*Clare’s Darragh Townsend. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Clare got their Munster minor football championship off to a winning start with a one point win over Waterford.

Clare 1-11
Waterford 0-13
Venue: Páirc Naomh Mhuire, Quilty

In truth it was a win that never looked likely but Clare refused to give up and, with the last play, Conor Burke struck for the game’s only goal when he flicked the ball to the net after a great run by Shane O’Connell.

The home side played second fiddle to a well marshalled Waterford for much of this tie and the visitors have reason to be hugely disappointed with the outcome.

Behind for much of the tie, Clare landed three unanswered points inside the final five minutes to level the contest at 0-11 each.

They had a chance to go in front but lost possession and Waterford came back up field and landed two points in as many minutes, scores that looked to have given them victory.

In the very last play, Clare struck for the vital goal which came from Conor Burke from the home club, a score that brought his tally for the evening to 1-8

It was a fortunate victory for Clare who will have to show a lot of improvement if they hope to progress to phase 2 in this competition.

The early exchanges suggested a Waterford win as they dominated possession. In the opening quarter, Clare were first on the scoreboard, Conor Burke converting a 20m free in the third minute. Waterford levelled within a minute through corner forward Joe Brennan who caused a lot of problems for Clare.

The visitors had the next two points in between which they were denied a goal when full forward Paddy McCarthy had his effort saved by Eoin Byrne.

Clare were coming more into the game at this stage and they forced a number of frees which Conor Burke (2) and Sean Fennell converted, edging them into a one point lead, 0-4 to 0-3.

Waterford levelled through Joe Brennan with ten minutes remaining in the half. Conor Burke and Liam Kavanagh exchanged points before Burke landed his fifth to send Clare to the break a point in front, 0-6 to 0-5, all of Clare’s first half scores having home from frees.

Clare resumed with Shane O’Connell in the side in place of Ben O’Halloran and he did well in the second half contributing two points and playing a key role in the game’s only goal in the final seconds.

In round 2 next Tuesday, Clare will be away to Limerick who suffered defeat from Tipperary in their first round tie on Tuesday night

Scorers Clare: Conor Burke (1-8, 0-8 frees); Shane O’Connell (0-2) Sea Fennell (0-1, f);

Scorers Waterford: Joe Brennan (0-7, 4f); Paddy McCarthy (0-2, 1f) Ciaran Power, Liam Kavanagh, Billy Drohan, Tom Lynch (0-1) each

Clare;
1; Eoin Byrne (St. Breckan’s)

2; Aaron Killeen (Lissycasey)
3; Conor Hill (Lissycasey)
4; James Blunnie (Kilrush

5; Caleb Walsh, Banner
6; Liam Clune, Doora-Barefield
7; Stephen Murphy, Miltown St. Josephs

8; Diarmuid Boyle, Doora-Barefield Captain
9; Ben O’Halloran (Banner)

10; David Cahill (Clooney/Quin)
11; Sean Fennell (Kilrush Shamrocks
12; Colm Downes (Shannon Gaels)

13; Darragh Townsend (Cooraclare)
14; Diarmuid McMahon (Lissycasey)
15; Conor Burke (Kilmurry Ibrickane)

Subs:
20: Shane O’Connell (Cooraclare) for O’Halloran (half time)
19: Daniel Brody (Ennistymon) for Cahill (47)
18: Leo Switzer (Kilmurry Ibrickane) for C. Walsh (47)
21: Gabriel Fennell (Cooraclare) for Downes (55)

Waterford;
1: Conor Drohan

2: Sean Roche,
3: Daniel O’Callaghan,
4: Andrew Rya;

5: Dylan Brosnan,
6: Jack Power,
7: Paddy Spellman

8: Ciarán Cotter,
9: Luke Hennessy

10: Ciarán Power,
11: Liam Kavanagh
12: Billy Drohan;

13: David Nyhan
14: Paddy McCarthy
15: Joe Brennan;

Subs:
17: Josh Jacob for L. Kavanagh (44)
23: Tom Lynch for D. Nyhan (21)
19: Donnacha Walsh for Spellman.
22: Aaron Curran for C. Power (59)

Referee: Timmy McGrath (Limerick)

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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