Fitzgerald's former charges prevail
GAA:Waterford held on for a narrow victory to prevent their former manager Davy Fitzgerald from making a glorious return to his native Clare at Semple Stadium.A crowd of just 12,296 people watched as Clare goalkeeper Pa Kelly’s injury time free was turned away in the final seconds allowing Waterford to win with two points to spare.
It was a thrilling end to a game that saw the lead change hands several times. Clare may feel aggrieved by a decision to grant Waterford’s Eoin Kelly a first half penalty. He appeared to foul Cian Dillon before Dillon was penalised for holding Kelly who subsequently dispatched the penalty himself.
Waterford added a scrappy second goal on 18 minutes but the Clare reply was almost immediate as John Conlon buried the ball in the top corner. It meant that Waterford held a 2-8 to 1-9 lead at the break.
The momentum swung between the sides during a tense second half but Clare may look back on Nicky O’Connell’s misses from dead ball situations as further reason for their failure to reach a Munster final.
Maurice Shanahan pointed twice in the closing stages to edge Waterford in front and despite goal chances for both sides late on the gap remained two points.
In the Leinster hurling championship Galway and Offaly produced a high-scoring game that ultimately petered out during a lacklustre second half. The first three scores were all goals. Conor Cooney walked through the Offaly defence for his first and added another to his and Galway’s tally before Clare responded with a well taken Shane Dooley goal.
As the game wore on Offaly’s reliance on Dooley for scores became apparent and Galway’s greater spread of scorers allowed them to ease into an unassailable lead. Damien Hayes scored Galway’s fourth and best goal of the game just before half-time to put them into a commanding lead.
Offaly provided little challenge in the second half and Joe Canning duly punished the faithful county from the dead ball. Shane Dooley did manage to add another goal to Offaly’s tally late on but Davy Glennon scored Galway’s fifth to underline their supremacy.
It proved to be a similarly one-sided affair in the Leinster football championship as Kildare saw off a poor Offaly team. The latter led by two points with ten minutes played but failed to score for the remainder of the half. It allowed Kildare to establish a 0-8 to 0-3 half-time lead.
The second half saw the same pattern continue with the only concern for manager Kieran McGeeney being Kildare’s inability to find the net despite a host of goal-scoring chances.
In the Ulster hurling championship Derry defeated Armagh at the Athletic Grounds on a score-line of 1-17 to 4-15.
Leinster Senior Hurling Championship
Galway 5-23 Offaly 3-15
Ulster Senior Hurling Championship
Armagh 1-17 Derry 4-15
Munster Senior Hurling Championship
Clare 1-17 Waterford 2-16
Leinster Senior Football Championship
Offaly 0-6 Kildare 0-19