*Darren Keane. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

A BATTLING win has got Clare’s U20 footballers off to a winning start in the Munster championship.

Clare 0-13
Waterford 0-6
Venue: Lemybrien

By Darragh O’Flynn

If you’re going by Cheltenham terms, the pitch was soft but hard in places in the West Waterford venue.

Michael Neylon’s side kicked the last four points of the contest as they moved into early contention to advance to the next phase as they make up for last year’s heartbreak over Kerry.

Four members of the starting side were involved in last year’s panel including joint captains Odhran Cunningham, Josh Moloney, corner back Aaron Kelly and centre forward Sean Neylon.

Clare led 0-6 0-3 at half-time but could have had a far greater advantage had they showed a more clinical approach between the posts.

Neylon kicked the opening score while Darren Keane added two frees which were followed by scores from Cunningham and Moloney.

Waterford had a goal chance before the break with Tom Gardner unlucky not to get on the end of a pass from Michael O’Sullivan. Mikey O’Brien of Stradbally reduced the margin to just three points before the half-time whistle.

Soon after the restart, Keane landed his third free, but Waterford replied again through O’Brien to leave the game finely balanced as a one-score game.

Gavin Whelan’s Waterford were left to rue another missed goal chance when captain Tommy Martin was denied by Cian Corry of the Killimer club, they did manage to register their fifth point through the resulting 45.

Michael O’Sullivan received his marching orders for a second bookable offence on the fiftieth minute leaving Waterford to finish out the tie with fourteen men.

Tom Curran, a lively forward from the St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield club who received game time in the grade last season, was introduced entering the final quarter and he kicked a score to extend the lead to four points.

Clare pushed on with two more frees from Lissycasey’s Darren Keane followed by Moloney’s second point of the evening.

Next up for Clare is a home tie against Tipperary this Saturday at 2pm in Páirc Naomh Mhuire in Quilty.

Scorers Clare D. Keane (0-6 frees), J. Moloney (0-3), S. Neylon T. Curran O. Cunningham and C. Fennell (0-1 each)

Scorers Waterford: M. O’Brien (0-5, 0-4 frees 0-1 45) T. Fennell 0-1

Clare:
1: Cian Corry (Killimer)

2: Aaron Kelly (Wolfe Tones)
3: Sean McAllister (Clondegad)
4: Michael Kelly (Lissycasey)

5: Joshua Moloney (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
6: Odhran Cunningham (Killimer)
7: Luke Pyne (Éire Óg)

8: Joshua Vaughan (Ennistymon)
9: Éanna Rouine (Ennistymon)

10: Cillian Gavin (Clondegad)
11: Sean Neylon (St Joseph’s Miltown)
12: Darren Keane (Lissycasey)

13: Conor Fennell (Kilrush Shamrocks)
14: Daire Culligan (Lissycasey)
15: Seán McMahon (Banner)

Subs:
17. Conor Kearney (Kilmurry Ibrickane) for M Kelly (HT)
20. Tom Curran (St. Joseph’s, Doora Barefield) for Fennell (44)
21. Cathal Talty (Kilmurry Ibrickane) for Vaughan (55)

Waterford: C. Moore (Ardmore); R. O’Connell (Portlaw), S. Byrne (Gaultier), D. Behan (Kilrossanty); C. Sloan (Gaultier), T. Martin (Gaultier); M. O’Sullivan (Nire), A. Jacob (St Saviours); T. Fennell (Stradbally), R. Fennell (Stradbally), K. Moloney (Clashmore/Kinesalebeg); S. O’Rourke (Ballyduff Lower), S. Pender (Roanmore), T. Gardner (Brickey Rangers)

Subs

J. Bruton (Stradbally) for Gardner and D. Butler (Colligan) for Jacob (HT) M. Power Colligan for T. Fennell (41 mins)

Referee: Cormac Dineen (Cork)

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

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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