Clare see off Waterford to reach Munster semis

Both sides experiment with lineups but hosts race out to five point victory at Cusack Park

Waterford’s Conor Gleeson and Domhnall McMahon of Clare challenge for the ball. Photograph: Tom Maher/Inpho

Waterford’s Conor Gleeson and Domhnall McMahon of Clare challenge for the ball. Photograph: Tom Maher/Inpho

 

Clare 2-24 Waterford 1-22

Clare reached the final of the Munster Hurling Cup following a deserved five point victory over Waterford at Cusack Park Ennis on Saturday. Played in front of a crowd of 1,817, this game saw both managers use experimental teams for their first competitive game of the year. Waterford boss Liam Cahill was shorn of the services of his Ballygunner players, while his opposite number Brian Lohan also used this game to run the rule over some fringe panellists.

The hosts led by 1-10 to 0-10 at the break in a competitive, if at times error-ridden first half. The visitors were first off the mark with a pair of early points by Patrick Curran from a free and Colin Dunford from play. The Banner county’s free-taker David Reidy opened his side’s account in the seventh minute after Gary Cooney was fouled. At the water-break Waterford led by 0-5 to 0-3 thanks to further scores by Curran, Michael Kiely and DJ Foran.

Clare struck for the game’s first goal on twenty-seven through Mark Rodgers, setting them up to take control from then out. After half-time Reidy increased Clare’s lead with two valuable scores on a day when the Éire Óg clubman shone brightly in attack for the Bannermen. The home-side led by 1-16 to 0-14 at the second water-break. Brian Loan introduced a number of subs in the second half and one that definitely impressed was youngster Shane Meehan. The Banner clubman registered 1-3 after being brought in during the fifty-third minute.

Waterford never gave up though. Their best forward on the day, Austin Gleeson, was rewarded for his performance by grabbing a goal in the fifty-ninth minute from the edge of the square following a good pass by Patrick Curran.

Clare: Eibhear Quilligan; Darragh Lohan, Conor Cleary, Paul Flanagan; Diarmuid Ryan (0-2), Jason McCarthy (0-1), Rory Hayes; Jack Browne, Paddy Donnellan; Cathal Malone (0-3), David Reidy (0-9, 5 frees, 1 ‘65), Shane Golden (0-1); Aron Shanagher (0-1), Mark Rodgers (1-1), Gary Cooney (0-1).

Subs: Mike Gough for Lohan (h/t), Domhnall McMahon (0-1) for Shanagher (h/t), Ian Galvin (0-1) for Cooney (53 mins), Shane Meehan (1-3) for Rodgers (53 mins), Darren O’Brien for Browne (58 mins), Colm Galvin for Donnellan (60 mins), Aaron Fitzgerald for Malone (67 mins).

Waterford: Shaun O’Brien; Conor Gleeson, Darragh Lynch, Iarlaith Daly; Shane McNulty, Tom Barron, Conor Dalton; Cian Wadding, Billy Power (0-1); Michael Kiely (0-1), Austin Gleeson (1-5), DJ Foran (0-2); Patrick Curran (0-9, 8 frees), Shane Bennett (0-2), Colin Dunford (0-2).

Subs: Carthach Daly for Lynch (h/t), Seamus Keating for Wadding (46 mins), Sam Fitzgerald for McNulty (47 mins), Gavin Fives for Foran (53 mins), Ian Beecher for Kiely (53 mins), Michael Kiely (Dungarvan) for I Daly (55 mins), Kiely for Bennett (57 mins), Billy Nolan for O’Brien (65 mins).

Referee: Michael Kennedy (Tipperary)

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