Ten points was the difference as the Clare minor hurlers picked up their first win of the 2018 Munster championship.
Venue: Cusack Park
After letting it slip in their first outing against Cork, Sean Doyle’s Clare finished well to overcome a Waterford side making their first appearance in this year’s championship.
Nothing separated the teams early on until Mark Rodgers was fouled inside the Waterford 21m line and Keelan Guyler dispatched the penalty to the back of the net on eight minutes. Dean Beecher was picking the sliotar out of the goal in the next attack as Rodgers was causing havoc once more, getting on the end of a Dylan McMahon free to bury to the roof of the net.
Waterford came back into the tie with a goal of their own as Caolan MacCraith finished off a move which began with a Beecher puckout on the fourteenth minute. The Déise hit two points on the bounce via Ciaran Keating and Aidan Organ to reduce the gap to three points.
Tulla’s William Halpin fired over two points with Rodgers and Shane Meehan getting one each while Waterford get the distance at three points with a treble of frees from Paddy Leevy and a single effort from Christopher Kavanagh leaving the half-time score at 2-09 1-09.
Clare were first out of the blocks on the resumption with three consecutive points, Waterford gave as good as they got with three white flags in response. The hosts began to push ahead and built a lead of seven points as the game entered the final ten minutes. Corner forward James Power gave Wateford a much needed lease of life when he capitalised on a sleeping Clare defence to beat Cillian O’Brien for their second goal of the game.
In the Cork defeat, Clare conceded six scores in a row at the finish to lose out but this time round they added the final four scores of the game, one of which included another Rodgers goal, to secure their first win of the championship.
Up front, Clare were electric, they had nine different players to register scores over the hour and caused Waterford’s problems. In particular Keelan Guyler and Mark Rodgers excelled while from the bench sixteen year old Conor Hegarty and Robin Mounsey were lively, between them they hit a combined six points. Defensively Sean Doyle’s side struggled at times, both of the opposing corner forwards raided for goals. However, when leaders were needed at the back, Clarecastle’s Darragh Healy certainly stood up.
This physically strong Waterford side are certainly capable of having a say in how the minor championship pans out. They will improve with the more games they play.
1: Cillian O’Brien (Clonlara)
2: Jack Enright (Newmarket-on-Fergus)
3: Adam Mungovan (Doora/Barefield)
4: Mike Gough (Smith O’Briens)
22: Conor Carrig (Wolfe Tones)
6: Dylan McMahon (Clonlara)
7: Darragh Healy (Clarecastle) (0-03 3f)
10: Aidan Moriarity (Clonlara) (0-01)
9: Fionn Slattery (Bodyke)
14: Keelan Guyler (Inagh/Kilnamona) (1-04 3f 1’Pen)
11: Gearoid O’Grady (Kilmaley)
12: William Halpin (Tulla) (0-02)
13: Mark Rodgers (Scariff) (2-02)
17: Jack Minouge (Bodyke) (0-01)
15: Shane Meehan (Banner) (0-02)
8: Jason Griffin (Inagh/Kilnamona) for Slattery (21)
18: Conor Hegarty (Inagh/Kilnamona) (0-03) for Minouge (40)
5: Tony Butler (Doora/Barefield) for Carrig (46)
21: Robin Mounsey (Ruan) (0-03) for O’Grady (50)
24: Paddy Donnellan (Broadford) for Enright (60)
1: Dean Beecher (Tallow)
4: Jack Ó Floinn (An Rinn)
3: Rory Furlong (Roanmore)
2: Gavin Fives (Cappoquin)
5: Sam Fitzgerald (Clashmore/Kinsalebeg)
6: Cian Wadding (Roanmore)
7: Michael Kiely (Abbeyside)
9: Aidan Organ (Brickey Rangers) (0-02)
8: Ryan Tierney (Ferrybank)
10: Ciaran Keating (Ardmore) (0-02)
11: Paddy Leevy (Ballygunner) (0-07 6f)
12: Oisin O’Gorman (Lismore)
15: James Power (Clonea) (1-00)
14: Kevin Mahony (Ballygunner)
13: Caolan MacCraith (An Rinn) (1-01)
Subs: 22: Christopher Kennedy (Butlerstown) for Kiely (17) (Inj)
23: Sean Henley (Tallow) for Furlong (HT)
17: Oisin Ó Ceallaigh (An Rinn) (0-01) for O’Gorman (HT)
18: Gavin Corbett (Ballygunner) for Organ (50)
Referee: John McCormack (Tipperary)