Ah the sound of the summer - the clash of the ash. After the overhyped posturing of English and European soccer, the honest elemental nature of the Munster Hurling Championship is to be relished. Yesterday we had Clare and Tipperary doing battle. This is a rivalry not as tribal and vivid as Cork and Tipp, but rendered spicy by their recent cranky collisions.
Clare a team in decline perhaps, Tipp a team looking for an identity after their tame capitultion last year.
The early signs were good for Tipp - an elegant point from their master craftsman Eoin Kelly and a sense that they were quicker and hungrier. And then came connfirmation of this in the form of two quick goals. In both cases the new Tipp full-forward Webster was involved. This is a very impressive discovery - a big courageous raw-boned boy with skill and attitude. Apart from his side-step and dummy to score, his physical commitment was very evident in his goading of that old bull Brian Lohan.
After that Clare never got into it. Every time they came within a few points, Tipp pulled away again. Bring on Cork.