Clare will play Kerry in the Munster senior championship semi-final for the fourth year in succession after overcoming Waterford on Saturday evening.
Venue: Cusack Park
It’s five years since Waterford last met Clare in Cusack Park in the Munster SFC, that tie finished all square, a similar scenario almost occurred but a single point was the difference at the sounding of Brendan Cawley’s final whistle.
Clare were the dominant side in the first thirty five but it was certainly a case of role reversal in the second as Waterford outscored them 6-1.
Eoin Cleary kicked six scores in the opening half as Colm Collins’ side held a 0-08 0-02 lead. The task of restricting their opponents attack was made much easier by the fact that there was none, for the majority of the first half they had no forward inside their attacking half of the pitch. When opportunities did present themselves for Waterford they did not take advantage with five wides, a small figure but considerable given their amount of shots on goal in the half.
A different Déise emerged in the second half as they showed their what they can offer when attacking with the ball. Although Jamie Malone was on target three minutes after the restart, the visitors via Dessie Hutchinson on the double and Conor Murray would reduce the deficit to four.
Pressure began to mount for the Banner as wing back Tadhg Ó hUallacháin and JJ Hutchinson raised white flags in the space of two minutes leaving just two points between the sides. Coolmeen’s Cathal O’Connor who had been deemed unfit to start was sprung from the bench in the final quarter to try bring the Banner back to life as they failed to test 46 year old goalkeeper Darren Mulhearne on his debut.
Malone’s effort would be Clare’s only score in the second half as they held on to secure a June 1st home semi-final with Kerry. A vastly improved performance is needed on the Bank Holiday weekend if the Banner are to even compete with Kerry let alone challenge them.
Although their second half showing was very concerning, it served as a reminder of the amount of work required to get to the standard of a Division One side. Eoin Cleary impressed in the opening half for the men in Saffron and Blue with Cian O’Dea, Gordon Kelly and Dean Ryan showing well. For Waterford, Conor Murray and Tadhg Ó hUallacháin did best.
Scorers for Clare: E Cleary 0-6 (3f), J Malone 0-2, D Ryan 0-1.
Scorers for Waterford: C Murray 0-2, D Hutchinson 0-2 (2f), JJ Hutchinson 0-2, S Ahearne 0-1 (1f), T Ó hUallacháin 0-1.
1. Stephen Ryan (Kilrush Shamrocks)
4. Kevin Hartnett (Meelick)
3. Cillian Brennan (Clondegad)
2. Gordon Kelly (St Joseph’s Miltown)
7. Dean Ryan (Na Fianna, Dublin)
6. Aaron Fitzgerald (Éire Óg)
5. Sean Collins (Cratloe)
8. Gary Brennan (Clondegad) (captain)
17. Darragh Bohannon (Shannon Gaels)
10. Kieran Malone (St Joseph’s Miltown)
11. Eoin Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown)
12. Jamie Malone (Corofin)
14. Cormac Murray (St Joseph’s Miltown)
15. Gavin Cooney (Éire Óg)
13. Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora)
21. Gearoid O’Brien (Kilrush Shamrocks) for K Malone (half-time)
24. Conall Ó hAiniféin (Ruan) for Cooney (48)
22. Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen) for Bohannan (58, black)
20. Dale Masterson (St Breckans) for Murray (65)
25. Davy O’Halloran (Éire Óg) for S Collins (72).
1. Darren Mulhearne (Kilrossanty)
4. James McGrath ( The Nire)
3. Ray O’Ceallaigh (An Rinn)
2. Sean O’Donovan (Modeligo)
7. Tadhg Ó hUallacháin (An Rinn)
6. Shane Ryan (The Nire)
5. Brian Looby (Ballinacourty) (captain)
8. Shane Aherne (Stradbally)
9. Tommy Prendergast (Kilrossanty)
12. Conor Murray (Rathgormack)
11. Dylan Guiry (The Nire)
10. Sean Whelan-Barrett (Ballinacourty)
13. Jack Mullaney (Stradbally)
14. Ferghal Ó Cuirrín (An Rinn)
15. Michael Curry (Rathgormack)
19. Dessie Hutchinson (Gaultier) for Whelan-Barrett (35)
17. JJ Hutchinson (Gaultier) for Mullaney (48)
24. Donie Fitzgerald (Kilrossanty) for Ó Cuirrin (65)
18. Jason Curry (Rathgormack) for Guiry (68)
26. Billy O’Keeffe (Gaultier) for Ó hUallacháin (70)
20. Brian Lynch (Clashmore/Kinsalebeg) for Murray (74).
Referee: Brendan Cawley (Kildare).