Waterford 2-21 Clare 1-22
A disappointing two point loss to Waterford in round 5 of the Allianz hurling league at Cusack Park this afternoon means that Clare must play Dublin in a relegation play off next weekend.
Understandably, the result left Clare players and management very disappointed as this was a contest they had enough chances to win. While they can point to the fact that they played some great hurling in what was a very entertaining contest, their failure to emerge with victory left the home side’s followers in the attendance of 6,640, leave a sunny Cusack park in a very disappointed mood.
The visitors started as if they were going to record a big win, racing into a 1-3 to 0-0 lead after just six minutes when they had the aid of a fresh wind. Then, in the space of six minutes, Clare hit 1-6 without reply, the goal coming from Podge Collins who caused a lot of problems for the Waterford defence throughout and particularly in the first half.
At the end of a tremendous first half the home side led by two points, 1-13 to 1-11 and with wind advantage to come, Clare fans had good reason to feel confident. Waterford hit the opening two points of the new half to level the tie but Clare responded with four in a row and at the three quarter stage the Banner men still led by two points.
A Clare brace put four between them again but then Waterford hit three in a row and just the minimum separated the sides with six minutes of normal time remaining.
Introduced early in the second half, Tom Devine was causing huge problems for the Clare defence and with six minutes remaining he got through for the vital score, the visitor’s second goal which he scored at the second attempt after Andrew Fahy had made a fine stop from the Waterford man’s first effort.
In the remaining time both sides added two points and Clare will be a little disappointed not to have done better and not to have been awarded a free or two, In the end, Waterford held firm to progress to a quarter final date with Galway while Clare, for the second time in three years, face the relegation play off, this time against Dublin
Waterford; Stephen O’Keeffe; Shane Fives, Barry Coughlan, Shane McNulty; Stephen Daniels, Tadhg de Burce, Conor Gleeson; Austin Gleeson (0-2) Kevin Moran; Stephen Bennett (0-3), Michael Walsh, Pauric Mahony (0-10), 8 frees; Brian O’Halloran (0-2), Shane Benett (1-1), Patrick Curran (0-1);
Subs; Tom Devine(1-1) for Curran; Mikey Kearney for A. Gleeson; Tom Ryan (0-1) for O’Halloran; Colin Dunbar for Shane Bennett; Stephen Roche for Coughlan (inj).
Clare; Andrew Fahy; David McInerney (0-1), Cian Dillon, Seadna Morey; Jason McCarthy (0-1), Conor Cleary, David Fitzgerald (0-1); Jamie Shanahan (0-1) Tny Kelly (0-7, 6 frees); Cathal Malone, Podge Collins (1-3), John Conlon (0-2); Cathal McInerney (0-2) Aron Shanagher (0-2) Ian Galvin (0-1);
Subs; Aaron Cunningham for Galvin; Pat Donnellan for McCarthy, Colm Galvin for Malone; Bobby Duggan (0-1) for C. McInerney, Paul Flanagan for D. McInerney
Referee; John Keenan, Wicklow
By Seamus Hayes