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Dublin: 6°C Saturday 28 November 2020
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Waterford bounce back to defeat Clare in six-goal clash and set up All-Ireland semi-final with Kilkenny

Liam Cahill’s side had nine points to spare in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Dessie Hutchinson strikes home his second goal past Eibhear Quilligan.
Dessie Hutchinson strikes home his second goal past Eibhear Quilligan.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Waterford 3-27
Clare 3-18

ANY SENSE OF a hangover lingering over the Waterford camp after their Munster final disappointment was wiped away in some style this afternoon.

Liam Cahill’s team recovered brilliantly from that setback last Sunday, chalking up 3-27 and storming nine points clear of Clare by the final whistle.

They stamped their authority on this All-Ireland quarter-final in the second half to consign Clare to the exit door and set up a semi-final next Saturday night in Croke Park against Kilkenny.

Stephen Bennett was top scorer with 0-10 while Dessie Hutchinson was in electric form with 2-2 from play at corner-forward. Stalwarts Jamie Barron, Kevin Moran and Austin Gleeson provided valuable inputs while Kieran Bennett and Calum Lyons were excellent in their different sectors.

Clare couldn’t quite manage to replicate the heights they reached last Saturday against Wexford. Their prospects were hit before the game even started as talisman Tony Kelly hurt his ankle in the warm-up. He went off to receive treatment early in the game and while he came back to play for the rest of the action, contributing 0-8 on the scoreboard, Lyons was a close marker throughout in denying him room.

Aron Shanagher hit two quickfire goals in the opening half and Shane O’Donnell was in lively form but Waterford managed to quell their threats as the match progressed.

The story of the first half revolved around the blast of goals, both teams finding joy from their inside danger men. Hutchinson caught fire for Waterford at one end while Shanagher, drafted in beforehand on the Clare side, was in lethal form on the opposite side.

dessie-hutchinson-celebrates-scoring-the-first-goal-of-the-game Dessie Hutchinson celebrates scoring the first goal of the game. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Within the opening six minutes Hutchinson had cracked home two goals. The first arrived ninety seconds in with Stephen Bennett accelerating clear and after Austin Gleeson’s shot was repelled by Eibhear Quilligan, Hutchinson had the simple task of flicking in his shot.

The Ballygunner sharpshooter clinically despatched his second, evading the defensive cover and profiting from a huge clearance from club-mate Stephen O’Keeffe in goal. Waterford were in flying form early on.

Then Shanagher intervened. His team trailed 2-5 to 0-6 at the first-half water break and he soon injected their challenge with life again. Two fiercely-struck shots were lashed home past Stephen O’Keeffe in the 18th and 20th minutes. The first was a product of fine team play with a pinpoint pass from Ryan Taylor releasing David McInerney who charged down the middle and popped a pass inside to the waiting Shanagher. The second was all the Wolfe Tones man’s own work in gathering a long delivery, working the space and shooting home.

aron-shanagher-celebrates-scoring-his-second-goal Aron Shanagher celebrates scoring his second goal for Clare. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

But Hutchinson had the last critical say of the half in injury-time, darting onto a breaking ball on the left and as he seemed to shape to tap over a point off his left, instead displayed brilliant vision to square a pass to Jack Fagan who was close to goal and finished simply to the net.

It was 3-10 to 2-10 in Waterford’s favour at the interval and they stretched ahead in the third quarter, 3-16 to 2-14 by that water break. Two more points were added on and their position looked comfortable until Clare received a lifeline after Aidan McCarthy unleased a bullet to the net in the 57th minute, availing of a clever switch pass by Shanagher.

That cut the deficit to four but it was as close as Clare would come. Brian Lohan’s team desperately needed more goals and he saw Stephen O’Keeffe twice deny substitute Aaron Cunningham, the first in the 61st minute was a marvellous save. 

Waterford kept the scoreboard moving, clipping over points at ease with 12 scorers in all and there was the welcome sight of Conor Gleeson coming off the bench after recent injury troubles to notch a pair of scores. Their 2020 campaign rolls on to a last four meeting with Kilkenny.

Scorers for Waterford: Stephen Bennett 0-10 (0-7f), Dessie Hutchinson 2-2, Jack Fagan 1-1, Kieran Bennett 0-3, Austin Gleeson, Jamie Barron, Conor Gleeson 0-2 each, Calum Lyons, Tadhg De Búrca, Patrick Curran, Darragh Lyons, Neil Montgomery 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clare: Tony Kelly 0-8 (0-6f), Aron Shanagher 2-1, Aidan McCarthy 1-0, Cathal Malone 0-3, Shane O’Donnell 0-2, Ryan Taylor, David Reidy, David McInerney (0-1 sideline) 0-1 each.

Waterford

1. Stephen O’Keeffe (Ballygunner)

2. Ian Kenny (Ballygunner)
3. Conor Prunty (Abbeyside)
4. Shane McNulty (De La Salle)

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5. Calum Lyons (Ballyduff Lower)
6. Tadhg de Burca (Clashmore-Kinsalebeg)
7. Kevin Moran (De La Salle)

8. Jamie Barron (Fourmilewater)
11. Kieran Bennett (Ballysaggart)

10. Jack Fagan (De La Salle)
12. Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart)
9. Jake Dillon (De La Salle)

13. Dessie Hutchinson (Ballygunner)
14. Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion)
15. Jack Prendergast (Lismore)

Subs

24. Neil Montgomery (Abbeyside) for Prendergast (half-time)
23. Darragh Lyons (Dungarvan) for Dillon (45)
20. Patrick Curran (Dungarvan) for Fagan (60)
26. Conor Gleeson (Fourmilewater) for Austin Gleeson (65)
22. Ciarán Kirwan (Kill) for Hutchinson (71)

Clare

1. Eibhear Quilligan (Feakle)

2. Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones)
3. Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown)
4. Patrick O’Connor (Tubber)

5. Stephen O’Halloran (Clarecastle)
7. Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge)
20. Jack Browne (Ballyea)

8. Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona)
18. David McInerney (Tulla – captain)

6. Aidan McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona)
10. Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge)
9. Tony Kelly (Ballyea)

13. Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg)
19. Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones)
15. Ryan Taylor (Clooney-Quin)

Subs

12. David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona) for Browne (half-time)
17. Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe) for Jason McCarthy (52)
11. David Reidy (Éire Óg) for Fitzgerald (55)
23. Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones) for McInerney (55)
22. Cathal McInerney (Cratloe) for Taylor (61)

Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole  / Reports from Páirc Uí Chaoimh

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