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Dublin: 2 °C Friday 15 November, 2019


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Afternoon all and welcome to today’s coverage of the hurling league final between Clare and Waterford. It’s a beautiful day in Thurles but it looks like we’re in for another war of attrition between the teams.

Both Derek McGrath and Davy Fitzgerald will flood the midfield with bodies once again in this replay. Both will be hoping that their respective teams can produce a better performance in front of goals.

Last week the sides hit 39 wides between them in normal time. Expect a significant improvement on that statistic today.

The winners today will put themselves in a fantastic position ahead of their championship meeting in four weeks.

The second part of the Clare-Waterford trilogy is just over 10 minutes away from throw-in. Stay tuned.

The teams


1. Stephen O’Keeffe (Ballygunner)

2. Shane Fives (Tourin)
3. Barry Coughlan (Ballygunner)
4. Noel Connors (Passage)

5. Tadhg de Burca (Clashmore / Kinsalebeg)
6. Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion)
7. Philip Mahony (Ballygunner)

8. Jamie Barron (Fourmilewater)
18. Darragh Fives (Tourin)

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

13. Patrick Curran (Dungarvan)
14. Jake Dillon (De La Salle)
24. Tom Devine (Modeligo)

There’s been a late, late change to Davy Fitzgerald’s team.

Clare’s Oisin O’Brien suffered back spasms in the warm-up and is out of the league final. Big blow for Clare. Ballyea defender Jack Browne starts instead.


  1. Patrick Kelly (Inagh-Kilnamona)
  2. Jack Browne (Ballyea )
  3. Pat O’Connor (Tubber)
  4. Cian Dillon (Crusheen) – Joint Captain
  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. Darach Honan (Clonlara)
  11. Tony Kelly (Ballyea) – Joint Captain
  12. Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones na Sionna)
  13. Podge Collins (Cratloe)
  14. Peter Duggan (Clooney Quin)
  15. Conor McGrath (Cratloe)

Throw-in is imminent. Who will do the business today?


Waterford 1-0 Clare 0-0

1 min – We’ve got a goal already! Patrick Curran buries the three-pointer in an electric start for the Deise. His goal arrived straight from the throw-in. Great start.

Waterford 1-1 Clare 0-0

3 mins – Clare need to get a score here to settle themselves down. Curran’s long-range free puts Waterford four up.

Waterford 1-1 Clare 0-1

4 mins – Tony Kelly could be a big player for the Banner today. He cuts through the packed Waterford defence and slots it over. Last week’s game seems to have brought him on a huge amount in terms of match fitness.

Waterford 1-2 Clare 0-2

5 mins – Clare are up and running. Podge Collins sends over a nice point from the left. Kevin Moran responds immediately. This has been a fantastic start.

David Fitzgerald is starting at centre-back for Clare and picking up Austin Gleeson. Cian Dillon has assumed his usual sweeper role.

Waterford 1-2 Clare 0-4

10 mins – Gleeson hits his second wide from a sideline cut. At the far end Tony Kelly looks sharp. He puts over his second point of the day.

Waterford 1-2 Clare 0-5

15 mins – After a lull in scoring the teams are level once again. It’s been a very bright opening quarter. The intensity remains high but the quality has significantly improved.

Conor McGrath’s free brings Clare level.


Waterford 2-3 Clare 0-6

19 mins – Goal Jake Dillon! We’ve had two in the opening 20 minutes!

Pat O’Connor’s wayward pass was intercepted and once Patrick Curran controlled the ball, the goal was the only thing on his mind. Dillon made no mistake from close range.

Waterford 2-4 Clare 0-7

22 mins – Gleeson plucked a puck-out out of the clouds and drove it straight over the bar. Route one hurling at its best by Waterford.

Waterford 2-7 Clare 0-7

23 mins – Curran, Shane Bennett and Jamie Barron all score to put the Deise six in front. Davy Fitzgerald and Donal Og Cusack are having words on the sideline. They might need to do something soon. Clare are really struggling in attack. Tadhg De Burca has been mopping up a lot of ball.

Waterford 2-7 Clare 0-8

26 mins – Waterford have had 6 wides so far. Just one for Clare. McGrath clips over another Banner free.

Waterford 2-9 Clare 0-9

29 mins – The scores are coming thick and fast as the half approaches. Curran stretches Waterford’s lead to six. Davy Fitzgerald is visibly frustrated on the sideline.

Waterford 2-9 Clare 0-11

32 mins – McGrath is on fire. His sixth and seventh points of the day come in quick succession. Yellow card for Waterford’s Barry Coughlan.

Waterford 2-9 Clare 0-11

35+1 mins – No fuss from McGrath. He pops over a free to make it a three-point game.


Half-time: Waterford 2-9 Clare 0-12

Entertaining first-half and it’s much better than what we saw last week. The goals have really helped Waterford, but Clare will be delighted with the way they’ve come back into the game in the last ten minutes.

All to play for in the second-half.

Our man Fintan O’Toole in Semple Stadium: “What a difference a week makes. Patrick Curran’s early goal set the tone for a far more open game. Waterford pounced for two clinical goals but the superb Conor McGrath has brought Clare back into it. Nicely poised at half-time.”

Waterford 2-10 Clare 0-14

37 mins – The second-half is back underway and we’ve had plenty of scores since the turnaround.

Waterford 2-12 Clare 0-15

41 mins – Tony Kelly slots over a nice score. Colin Ryan looks stripped and ready for action.

At the other end Curran responds with a free. Waterford haven’t relented despite Clare’s good play since half-time.

Colin Dunford comes in for Tom Devine and he gets a great reception from the crowd.

Waterford 2-13 Clare 0-15

45 mins – Curran’s free taking has been very good today. He splits the posts to keep Waterford’s lead at three points.

Waterford 2-15 Clare 0-15

47 mins – The road opened up in front of Gleeson and he nailed it over from 40 yards.


Goal for Clare! Tony Kelly looks back to his best. Excellent finish. Clare are still in this!

Waterford 2-15 Clare 1-15

49 mins – Going direct paid off for Clare as Kelly left four defenders in his wake before finishing with aplomb.

Waterford 2-15 Clare 1-16

50 mins – Great score from Darach Honan. He needed that. He played a one-two and drilled the sliotar over from the 21m line.

The noise is starting to rise a few decibels in Semple Stadium. Podge Collins is replaced.

Oisin O’Brien has been taken my ambulance to hospital as a precaution. He went down with back spasms in the warm-up and didn’t start.

Waterford 2-17 Clare 1-16

56 mins – Shane Bennett sends over a great individual score to stretch Waterford’s lead to four. Austin Gleeson gets a yellow card for an off the ball incident.

Waterford 2-17 Clare 1-17

58 mins – Colin Ryan’s free has the distance and accuracy from long-range. Three point game again.

Waterford 2-17 Clare 1-18

60 mins – A big point from Kelly lifts the Clare crowd. We’re into the last ten minutes and there’s two points between the teams. Clare drop two balls into the hands of Waterford goalkeeper Stephen O’Keefe.

Waterford 2-17 Clare 1-19

61 mins – The Clare comeback continues. Davy Fitzgerald gees up the crowd after David Reidy reduces the gap to a single point. Extra-time again, anyone?

Maurice Shanahan has been introduced. He replaces Austin Gleeson.

Aaron Shanagher comes in for Shane O’Donnell. Tadhg De Burca made his afternoon a difficult one.

Waterford 2-19 Clare 1-20

66 mins – Waterford seem to have quelled Clare’s mini revival. There’s a bit of confusion as to why Gleeson has come back in for Shanahan. Brian O’Halloran and Colin Ryan swap scores.

Waterford 2-19 Clare 1-20

67 mins – Now Shanahan is back in for Gleeson. The last switch seems to have been a blood sub.

Waterford 2-19 Clare 1-20

69 mins – Gleeson almost scored the point of the day but it sailed wide! We’re in for a dramatic final 60 seconds.

There will be three minutes of additional time.

Waterford 2-19 Clare 1-21

70+1 mins – Honan dances around a couple of Waterford defenders and fires over. It’s a one point game and Clare have two minutes to force extra-time.

Clare win a controversial free. Tony Kelly steps over it…

Waterford 2-19 Clare 1-23

70+3 mins – Kelly hits another point from the right hand side and it looks like that will be a winner! Big players deliver in big moments!


Full-time: Clare 1-23 Waterford 2-19

Heartbreak for Waterford. Tony Kelly wins it at the death.

That’s a first league title for Clare since 1978. For the second straight year the winners of the Allianz Hurling League have come from Division 1B.

There will be a lot of talk surrounding the awarding of that free, but Clare are the league champions. Thanks for joining us.

Arsenal are starting to come to life at last at the Etihad, it’s a shame it seems to take the concession of a goal for them to do so.

About the author:

Kevin O'Brien