*Waterford manager, Davy Fitzgerald. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Gutted and disappointed were the first words uttered by Waterford manager, Davy Fitzgerald when speaking following their one point loss to Clare.

Fitzgerald was annoyed with the awarding of a 65m free which was converted by Mark Rodgers and proved to be the winning score. The Sixmilebridge man also expressed his frustration with the goal scored by the Scariff man. “It was tough out there today. Rodgers took five or six steps for his goal. We have looked at it a few times. We could feel a little aggrieved with that one as well”

Further additional time should have been played in Ennis, the former Clare manager and goalkeeper maintained. “It took two minutes to take the penalty with all the tooing and frowing. There was easily two more minutes to play if you are honest, look at it, if the play is dead for that length of time, it should have been longer. Personally I believe that was a wide ball”.

Fitzgerald said, “I am proud of the guys but it’s a very hard way to take a defeat like that. It doesn’t sit with me well. You have to make those decisions and you have to get them right. I have always thought Liam Gordon is a top class official and I have said that on many occasions. While we are disappointed with one or two decisions that’s the way hurling goes and we will just get over it”.

Tensions got heated at the final whistle when Davy confronted the referee and offered his take on the Galway man’s performance. An RTÉ camera was pushed away by James Hickey, the Cratloe native who is part of the Waterford backroom team.

“We gave two goals we shouldn’t have given away. Jamie (Barron) had a pass for the first one and Tadhg (de Burca) had a pass for the second one, into the middle and they got two goals from it. I thought the two lads were outstanding but we just made a few small errors today. I think we played with unbelievable character. Those boys have given me everything they have today but we should have got something out of that game, there is no doubt about it,” Davy added.

Twelve points was the margin when Waterford lost to Clare last year in Fitzgerald’s first year in charge of the Déise and in 2022 for Liam Cahill’s final campaign with the Déise. “We came to Clare in the last few years and we were well beaten, we weren’t well beaten today. It’s a serious character builder. We are giving away soft scores and if we can eliminate them it will be a big thing but the character we are showing is incredible. That has been questioned over the last few years with this bunch. I think they have shown how much they have come on and we are disappointed but I am seriously proud of them”.

Next up for Waterford is a trip to the Gaelic Grounds where they meet Limerick and they need to get a result against the All-Ireland champions. “How much today will take out of us I am not sure. Limerick will have that extra week (they had a bye at the weekend). We are up against it. We will just re-group during the week and go again”.

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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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