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Clare storm back to topple Waterford

Clare outscored Waterford by 2-12 to 0-6 in the second half of this afternoon’s Munster SHC clash in Semple Stadium.

Image: ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Clare 2-20 Waterford 1-15

CLARE BEAT WATERFORD by eight points at Semple Stadium this afternoon to record a first victory in the Munster senior hurling championship since 2008.

The Banner County’s win was also their first against Waterford in the championship since 2008 – and it’s the first time that manager Davy Fitzgerald has outfoxed Déise boss Michael Ryan in three outings.

Waterford won last year’s championship clash between the sides and the Suirsiders also scored an opening day National Hurling League victory at Cusack Park, Ennis.

At half-time, Waterford looked on course for another victory as they led by 1-9 to 0-8 in front of 12,103 spectators in Thurles.

But Clare outscored Waterford by 2-12 to 0-6 in the second half as Shane O’Donnell and Conor McGrath struck for killer goals.

O’Donnell netted 15 minutes from time after Tony Kelly’s 20m free was blocked and McGrath struck eight minutes from time.

(©INPHO/James Crombie)

Seconds after bagging his goal, O’Donnell was hauled off and replaced by Padraic Collins, who was replaced in the original starting line-up by scorer of three points, Darach Honan.

In another pre-match switch, Fitzgerald included Cian Dillon, who lined out in the full-back line, in place of Conor Ryan.

Clare got off to a whirlwind start and led by 0-4 to 0-0 with less than six minutes on the watch but defensive errors allowed Waterford back into contention. Patrick Donnellan’s loose pass was picked off by Jake Dillon, who netted in the eighth minute on his senior championship debut. Domhnall O’Donovan’s mis-judgement then allowed Dillon to level the scores at 1-1 to 0-4. It was the first of three times in the first half when the sides were level but Waterford went on to dominate until the break. The Déise registered nine of their 15 wides in the opening half but direct ball into the full-forward line caused Clare problems.

After a slow start, Maurice Shanahan dominated his individual battle with Clare’s debutant full-back David McInerney, who recovered again after half-time. At the other end, Clare struggled badly for scores until they exploded into life after the break.

They had six on the board after 17 minutes but managed just two for the remainder of the first half. After Colin Ryan’s 17th minute score, Clare were barren for the next 15 minutes and in contrast, five of Waterford’s six starting forwards registered scores from play.

(©INPHO/James Crombie)

It was a different story in the second half as Clare ran riot.

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And Conor McGrath’s 62nd minute goal settled the issue as Clare benefited from direct ball into the full-forward line.

Clare stayed true to their short-passing, possession game for the majority of the match but McGrath’s goal came from an old-fashioned route one delivery.

And Clare now have a Munster semi-final against Cork to look forward to, at the Gaelic Grounds on June 23.

Scorers for Clare: Colin Ryan 0-7 (6f, 1 65), Tony Kelly 0-4, Shane O’Donnell & Conor McGrath 1-0 each, John Conlon & Darach Honan 0-3 each, Colm Galvin 0-2, Fergal Lynch 0-1.

Scorers for Waterford: Maurice Shanahan 0-7 (6f), Jake Dillon 1-2, Seamus Prendergast 0-2, Kevin Moran, Jamie Barron, Pauric Mahony & Gavin O’Brien 0-1 each.

CLARE: Patrick Kelly (Inagh-Kilnamona); Domhnall O’Donovan (Clonlara), David McInerney (Tulla), Cian Dillon (Crusheen); Brendan Bugler (Whitegate), Patrick Donnellan (O’Callaghan Mills), Patrick O’Connor (Tubber); Colm Galvin (Clonlara), Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge); John Conlon (Clonlara), Tony Kelly (Ballyea), Colin Ryan (Newmarket-on-Fergus); Shane O’Donnell (Eire Og), Darach Honan (Clonlara), Conor McGrath (Cratloe).

Subs: Peter Duggan (Clooney Quin) for Morey (29), Padraic Collins (Cratloe) for O’Donnell (55), Fergal Lynch (Clooney Quin) for Duggan (69).

WATERFORD: Ian O’Regan (Mount Sion); Noel Connors (Passage), Liam Lawlor (Fourmilewater), Paudie Prendergast (Lismore); Jamie Nagle (Dungarvan), Michael Walsh (Stradbally), Kevin Moran (De La Salle); Shane O’Sullivan (Ballygunner), Darragh Fives (Tourin); Brian O’Halloran (Clashmore/Kinsalebeg); Seamus Prendergast (Ardmore), Pauric Mahony (Ballygunner); Jamie Barron (Fourmilewater), Maurice Shanahan (Lismore), Jake Dillon (De La Salle).

Subs: Ray Barry (Lismore) for O’Halloran (17), Gavin O’Brien (Roanmore) for Barron (56), Martin O’Neill (Mount Sion) for Mahony (63).

Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath).

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