Michael Collins scored a superb solo goal as Clare defeated Tipperary 2-15 to 0-14 in the opening round of the Electric Ireland Munster Minor Hurling Championship in Shannon on Tuesday.
In testing conditions, Clare led 0-5 to 0-3 in the 16th minute of the first half when Clonlara half-forward Collins took possession in midfield. A burst of pace took him away from a company of Tipperary players, and despite being harried throughout the run by Cian Ryan, Collins maintained control before finishing with skill.
"I thought it had ran away from him there for a finish but he found a small little gap," Clare manager Brian O'Connell told the Clare GAA TV YouTube channel.
"The pace he has is unbelievable. I was probably shouting at him from 45 yards out to slot it over the bar, and keep the scoreboard ticking over, but Michael had other plans, and I'm glad he did. It was a great finish, great goal."
Michael Collins goal for Clare vs Tipperary
What a goal!@GaaClare's Michael Collins with a mesmerising run and sublime finish!
17 mins Clare 1-7 @TipperaryGAA 0-3
📺Stream Pass👇https://t.co/UAjs6iMvH7 pic.twitter.com/dswJv5Ka8p
— StreamSport.ie (@StreamsportI) March 21, 2023
Clare took a 1-11 to 0-6 lead into the break. 20 minutes into the second half, Marc O'Brien scored Clare's second goal after being set up by Michael Power.
"[Michael Power] could have taken an easier option as well and slotted it over the bar, but he put his head down," said O'Connell.
"I thought he had a great game. Everything that went in kind of stuck to him, and the ones that didn't he worked really hard to keep it in there.
"That particular ball he got [for Marc O'Brien's goal], he took on the corner back, and then having the ability to find Marc to put it home... it was a good finish, it wasn't easy when Marc got the ball either. That sealed it."
This year is O'Connell's second in charge of the Clare minors.
"We have [learned a lot from the first year] as a management group," he said.
"And the fact that we have a few lads who were playing last year as well has helped, that little bit of experience, and being able to get the messages that we want on the field. Having them involved for a second year really helps.
"I thought we hurled really well, particularly in the first half. We had a bit of a breeze at our back. We used the ball well. Probably left a couple of scores behind us.
"We knew Tipperary were going to throw a lot at us in the second half, and they did. We got the first three scores [of the second half] which were crucial to make sure we were continuing that form we showed in the first half. After that, we probably sat back a little bit too much for my own liking."
In the competition's other game of Tuesday evening, Limerick defeated Waterford in atrocious conditions at Freaher Field.
Next week, Limerick face Clare and Cork play Waterford in the second round of games in the group stage.
Highlights as an impressive @GaaClare outfit ran out 2-15 to 0-14 winners over @TipperaryGAA. @ElectricIreland | @StreamsportI | #GAAThisIsMajor https://t.co/c8kdPyCbQy
— Munster GAA (@MunsterGAA) March 21, 2023