It was marvellous spectacle and neither side deserved to lose."

Another witness, Clare People Sports Editor Joe Ó Muircheartaigh, admitted: "I have never witnessed anything like the scenes I saw at the end. It was way more hostile than the Clare v Offaly controversies in 1998. It was very, very hostile and unsavoury."


Leave a Reply