"There was a bit of animosity" - Tommy Dunne takes us inside Tipp and Clare's rivalry in the '90s

He and ex-Wexford manager joined Off The Ball to preview the weekend's games but also to look back

BY Raf Diallo 21:16 Thursday 20 July 2017, 21:16 20 Jul 2017

Tommy Dunne (T)/Brian Lohan(C) © Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

On Saturday, Clare and reigning champions Tipperary will lock horns in an All Ireland Hurling Championship quarter final.

An intriguing clash in itself, it also evokes the ghosts of a rivalry which simmered and brewed during the 1990s including the peak of an All Ireland final in 1997 which the Banner edged by a point.

Ex-Tipp hurler Tommy Dunne recalled those memories as he joined ex-Wexford manager Liam Griffin on Off The Ball to look ahead to the weekend's championship hurling action.

"It was intense. It's grand now looking back on it and I've great memories but it was an intense rivalry at the time that's for certain," said Dunne.

"Look, it was a different era, wasn't it? A different era for hurling completely. Clare were very much to the fore at that stage. They'd won the All Ireland in '95, they had won the All Ireland in '97, we were in the doldrums since '91 and they had the upper hand on us until we finally got the better of them in 2000. They beat us in '97 twice, in the Munster final down in Pairc Ui Chaoimh and then they beat us by a point in the All Ireland in 1997."

He added that "there were some magical memories but a huge rivalry at the time".



On the extent to which then Clare manager Ger Loughlane was able to get into Tipp players' heads, Dunne feels it wasn't so much that as much as, "Clare really enjoyed and kind of manipulated the relationship between the two teams, so there was a bit of animosity there, there were lots of stuff going on."

And he added: "To what extent Loughnane was driving it? I'm not sure but I think they really worked it into their favour. He was such a charismatic figure and he had a powerful team. You have to remember that you can have all the figureheads you like in hurling, but he had a powerful team. Clare were a powerful, physical team."   

You can listen back to Tommy's memories and the weekend preview on the podcast player below or stream/download on iTunes:

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