*Photograph: Martin Connolly
Waterford have ended Clare’s involvement in the 2020 All-Ireland SHC.
Venue: Páirc Úi Chaoimh
Possessing a greater scoring threat allied with a superior distribution and smaller count of unforced errors saw Liam Cahill’s Waterford bounce back from last weekend’s Munster Final defeat. For Clare, a morale-boosting second quarter was not sustained which was crucial to them falling short in the thirty third championship meeting between the counties.
As far as ideal starts to a game go, the concession of two goals inside the first five minutes are rooted at the bottom of the list. Such was the luck endured by Clare as the affordance of too much space throughout their defence was a dream scenario for Waterford with ever-alert Dessie Hutchinson pouncing for both green flags undoing scores from Tony Kelly, Shane O’Donnell and David McInerney. An Eibhear Quilligan save from Stephen Bennett prevented a third on eight minutes.
It was not immediate but Clare soon found their grove aided by the recess in the guise of the water break. Prior to this, key man Tony Kelly spent up to three minutes out of the action receiving treatment and strapping to his ankle.
A reinvigorated Clare emerged from the water break with two Aron Shanagher goals in as many minutes. The first stemming from a Rory Hayes turnover with a superb take from Ryan Taylor setting David McInerney on his way to gift Shanagher with a one on one chance, from which he duly obliged.
His second arose from an excellent catch from the Shannon man with Patrick O’Connor getting through the ground work further out the field which put Clare in front for the first time of the contest, on nineteen minutes.
Both scores added four points each before Waterford struck for their third goal. Huthinson was once again involved, this time as the provider as De La Salle’s Jack Fagan was left with just Quilligan to beat. Kieran Bennett would add another point for the provincial finalists to see them hold a 3-10 2-10 half-time advantage.
Sparks were absent on the whole from Clare’s second half showing. Despite Kelly and Cathal Malone cancelling out early Waterford scores, they tapped on three of the next four with the Banner just coming up short when it came to creating chances but also being unable to keep the ball in their attack.
Aidan McCarthy reduced the deficit to four points on fifty six minutes but even this failed to spring this year’s beaten League finalists to life. The impact from Waterford’s bench would see them find another level outscoring Clare nine points to four in the final quarter.
Unlike his predecessors, Brian Lohan when the game was slipping away put a stronger emphasis on his attack with the second half substitutes which is positive to see, however none of Clare’s subs registered on the scoreboard while their Waterford counterparts amassed 0-05. The shortcomings in defence proved a significant downfall, the warning signs had previously been visible in the qualifier win over Laois with the manner in which an opposing attack could easily run through the middle, this was not apparent last weekend given the defence orientated style favoured by Wexford.
Clare’s quarter-final record is now 6 wins from 14 outings with Waterford having a brighter 10 victories from 13 outings. On a disappointing evening for the Banner, the efforts of Cathal Malone, Patrick O’Connor, Shane O’Donnell and Rory Hayes were some pluses. An injury sustained by talisman Tony Kelly in the warm-up scuppered his involvement and ultimately Clare’s over-reliance on the Ballyea man was evident to see.
Scorers for Waterford: Stephen Bennett 0-10 (0-7f), Dessie Hutchinson 2-2, Jack Fagan 1-1, Kieran Bennett 0-3, Austin Gleeson, Jamie Barron, Conor Gleeson 0-2 each, Calum Lyons, Tadhg De Búrca, Patrick Curran, Darragh Lyons, Neil Montgomery 0-1 each.
Scorers for Clare: Tony Kelly 0-8 (0-6f), Aron Shanagher 2-1, Cathal Malone 0-04, Aidan McCarthy 1-0, Shane O’Donnell 0-2, Ryan Taylor, David Reidy, David McInerney (0-1 sideline) 0-1 each.
1: Eibhear Quilligan (Feakle)
2: Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones)
3: Conor Cleary (St Josephs Miltown)
7: Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge)
5: Stephen O’Halloran (Clarecastle)
4: Patrick O’Connor (Tubber)
20: Jack Browne (Ballyea)
18: David McInerney (Tulla)
8: Jason McCarthy (Inagh/Kilnamona)
10: Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge)
9: Tony Kelly (Ballyea)
6: Aidan McCarthy (Inagh/Kilnamona)
19: Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones)
13: Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg)
15: Ryan Taylor (Clooney/Quin)
12: David Fitzgerald (Inagh/Kilnamona) for Browne (HT)
17: Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe) for J McCarthy (52)
23: Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones) for McInerney (55)
11: David Reidy (Éire Óg) for Fitzgerald (55)
22: Cathal McInerney (Cratloe) for Taylor (61)
1: Stephen O’Keeffe (Ballygunner)
2: Ian Kenny (Ballygunner)
3: Conor Prunty (Abbeyside)
4: Shane McNulty (De La Salle)
6: Tadhg de Burca (Clashmore/Kinsalebeg)
5: Calum Lyons (Ballyduff Lower)
7: Kevin Moran (De La Salle)
11: Kieran Bennett (Ballysaggart)
8: Jamie Barron (Fourmilewater)
10: Jack Fagan (De La Salle)
12: Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart)
9: Jake Dillon (De La Salle)
13: Dessie Hutchinson (Ballygunner)
14: Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion)
15: Jack Prendergast (Lismore)
24: Neil Montgomery (Abbeyside) for Prendergast (HT)
23: Darragh Lyons (Dungarvan) for Dillon (44)
20: Patrick Curran (Dungarvan) for Fagan (59)
26: Conor Gleeson (Fourmilewater) for A Gleeson (65)
22: Ciarán Kirwan (Kill) for Hutchinson (71)
Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow)