Clare 3-11 Waterford 0-12
At Fraher Field, Dungarvan
CLARE thundered their way into a Munster senior championship semi-final clash with Kerry in Cusack Park next Sunday thanks to this facile eight-point replay win over a demoralised Waterford team on Saturday evening.
It couldn’t have been any easier for Clare as they cruised past the feeble challenge of the Deise whose challenge crumbled on the back of the black cards brandished to their midfield pair of Shane Aherne and Tommy Prendergast.
Aherne, who was Waterford’s best player in the drawn game seven days previously in Cusack Park, saw black as early as the second minute, while Prendergast who had been a dominant player in the early stages of this contest went the same way on 31 minutes.
By then the game had turned decisively in Clare’s favour as they battled back from conceding the first four points of the game inside ten minutes to take control of proceedings as the half wore on.
First it was early points from Sean Collins and Shane McGrath that gave them a foothold, then a Gary Brennan goal on 23 minutes got them back on level terms at 1-3 to 0-6, before they then steamed clear of the shellshocked homesters either side of half-time.
Further points by McGrath (2) and Collins pushed them 1-6 to 0-6 clear at the break, while there was no let up after half-time as they tacked on a further 1-3 inside the first 13 minutes to kill the contest.
End game came on 48 minutes when Shane Brennan made it third time lucky in front of goal – he’d missed a gilt-edged chance in the first half and then had another miss on 46 minutes before he finally came good when latching onto a rebound from the crossbar and blasting home from five yards.
It put Clare 2-9 to 0-6 clear and bookended Waterford’s collapse that saw them go 30 minutes either side half-time without a score.
Substitute Rory Donnelly grabbed Clare’s third goal on 61 minutes as they eased home to a comprehensive win in which Gary Brennan was the standout figure, with Ciaran Russell, Shane McGrath and Sean Collins the best of the supporting cast.
“We’ll have a cut off Kerry next weekend,” said manager Colm Collins afterwards as his side straight away geared up for the challenge of taking on the 36 times All-Ireland champions.
It will be the first Cusack Park championship meeting between the sides in ten years.
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) (0-1), Gary Brennan (Clondegad) (1-2), Barry Harnett (Meelick), Sean Collins (Cratloe) (0-3), Enda Coughlan (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Shane McGrath (Thomas Davis) (0-3), Martin O’Leary (Kilmihil), Shane Brennan (Clondegad) (1-0), David Tubridy (Doonbeg) (0-1). Subs Jamie Malone (Corofin) (0-1) for Barry Harnett [25 Mins], Rory Donnelly (Cooraclare) (1-0) for Coughlan [56 Mins], Eoin Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown) for Tubridy [57 Mins], Laurance Healy (Ennistymon) for McMahon [62 Mins], Paudge McMahon (Clondegad) for Collins [64 Mins], Shane McNelis (Kildysart) for Hickey [64 Mins).
Stephen Enright (Ballinacourty), Dean Crowley (St Saviours), Maurice O’Gorman (Nire), Thomas O’Gorman (Nire); Conor Phelan (Brickey Rangers), Shane Briggs (Ballinacourty) Capt., Oran Keevers (De La Salle), Shane Aherne (Stradbally), Tommy Prendergast (Kilrossanty), Tadhg Ó hUallacháin (An Rinn), Michael O’Gorman (Nire), Brian Wall (Nire), JJ Hutchinson (Gaultier) (0-4), Paul Whyte (Kilrossanty) (0-5, 4f), Liam Ó Lionáin (An Rinn) (0-2). Subs Wayne Hutchinson (Gaultier) for Aherne [2 Mins] B/C, Declan Allen (Clashmore/Kinsalebeg) (0-2) for Prendergast [25 Mins] B/C, Michael Curry (Rathgormack) for Wayne Hutchinson [Half-Time], Cillian O’Keeffe (Clashmore/Kinsalebeg) for Phelan [45 Mins].
Maurice Deegan (Laois)