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Clare up and running in style as they see off injury-hit Waterford

The visitors lost key players at crucial times, as the Banner County pulled clear through 1-10 from Peter Duggan.

Conor Cleary signs an autograph for a young fan at full-time.
Conor Cleary signs an autograph for a young fan at full-time.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Clare 2-27

Waterford 2-18

Eoin Brennan reports from Cusack Park

FORTRESS CUSACK PARK proved inspirational as Clare ignited their Munster senior hurling championship challenge with a nine point-victory over 14-man Waterford in front of 13,736 this afternoon.

Over two decades on from their last home provincial tie, the Banner played with far more grit and intensity than their opening reverse to Cork, epitomised by full-forward John Conlon who provided a wrecking ball to Waterford’s chances of causing a first upset of the new format.

Trailing by four points by the turn of the second quarter, the Clonlara man first won a penalty for Peter Duggan to crash to the net before scoring one himself six minutes later to firmly turn the tide in his side’s favour for the remainder, helped in the main by Peter Duggan’s placed balls and a five point second half haul from Tony Kelly.

On the flip side, it was much more than just an opening defeat for Waterford who, already without key players Austin Gleeson and Pauric Mahony, lost Tadgh de Burca, Noel Connors, Darragh Fives and Barry Coughlan to injury at varying stages while also seeing captain Kevin Moran dismissed for a high challenge on Kelly by the three-quarter mark.

Every injury impacted like a dagger in Waterford’s hopes while allowing Clare to flourish in a routine second half that had a certain inevitability about the result from a long way off.

It was all so different in the opening quarter when wind-assisted Waterford used the direct route to build up an early cushion. That was highlighted by the opening goal in the ninth minute when a Stephen O’Keeffe puck-out was gathered by Tom Devine who had an effort on goal saved by goalkeeper Donal Tuohy before Maurice Shanahan fired the rebound to the net at 1-4 to 0-3.

Momentum altered with de Burca’s injury followed quickly by Conlon’s penalty in the 17th minute though as Peter Duggan found the top left corner of the net to kickstart the Banner’s bid.

John Conlon scores a point despite Shane Fives John Conlon scores a point for Clare. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

And the crowd were soon in full voice when an inspirational dispossessing shoulder from Shane O’Donnell resulted in a point before the hosts grabbed a second goal in the 23rd minute.

Again Conlon was the target, turning his marker and fending off two further challenges before dispatching to the net, with four additional unanswered points, three from Duggan, giving the home side a 2-10 to 1-06 advantage by the 32nd minute.

Waterford did raid for three of the last four points to lower the half-time deficit to five at 2-11 to 1-09 but it would come at a cost as Connors was also forced off with a back injury at the break.

And despite answering an early Kelly blitz with a goal from substitute Tommy Ryan on the restart, subsequent injuries to full-back Coughlan and centre-back Fives along with the dismissal of Moran left Waterford in disarray as the second half progressed.

Increased indiscipline was punished by Duggan who ended with 1-10 from placed balls while even a Stephen Bennett inspired fightback was merely damage limitation as Kelly and Conlon continued to top up the winning margin to get Clare off the mark in style.

Scorers for Clare: Peter Duggan 1-10 (1-0 Pen, 9f, 1’65); Tony Kelly 0-6; John Conlon 1-3; Jamie Shanahan, Colm Galvin 0-2 each; David Fitzgerald, Conor McGrath, Shane O’Donnell, David Reidy 0-1 each.

Scorers for Waterford: Maurice Shanahan 1-6 (6f); Tommy Ryan 1-1; Stephen Bennett, Jake Dillon 0-2 each; Tadgh de Burca, Conor Gleeson, Philip Mahony, Tom Devine, Kevin Moran, Jamie Barron, DJ Foran 0-1 each.

Clare:

1. Donal Tuohy (Crusheen)

4. Jack Browne (Ballyea)
6. David McInerney (Tulla)
2. Patrick O’Connor (Tubber)

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5. David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona)
3. Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown)
19. Jamie Shanahan (Sixmilebridge)

8. Colm Galvin (Clonlara)
10. Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge)

14. Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin)
9. Tony Kelly (Ballyea)
12. David Reidy (Éire Óg)

13. Conor McGrath (Cratloe)
11. John Conlon (Clonlara)
15. Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg)

Subs:

25. Podge Collins (Cratloe) for McGrath (60)
7. Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge) for Malone (64)
22. Niall Deasy (Ballyea) for Reidy (65)
24. Mikey O’Neill (Kilmaley) for O’Donnell (67)
26. Daragh Corry (Tulla) for Conlon (68)

Waterford:

1. Stephen O’Keeffe (Ballygunner)

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

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

8. Jamie Barron (Fourmilewater)
9. Conor Gleeson (Fourmilewater)

10. Kevin Moran (De La Salle)
21. Maurice Shanahan (Lismore)
12. Jake Dillon (De La Salle)

14. Michael Walsh (Stradbally)
11. Tom Devine (Modeligo)
15. Shane McNulty (De La Salle)

Subs:

17. Colm Roche (Shamrocks) for de Burca (14, inj)
13. Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart) for Connors (HT, inj)
26. DJ Foran (Portlaw) for Walsh (HT)
23. Tommy Ryan (Tallow) for D. Fives (38, inj)
18. Ian Kenny (Ballygunner) for Coughlan (45, inj)

Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow)

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About the author:

Eoin Brennan

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