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Dublin: 9°C Wednesday 12 May 2021

The end of Justin, TV3's GAA debut and heavy defeat to Clare - Waterford's last Gaelic Grounds tie

It’s eight years since Waterford last lined out in a senior hurling championship game at the Limerick venue.

WATERFORD HURLING FANS will have to plot an unfamiliar route on Sunday morning.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Semple Stadium – where they have played 14 of their last 16 Munster senior hurling championship games – is not their destination and Páirc Uí Chaoimh, the venue for Waterford’s 2011 and 2012 provincial deciders, is undergoing reconstruction.

Instead it’s Gaelic Grounds where the Deise are bound for, a venue that will host the Waterford hurlers in a senior hurling championship tie for the first time since 2008.

That clash eight years ago did generate plenty storylines.

Only 17,365 supporters turned up on a day that saw the TV3 cameras beaming live coverage of a GAA championship game for the first time.

Seamus Prendergast hold's back John Mullane after a tussle with Patrick Donnellan Seamus Prendergast hold's back John Mullane after a tussle with Patrick Donnellan Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Waterford were the reigning Munster champions and Clare had failed to win a game in their province since 2003.

But the form book was torn up and Clare ripped Waterford apart for a 2-26 to 0-23 success.

Clare debutant Mark Flaherty struck 1-7, Niall Gilligan raised another green flag and Tony Griffin hit 0-5 as he returned to inter-county hurling after cycling across Canada for charity in 2007.

Niall Gilligan celebrates Niall Gilligan celebrating after the game Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Dave Bennett’s freetaking helped bring in a haul of 0-10 for Waterford while John Mullane shot the lights out with 0-8 from play.

John Mullane throws away his hurl John Mullane throws away his hurley in the dying stages of the 2008 tie Source: James Crombie/INPHO

All the good vibes emanating from the Clare squad afterwards, contrasted with the toxic air hanging over the Waterford camp.

Falling short by nine points was one thing but the dissatisfaction with manager Justin McCarthy was demonstrated by Dan Shanahan avoiding shaking hands with his boss when he was substituted.

Mike McNamara with Dan Shanahan Clare manager Mike McNamara with Waterford's Dan Shanahan after the 2008 tie Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

The following week was a tumultuous one in Waterford hurling and after the players had aired their grievances with McCarthy, the Cork native resigned the following Thursday night as he felt he ‘no longer had the full support of all the players on the team’.

Justin McCarthy looks on in the closing stages of the game Justin McCarthy during the closing stages of the game Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Clare went on to contest the Munster final that July before losing to Tipperary and then exited the All-Ireland series at the quarter-final stage at the hands of Cork.

Waterford rebounded remarkably well with new manager Davy Fitzgerald guiding them all the way to the All-Ireland final, but there they were walloped by 23 points by a Kilkenny side that amassed 3-30.

Kevin Moran and Michael Walsh are the only playing links from that Waterford starting fifteen against Clare in 2008 with Shanahan now filling the role of selector.

For the rest of Derek McGrath’s vibrant side, it is a new experience and a chance to create memories for Waterford hurling to cherish at the stadium on the Ennis Road.

TV3 begin their coverage of the GAA championship TV3 cameras begin their championship coverage Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

1 June 2008
Clare 2-26
Waterford 0-23

Scorers for Clare: Mark Flaherty 1-7 (0-3f, 0-2 ’65), Niall Gilligan 1-2, Tony Griffin 0-5, Diarmuid McMahon, Conor Plunkett (0-2f) 0-3 each, Colin Lynch, Tony Carmody 0-2 each, Brendan Bugler, Paddy Vaughan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Waterford: Dave Bennett 0-10 (0-9f), John Mullane 0-8, Gary Hurney, Stephen Molumphy, Seamus Prendergast, Denis Coffey 0-1 each.


P Brennan; G O’Grady, F Lohan, D Clancy; B Bugler, C Plunkett, P Donnellan; B O’Connell (capt), C Lynch; D McMahon, T Griffin, J Clancy; N Gilligan, T Carmody, M Flaherty.

Subs T Crowe for O’Grady (half-time), F Lynch for McMahon (64 mins), P Vaughan (0-01) for Lynch (67), D Barrett for Clancy (70).


C Hennessy; B Phelan, K Moran, A Kearney; T Browne, D Prendergast, J Kennedy; M Walsh (capt), D Bennett; D Shanahan, G Hurney, S Molumphy; J Mullane, S Prendergast, E McGrath.

Subs D Coffey for Moran (55 mins), S O’Sullivan for Molumphy (61), S Walsh for Shanahan (62), T Feeney for Phelan, R Foley for D Prendergast (both 64).

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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