*Shane Meehan. Photograph: Chris Copley
Clare’s minor hurlers have got off to a winning start defeating Waterford by two points in Sunday’s curtain raiser.
Venue: Walsh Park
Inagh/Kilnamona’s Conner Hegarty set the standard for the winners with four points from play over the course of sixty minutes. Others to impress for the Saffron and Blue youngsters included Shane Meehan, Diarmaid Cahill and Cian Galvin. A wasteful Waterford could have overturned the result had it not been for their nine wides.
Level on four occasions in the opening half, successive scores from Keith Smyth and one from Tony Butler on twenty two minutes would put Clare in the lead for the first time. Three Aaron Ryan efforts reduced the deficit but white flags from Hegarty and Meehan would leave the visitors ahead by one at the break.
Within ten minutes of the restart, Waterford led by two. Crusheen forward Oisin O’Donnell got Clare off the mark on forty one minutes and they followed this with scores from Smyth and Cahill to restore the one point advantage.
A nervy finish ensued but points from Hegarty and substitute Dylan Downes would be enough to see Fergal Lynch’s side home.
In their first championship outing, both sides were bound to make mistakes, they did and crucially for Clare they do so while managing to carve out a win. Their confidence will grow following on from this result. The same applies for Waterford who had strong showings from Aaron Ryan, Rory Furlong and Caolan McCraith.
Scorers Clare: K Smyth (0-05 4f), C Hegarty (0-04), D Cahill (0-03), C Galvin (0-01 1f), T Butler (0-01), S Meehan (0-01), O O’Donnell (0-01), D Downes (0-01).
Scorers Waterford: A Ryan (0-09 8f), J Burke (0-01), R Halloran (0-02 1f 1’Pen), J Gleeson (0-01)
1: Aaron Shanahan (Tulla)
2: Storm Devanney (Sixmilebridge)
3: Adam Hogan (Feakle)
4: Cillian McGroary (Corofin)
5: Jarlath Collins (Éire Óg)
6: Colm O’Meara (Clonlara)
7: Tony Butler (St Josephs Doora/Barefield)
8: Oisin Clune (Feakle)
9: Killian O’Connor (Corofin)
13: Conner Hegarty (Inagh/Kilnamona)
11: Cian Galvin (Clarecastle)
12: Oisin O’Donnell (Crusheen)
10: Shane Meehan (The Banner)
14: Diarmaid Cahill (Corofin)
15: Keith Smyth (Killanena)
23. Dylan Downes (Sixmilebridge) for O’Connor (41)
21. Sean Ronan (Kilmaley) for O’Donnell (60)
1: Rian Hogan (Kilcrossanty)
2: Jack Ó Floinn (An Ghaeltacht)
3: Sean O’Neill (Ballygunner)
4: Cathrach Daly (Lismore)
5: Ruairí Fitzpatrick (Ballygunner)
6: Rory Furlong (Ruanmore)
7: Reuben Halloran (De La Salle)
8: Sean Burke (Roanmore)
9: Eoin O’Brien (Ballygunner)
10: Jamie Gleeson (Mount Sion)
11: Aaron Ryan (Fourmilewater)
12: Triston Loftus (Dungarvan)
21: Caolan MacCraith (An Ghaeltacht)
13: Johnny Burke (Dungarvan)
15: Michael Cummins (Passage)
14. Mark Fitzgerald (Passage) for Loftus (HT)
24. Caoimhin Walsh (Killrossanty) for Fitzpatrick (HT)
22. Jamie Power (Modeligo) for O’Brien (38)
19. Jake Foley (Ballygunner) for Gleeson (46)
17. Conor Berry (Ballygunner) for Cummins (56)
Referee: John McCormack (Tipperary)