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Clare can afford to ring changes as they take care of business against Waterford

The Déise will be left a lot of questions to answer after a display that lacked fight and belief, two prerequisites for any championship outing.

Waterford's Jack Prendergast attempts to gather a high ball.
Waterford's Jack Prendergast attempts to gather a high ball.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Clare 3-31
Waterford 2-22

Páraic McMahon reports from Cusack Park, Ennis

IN THE 35TH championship meeting between the counties, Clare were convincing winners as they powered to victory over Waterford.

Ringing six changes from the side which went toe to toe with Limerick, Brian Lohan handed a first championship start to corner back Cian Nolan while David Reidy signalled his return from a knee operation to make his first starting appearance in this year’s provincial campaign.

By the final whistle, four debutants featured for the Banner including Nolan, Leaving Certificate student Adam Hogan, Wolfe Tones’ Darragh Lohan and goalkeeper Éamonn Foudy.

Resting both Tony Kelly and John Conlon was a wise move from the Clare management whose eyes are now firmly fixed on renewing rivalries with Limerick in a fortnight. The pair, incidentally, took part in a training session along with the substitutes after the game in Cusack Park.

Within the opening 10 minutes Waterford lost both Tadhg de Búrca and Jamie Barron to injury, but on the scoreboard and out the field, Clare were already the far superior side. David Reidy, the electric Shane O’Donnell with two points, and Ian Galvin pointed the hosts into a 0-4 to 0-0 advantage with less than five minutes on the clock.

No sign of life ever really injected itself into Waterford’s display despite the best efforts of corner forward Dessie Hutchinson. They put together a rally of four points on the trot to come within three points on 16 minutes but this was as good as it got for the National League champions.

Reidy struck for goal on 23 minutes after Peter Duggan forced a turnover with the returning Ian Galvin making a precision pass which the Éire Óg man duly tapped to the back of the net.

Duggan once again was involved in the making of Clare’s second goal, catching a delivery from Cathal Malone before offloading to Shane O’Donnell. He then tore past two Waterford defenders and popped it to David Fitzgerald who controlled the sliotar before slotting it past Shaun O’Brien on 36 minutes to ensure Clare led 2-16 0-9 at the interval.

david-reidy-and-ian-kenny Clare's David Reidy and Ian Kenny of Waterford. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Fitzgerald stepped up with the first score of the second half when the industrious Duggan again won a turnover to commence the sequence which led to Clare’s third green flag on 39 minutes.

Some minor form of respectability was put on the scoreboard from Waterford’s perspective thanks to Hutchinson – he was their chief scorer on the evening and raided for goal when Stephen Bennett teed him up with a quick free on 44 minutes. The last score of the game would also be a green flag when Patrick Curran’s flick deceived Éamonn Foudy.

With players eager to impress at every available opportunity, Clare’s bench certainly didn’t weaken their efforts with the duo of Shane Meehan and Robin Mounsey adding an extra bit of flair.

A stiffer test would have done Lohan’s Clare no harm ahead of the Munster Final but it was definitely a case of job done for them in front of 16,144 spectators at Cusack Park.

Given that they have the entire summer, autumn and winter to pore over where it went wrong, Waterford will be left a lot of questions to answer.
Their form in the Allianz National Hurling League was certainly not replicated in the championship, this display can be labelled as flat but more worrying it was one in which the Déise lacked fight and belief, two prerequisites for any championship outing.

Scorers for Clare: D Fitzgerald 2-3, P Duggan 0-8 (3f, 2’65, 1SC), S O’Donnell 0-5, D Reidy 1-2, C Malone 0-4, D McInerney, R Taylor, R Mounsey 0-2 each, I Galvin, S Golden, S Meehan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Waterford: D Hutchinson 1-6, P Curran 1-4 (2f), S Bennett 0-5 (3f 1’65), C Lyons, K Bennett 0-2 each, P Hogan, P Mahony, A Gleeson 0-1 each.

CLARE:

1: Eibhear Quilligan (Feakle)

4: Cian Nolan (Smith O’Briens)
3: Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown)
2: Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones)

5: Jack Browne (Ballyea)
6: Aaron Fitzgerald (Éire Óg)

7: David McInerney (Tulla)

10: Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge)

9: Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge)

12: Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg)

8: David Fitzgerald (Inagh/Kilnamona)

15: Ryan Taylor (Clooney/Quin)

11: David Reidy (Éire Óg)

13: Ian Galvin (Clonlara)

14: Peter Duggan (Clooney/Quin)

Subs:

19: Shane Meehan (Banner) for Galvin (43)

26: Robin Mounsey (Ruan) for Reidy (48)

21: Adam Hogan (Feakle) for Hayes (53)

20: Darragh Lohan (Wolfe Tones) for A Fitzgerald (56)

16: Eamonn Foudy (Inagh/Kilnamona) for Quilligan (59)

WATERFORD:

1: Shaun O’Brien (De La Salle)

2: Ian Kenny (Ballygunner)

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6: Tadhg De Burca (Clashmore-Kinsalebeg)

3: Conor Gleeson (Fourmilewater)

17: Mark Fitzgerald (Passage)

11: Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion)

5: Jack Fagan (De La Salle)

7: Calum Lyons (Ballyduff Lower)

21: Pauric Mahony (Ballygunner)

24: Peter Hogan (Ballygunner)

23: Neil Montgomery (Abbeyside)

10: Jack Prendergast (Lismore)

13: Dessie Hutchinson (Ballygunner)

12: Patrick Curran (Dungarvan)

8: Jamie Barron (Fourmilewater – captain)

Subs:

4: Shane McNulty (De La Salle) for de Burca (4) (inj)

14: Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart) for Barron (10) (inj)

18: Kieran Bennett (Ballysaggart) for Fagan (30)

22: Micheal Harney (Bunmahon) for Mahony (HT)

26: DJ Foran (Portlaw) for Montgomery (56)

Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow)

About the author:

Páraic McMahon

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