Tipperary are through to another Munster final against Limerick, after a 3-23 to 2-22 win over Clare at the Gaelic Grounds.
A controversial second-half penalty decision proved significant for the Premier, as they overturned a half-time deficit to prevail.
Goals from Michael Breen, Jason Forde and Seamus Callanan proved crucial, as Tipp clear the first hurdle in their bid to end a five-year wait for a Munster title
There was a frantic pace right from the off. Despite Cathal Barrett effectively man-marking Tony Kelly, the Clare forwards packed a real punch with Ryan Taylor and Ian Galvin building an early lead. The latter found the net in the sixth minute, slipping it past the on-rushing Barry Hogan, to help the Banner into a 1-7 to 0-4 advantage.
However, the Premier came roaring back into the contest. Michael Breen executed some stunning ground-hurling to beat Eibhear Quilligan, as Tipp posted 1-3 without reply to level it at the water-break.
Jason Forde and John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer led the scoring charge as Liam Sheedy’s side looked to establish a lead before the half-way mark, before Tony Kelly made his first major contribution of the match in injury time. The Ballyea man received the sliotar after a flick from David Reidy. The 2013 Hurler of the Year turned and fired into the net without even looking at the goals, to give Clare a 2-11 to 1-13 cushion at the break.
A Tony Kelly free got the Banner off to a bright start in the second half, but the crucial moment came in the 38th minute.
Aidan McCarthy fouled Jake Morris near the side-line just inside the Tipperary 21, and the incident was deemed to have denied the Premier forward a goal-scoring opportunity. Tipp were awarded a penalty, and McCarthy was sent to the sin-bin.
Forde converted, and Seamus Callanan also found the net moments later. Tipp dominated the 10-minute period, out-scoring Clare 2-4 to 0-2.
From there, the Banner were left with too much to do, and they fell short despite scoring the last five points of the contest.
Tipperary are through to the Munster final where they will face Limerick. Clare are heading for the qualifiers.
Tipperary: Barry Hogan; Cathal Barrett, Pádraic Maher, Barry Heffernan; Brendan Maher, Seamus Kennedy, Ronan Maher (0-1); Noel McGrath, Michael Breen (1-1); Jason Forde (1-8, 0-3f, 1-0p, 0-1 ’65, 0-1sl), John McGrath, Dan McCormack (0-2); John O’Dwyer (0-4), Seamus Callanan (1-1), Jake Morris (0-3).
Subs: Willie Connors (0-1) for John McGrath (half-time), Alan Flynn (0-2) for Noel McGrath (48th minute), Dillon Quirke for John O’Dwyer (67th minute),
Clare: Eibhear Quilligan; Rory Hayes (0-1), Conor Cleary, Paul Flanagan; Diarmuid Ryan, John Conlon (0-1), Páidí Fitzpatrick; Colm Galvin (0-1), Cathal Malone (0-2); Aron Shanagher (0-1), Tony Kelly (1-9, 0-8f), Aidan McCarthy (0-1); David Reidy (0-1), Ian Galvin (1-3), Ryan Taylor (0-2).
Subs: David McInerney for Páidí Fitzpatrick (53rd minute), Mark Rodgers for Ryan Taylor (59th minute), David Fitzgerald for Ian Galvin (59th minute)
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