Munster Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final
Clare 2-8 Waterford 2-8
at Cusack Park, Ennis
Clare and Waterford will have to do it all again next Saturday in Dungravan after a dramatic last eight tie on Saturday evening. Clare looked to be set for a semi-final meeting with Kerry as they led by three points with only two minutes of normal time remaining, only for a stubborn Waterford to kick three unanswered points to share the spoils amidst the fading light.
Clare also led the way in the opening half with a David Tubridy free boosted by an Enda Coughlan goal in only the sixth minute after he finished a rebound to the net after Shane McGrath’s initial shot was repelled.
Waterford did steady the ship with a brace of JJ Hutchison points, but with the Clare defence excellently smothering two Liam Ó Lonáin goal opportunities, further singles from Shane McGrath (2) and Martin O’Leary pushed the home side five points clear by the 30th minute.
All seemed to be going according to plan until Gordon Kelly received a black card while Paul Whyte popped up with a 31st minute goal for the visitors, and while Clare replied immediately through Tubridy, it left only three between the sides at the break at 1-5 to 1-2.
Their five point advantage was restored through Jamie Malone and Gary Brennan by the 43rd minute but the home side failed to build on their superiority as Waterford chipped away at the deficit.
Indeed, as Clare misfired, the visitors kicked 1-3 without reply in the next 18 minutes to actually take the lead for the first time by the 64th minute. A superb passing move involving Sean Collins and substitute Rory Donnelly set up David Tubridy for an immediate goal to break Clare’s 21 minute barren period in style. And when captain Gary Brennan tacked on a point at 2-8 to 2-5, a relieved Clare seemed to have survived their first test.
Waterford had other ideas though as amidst a black card for Podge Collins, Shane Aherne (2) and Whyte reeled the Banner back in to the sound of the final whistle.
Clare: Joe Hayes (Lissycasey); Dean Ryan (Éire Óg), Kevin Harnett (Meelick), Martin McMahon (Kilmurry Ibrickane); Shane Hickey (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Gordon Kelly (St Joseph’s Miltown), Ciaran Russell (Éire Óg); Gary Brennan (Clondegad) (0-2), Shane McGrath (Thomas Davis) (0-2); Jamie Malone (Corofin) (0-1), Enda Coughlan (Kilmurry Ibrickane) (1-0), Sean Collins (Cratloe); Martin O’Leary (Kilmihil) (0-1f), David Tubridy (Doonbeg) (1-2 1f), Padraic Collins (Cratloe)
Subs: Shane Brennan (Clondegad) for Kelly (31 mins, Black Card), Rory Donnelly (Cooraclare) for O’Leary (50 mins), Eoin Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown) for Malone (62 mins), Podge McMahon (Clondegad) for P. Collins (71 mins, Black Card)
Waterford: Stephen Enright (Ballinacourty); Shane Briggs (Ballinacourty), Maurice O’Gorman (Nire), Thomas O’Gorman (Nire); Conor Phelan (Brickey Rangers), Dean Crowley (St Saviours); Tommy Prendergast (Kilrossanty), Paul Whyte (Kilrossanty) (1-2); Tadhg Ó Huallacháin (An Rinn) (0-1), Liam Ó Lonáin (An Rinn) (1-0), Michael O’Gorman (Nire); Brian Wall (Nire), Shane Aherne (Stradbally) (0-2 1f), JJ Hutchison (Gaultier) (0-2)
Subs: Michael Curry (Rathgormack) (0-1) for Hutchison (42 mins), Declan Allen (Clashmore/Kinsalebeg) for Wall (48 mins), Wayne Hutchison (Gaultier) for Briggs (49 mins, Black Card), David Grey (Stradbally) for Ml O’Gorman (56 mins), David Hallahan (Kilmacthomas) for Keevers (60 mins), Lorcan Ó Corraoin (An Rinn) for Phelan (66 mins)
Referee: Conor Lane (Cork)
For ratings, analysis and interviews see Tuesday’s Clare People newspaper.