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Dublin: 18 °C Wednesday 15 August, 2018
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Maurice Shanahan shows nerves of steel to send hurling league final to a replay

The sides finished on 0-22 apiece in a slow-burner at Semple Stadium.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Clare 0-22

Waterford 0-22

MAURICE SHANAHAN BANGED over a dramatic equalising point in the 92nd minute to ensure that this afternoon’s Allianz Hurling League Division 1 final ended in a draw at Semple Stadium.

The holders and Clare will have to do it all over again next weekend after Shanahan, brought off the bench in the second half of normal time, lofted over a monstrous effort to level matters for the 12th, and final, time.

Clare were denied a first time top flight title since 1978, when Colin Ryan’s 90th-minute point from distance looked to have won it for the Banner men.

Both counties now face the prospect of a replay in Thurles next weekend – four weeks before they face off again in the Munster SHC semi-final.

Clare boss Davy Fitzgerald had hinted during the week that this might not be the “prettiest” of games – and that’s how it turned out, as the teams registered 39 wides between them.

Waterford had 12 on the board by half-time in normal time, before Clare racked up ten in the second half.

It was only in extra-time that some hurling threatened to break out, as the previous 70-plus minutes was a tactical battle played out primarily in the middle third of the pitch.

The large number of wides can be partly attributed to the amount of bodies in this area, with both teams forced to shoot from distance.

But there were some poor misses too, particularly from Austin Gleeson and Patrick Curran from placed balls, before leading scorer Shane Bennett took over those responsibilities.

Conor McGrath finished as Clare’s primary marksman, hitting a total of 13 points (ten frees) and while goal chances were at a premium, Waterford sub Tom Devine, goal hero in last year’s decider, had the best of them but a green flag proved elusive.

In front of 19,498 spectators, Clare led by 0-7 to 0-6 at half-time and were three clear, 0-11 to 0-8, during the second period.

But Waterford rallied to lead 0-12 to 0-11 with ten minutes left, the very first time in the game that they were in front.

A tense final, tit-for-tat few minutes lay in store and after impressive Déise hitman Bennett put Waterford ahead in stoppage time, McGrath held his nerve with a brilliant free from a tight angle to take the game into extra-time.

Waterford surged three clear in the first period before Clare reeled them in.

They were level at 0-18 apiece at the midway point in extra-time and level again four times in the second period, on a day when nothing could separate them.

Scorers for Clare: Conor McGrath 0-13 (10f), Tony Kelly 0-3, Colm Galvin 0-2, Peter Duggan, Pádraic Collins, David Reidy & Colin Ryan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Waterford: Shane Bennett 0-9 (6f), Patrick Curran 0-4 (2f), Austin Gleeson (2f) & Tommy Ryan 0-2 each, Philip Mahony, Jamie Barron, Colin Dunford, Brian O’Halloran & Maurice Shanahan (f) 0-1 each.

Clare

1. Patrick Kelly (Inagh-Kilnamona)

2. Oisín O’Brien (Clonlara)
3. Pat O’Connor (Tubber)
4. Cian Dillon (Crusheen)

5. Brendan Bugler (Whitegate)
6. Conor Cleary (St. Joseph’s Miltown/Kilmaley)
7. David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona)

8. David Reidy (Éire Óg)
9. Colm Galvin (Clonlara)

10. Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones na Sionna)
11. Darach Honan (Clonlara)
12. Peter Duggan (Clooney Quin)

13. Podge Collins (Cratloe)
14. Tony Kelly (Ballyea)
15. Conor McGrath (Cratloe)

Subs:

26. Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg) for Duggan (45)
20. Cathal O’Connell (Clonlara) for Honan (49)
21. Colin Ryan (Newmarket-on-Fergus) for Cunningham (54)
22. Aaron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones) for Galvin (62)
18. Jack Browne (Ballyea) for Cleary (77)
9. Colm Galvin for Collins (80+2)
17. Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge) for Bugler (84)

Waterford

1. Stephen O’Keeffe (Ballygunner)

4. Noel Connors (Passage)
3. Barry Coughlan (Ballygunner)
18. Darragh Fives (Tourin)

5. Tadhg de Burca (Clashmore / Kinsalebeg)
2. Shane Fives (Tourin)
7. Philip Mahony (Ballygunner)

6. Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion)
8. Jamie Barron (Fourmilewater)

12. Michael Walsh (Stradbally)
11. Shane Bennett (Ballysaggart)
10. Kevin Moran (De La Salle)

13. Patrick Curran (Dungarvan)
15. Colin Dunford (Colligan)
14. Jake Dillon (De La Salle)

Subs:

24. Tom Devine (Modeligo) for Dunford (45)
21. Maurice Shanahan (Lismore) for Dillon (57)
22. Brian O’Halloran (Clashmore/Kinsalebeg) for A Gleeson (63)
17. Conor Gleeson (Fourmilewater) for S Fives (66)
26. Tommy Ryan (Tallow) for Curran (67)
15. Colin Dunford for Bennett (87)
23. Pauric Mahony (Ballygunner) for Walsh (88)

REFEREE: Brian Gavin (Offaly)

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