Waterford defeated Clare by 1-21 to 0-17 in the Munster Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final on Sunday June 5th at Semple Stadium Thurles.
— The GAA (@officialgaa) June 5, 2016
Munster SHC: Waterford dominate Clare
Munster Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final
Waterford 1-21 Clare 0-17
By Jackie Cahill at Semple Stadium, Thurles for GAA.ie
AUSTIN Gleeson produced a Semple Stadium tour de force this afternoon as Waterford powered into a second successive Munster SHC final.
The Mount Sion star scored six points, including five from play, as Waterford avenged their Allianz League final replay defeat at the hands of Clare four weeks ago. It was also a good day for Pauric Mahony as he also bagged six points, five of them frees, on his first championship start since the 2014 All-Ireland qualifier defeat to Wexford.
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) June 5, 2016
Mahony was called up as a late replacement for Colin Dunford and rewarded McGrath’s faith by easing himself back into championship fare and proving accurate on placed balls. But Gleeson was a class apart in Thurles as Waterford claimed a handsome seven-point victory.
There were other massive displays from Maurice Shanahan, scorer of 1-2, Darragh Fives and captain Kevin Moran, particularly in the second half, as Derek McGrath’s charges advanced to a July 10 Munster final with Limerick or Tipperary.
That clash will be Waterford’s 7th provincial final appearance in 10 seasons (excluding the 2010 replay), a record that can’t be bettered by any other county in the province in that period. The League final replay between the counties may have been pleasing on the eye but the first half of this championship tussle reverted to type. The sides registered 20 wides between them before half-time, Clare responsible for 11 of them. Normally reliable forward Conor McGrath, who was later hauled off, had five alone, and Tony Kelly three, as the Banner men misfired attacking the Killinan End.
Again, the match-ups were fascinating but difficult to pinpoint throughout the first half as players seemed more content to track players in a zonal manner. In front of 19,715 spectators, Waterford held a valuable four-point half-time advantage, leading by 1-9 to 0-8.
They had roared into a 1-1 to 0-0 lead within four minutes, Shanahan scrambling the ball home following an aerial delivery with Clare’s full-back exposed. In a game of fine margins, Shanahan’s strike came just two minutes after Clare midfielder David Reidy bombed forward to force a brilliant diving save from Waterford net-minder Stephen O’Keeffe.
But Clare settled and were level by the 14th minute, as a run of four unanswered points ensured parity, and Waterford went 11 minutes without a score. They were level twice more before Waterford gained the initiative in the final 12 minutes of the first half, with Darragh Fives particularly impressive for the Déise.
Gleeson, who had three first half points, arced over a delicious 20th minute effort from the New Stand touchline and while Waterford looked the more capable up front, they could have had been further ahead at the break. Shane Bennett was content to loft over a 34th-minute point after Clare were turned over but if the Ballysaggart player had lifted his head, Patrick Curran was unmarked on the 14-yard line and would surely have netted.
But that chance would not matter in the overall context of the game as Waterford, despite going 11 minutes without a score again in the second half, got the job done. Gleeson put over a beautiful sideline cut in the 56th minute to end that barren run and the Déise kicked for home to put themselves within touching distance of a first Munster senior crown since 2010.
Waterford built on their half-time lead and their lead was as big as eight points (1-20 to 0-15) before they won pulling up, condemning League champions Clare to another run through the qualifiers.
Scorers for Waterford: Pauric Mahony (5f) & A Gleeson (1 sl) 0-6 each, M Shanahan 1-2, K Moran 0-3, D Fives, Philip Mahony, S Bennett & J Dillon 0-1 each.
Scorers for Clare: C McGrath (2f) & C O’Connell (2f) 0-3 each, P Collins & C Ryan (1 65) 0-2 each, C Cleary, B Bugler, D Fitzgerald, D Reidy, C Galvin, T Kelly & J Conlon 0-1 each.
WATERFORD: S O’Keeffe; B Coughlan, N Connors, S Fives; D Fives, T de Búrca, Philip Mahony; J Barron, K Moran; M Walsh, Pauric Mahony, Shane Bennett; A Gleeson, M Shanahan, P Curran.
Subs: T Devine for Bennett (54), J Dillon for Curran (57), B O’Halloran for Pauric Mahony (63), C Dunford for Shanahan (70), Stephen Bennett for Walsh (70+5).
CLARE: P Kelly; C Cleary, P O’Connor, C Dillon; O O’Brien, B Bugler, D Fitzgerald; D Reidy, C Galvin; P Collins, T Kelly, C McGrath; D Honan, S O’Donnell, J Conlon.
Subs: C Ryan for Honan (43), C O’Connell for McGrath (50), S Golden for Fitzgerald (53), A Shanagher for Collins (58), A Cunningham for Galvin (66).
Referee: J Owens (Wexford)
Great skill and courage on display in Semple Stadium today. Hurling warriors from The Banner and Na Déise. pic.twitter.com/qXzJ7LjmPL
— Uachtarán CLG (@uachtaranclg) June 5, 2016
— Independent Sport (@IndoSport) June 5, 2016
Adult Covered Stand: €30
Adult Uncovered Stand: €25
Adult Terrace: €20
(Waterford have been allocated the Killinan End terrace, Clare the Town End terrace)
Student’s/OAP: Purchase Adult tickets and receive a €10 concession at designated turnstiles prior to entry
Under 16’s: €5
— The GAA (@officialgaa) June 4, 2016
Clare: P Kelly; O O’Brien, C Dillon, C Cleary; B Bugler, P O’Connor, D Fitzgerald; D Reidy, C Galvin; J Conlon, T Kelly, D Honan; P Collins, S O’Donnell, C McGrath.
— Waterford GAA (@WaterfordGAA) June 3, 2016
The Waterford Senior Hurling Team to face Clare in Semple Stadium on Sunday at 4pm has being named.
1. Stephen O’Keeffe (Ballygunner)
2. Shane Fives (Tourin)
3. Barry Coughlan (Ballygunner)
4. Noel Connors (Passage)
5. Tadhg de Burca (Clashmore / Kinsalebeg)
6. Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion)
7. Philip Mahony (Ballygunner)
8. Jamie Barron (Fourmilewater)
18. Darragh Fives (Tourin)
10. Kevin Moran (De La Salle)
11. Shane Bennett (Ballysaggart)
12. Michael Walsh (Stradbally)
13. Patrick Curran (Dungarvan)
21. Maurice Shanahan (Lismore)
15. Colin Dunford (Colligan)
Clare v Waterford Snippets
The menu could scarcely be more appetising with a third helping five weeks awaiting supporters in Thurles. Only one point separated the sides after 160 minutes (draw/extra-time/replay) of intense action in the Allianz League final, with Clare edging to victory in the most dramatic circumstances. The total score from the two games was: Clare 1-45 Waterford 2-41.
LAST FIVE CHAMPIONSHIP CLASHES
2013: Clare 2-20 Waterford 1-15 (Munster quarter-final)
2012: Waterford 2-17 Clare 1-18 (Munster semi-final)
2010: Waterford 0-22 Clare 1-15 (2010 Munster semi-final)
2008: Clare 2-26 Waterford 0-23 (Munster quarter-final)
2005: Clare 4-14 Waterford 0-21 (All-Ireland qualifier)
MOST RECENT CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Clare 2-20 Waterford 1-15 (2013 Munster quarter-final)
Waterford led by 1-9 to 0-8 at half-time but goals from Shane O’Donnell and Conor McGrath in the second-half game helped Clare to a comfortable win in a season where they later won the All-Ireland title.
MOST RECENT COMPETITIVE GAME
Clare 1-23 Waterford 2-19 (2016 Allianz League final – replay: Thurles, May 8)
A late point by Tony Kelly secured a great win for Clare, who trailed by a point in stoppage time. Kelly, who scored 1-6, levelled it up from a free before striking the point that brought the League title to Clare for the first time since 1978.
2016 ALLIANZ LEAGUE
Clare: Div 1 champions: topped 1B (Played 9, Won 8, Drew 1)
Waterford: Div 1 runners-up: 2nd 1B (Played 9, Won 5, Drew 2, Lost 2)
Dave Fitzgerald is in his fifth season as Clare manager; Derek McGrath is in his third with Waterford.
DID YOU KNOW?
Only one of the last ten championship games between the sides failed to produce a goal. It came in 1992 when Waterford won a quarter-final replay by 0-16 to 0-14 in Thurles
THE ROAD AHEAD
The winners will play Limerick or Tipperary in the Munster final on July 10; the losers will enter the All-Ireland qualifiers on July 2.