Munster GAA Intermediate Hurling Championship Semi Final – Clare 1-19 Waterford 3-9

Champions Clare cruise into final

Clare 1-19 Waterford 3-09

By Jackie Cahill for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Munster and All-Ireland champions Clare cruised into a second successive provincial intermediate hurling decider at Semple Stadium yesterday. Clare were 12 points ahead after 50 minutes before late goals from Gavin Crotty and captain Martin O’Neill brought some degree of respectability to the scoreboard for Waterford. Clare were 0-8 to 0-0 ahead after just 17 minutes. Waterford finally got off the mark through a Fionán Murray free in the 18th minute and a Jake Dillon goal three minutes before half-time kept them in touch at the break, trailing 0-10 to 1-3. The issue was put beyond doubt 15 minutes from time when Tony Kelly cracked home a 20m free.

Scorers for Clare: T Kelly 1-3 (1-1f), D O’Halloran 0-6 (1f), C O’Connell 0-4 (2f), C O’Doherty 0-2 (1f, 1 65), C Malone, C Ryan, F Kennedy & M O’Neill 0-1 each.

Scorers for Waterford: G Crotty 1-1, F Murray 0-4 (3f), J Dillon & E Murphy 1-0 each, J Prendergast, S Lawlor, B O’Halloran & R Barry 0-1 each.

CLARE: R Taaffe; P Flanagan, D McInerney, K Ryan; E Boyce, C Duggan, C O’Doherty; P Sheahan, C Ryan; F Kennedy, C O’Connell, C Chaplin; C Malone, T Kelly, D O’Halloran.

Subs: P Duggan for Chaplin (45), B Donnellan for Sheahan (48), M O’Neill for O’Connell (49), H Vaughan for O’Doherty (55), A Lynch for Kennedy (58).

WATERFORD: R Roche; M Kearney, S O’Keeffe, M Wyse; S Hannon, E Madigan, W Henley; J Prendergast, S Lawlor; J Dillon, B O’Halloran, P Nevin; F Murray, G Crotty, E Murphy.

Subs: R Barry for Henley (20), S Roche for Lawlor (h-t.), S Power for Prendergast (44), P Power for Dillon (44), I Galgey for Nevin (53).

Referee: D Copps (Cork)

Team News

The Waterford Intermediate Hurling team to play Clare is as follows –

1. Richie Roche Mount Sion

2. Michael Kearney Ballyduff Upper

3. Stephen O’Keeffe Ballygunner

4. Mark Wyse Passage

5. Seamus Hannon Ballyduff Upper

6. Eoin Madigan De La Salle

7. William Henley Tallow

8. John Prendergast Lismore

9. Seamus Lawlor Fourmilewater

10. Jake Dillon De La Salle

11. Brian O’Halloran Clashmore/Kinsalebeg

12. Paidí Nevin De La Salle

13. Fionán Murray Cappoquin

14. Gavin Crotty Dungarvan

15. Eamonn Murphy (Captain) Dunhill

 

Bainisteoir Fergal Hartley (Ballygunner)

Roghnorií John Fives (Tourin), Michael Walsh (Ballyduff Upper)

 

The Clare Intermediate Hurling team to play Waterford is as follows –

1 Ronan Taffe Tubber

2 Paul Flanagan Ballyea

3 David McInerney Tulla

4 Killian Ryan Ruan

5 Enda Boyce Cratloe

6 Cillian Duggan Clooney

7 Ciaran O Doherty Crusheen

8 Pa Sheahan SMB

9 Conor Ryan Cratloe

10 Fergus Kennedy Crusheen

11 Cathal O Connell Clonlara

12 Cathal Chaplin Broadford

13 Mikey O Neill Kilmaley

14 Tony Kelly Ballyea

15 Davy O Halloren Eire Og

16 Niall Woods Newmarket

17 Haulie Vaughan Inagh Kilnamona

18 Cathal Malone Ennistymon

19 Niall Arthur Inagh Kilnamona

20 Gary Guilfoyle Feakle

21 Jarlath Colleran St Josephs

22 Sean O Connor Newmarket

23 Gary Neville O Callaghans Mills

24 Ross Horan Scariff

25 Padraig Taylor Broadford

26 Brian Donnellan Ocallaghans Mills

27 Cathal Dillon Crusheen

28 Peter Duggan Clooney

29 Aidan Lynch Ruan

30 Cillian Fennessy Clonlara

Munster SHC Semi-Final – Waterford 2-17 Clare 1-18

Deise lower Fitzy’s Banner

By Vincent Hogan for the Irish Independent newspaper

The old ground emptied with a gasp of swallowed hysteria, leaving us scribblers high up in the press coop, condemned to bluff an understanding. This was the Munster Championship that old-timers reminisce about with misty eyes. Two proud, inflamed teams, hurling as if there was nothing else in life worth doing. It was clumsy, intemperate, panicked, error-ridden, unrelentingly courageous and, frankly, epic. Waterford edged it against a manager who’d guided their fortunes for the last four years and, in an oddly inappropriate little tableau at the end, John Mullane ran to celebrate directly in front of Davy Fitzgerald. The Clare manager, sensibly, disregarded the moment, deflecting it with impressive grace. “There’s so much stuff in John Mullane, it’s unreal,” observed Fitzgerald later. “There’s no fear of that lad.”

Nor is there, for Mullane was one of their more conspicuous heroes in drawing Waterford over the mountain-top against a young Clare team that came desperately close to delivering the county’s first championship win in the province since 2008. Two remarkable late saves from championship debutant goalkeeper Stephen O’Keeffe ultimately carried Waterford into an unprecedented fourth consecutive provincial final. This is a team that keeps challenging supposed wisdom. The game was already in injury-time when Clare substitute Darach Honan hovered up low ball and directed a sublime handpass into the path of an accelerating Conor McGrath just left of the small square.

A two-point game looked about to be jolted in the opposite direction, but O’Keeffe pulled off a stunning save and Nicky O’Connell — his confidence spilling like corn from a sack — missed the resultant ’65’. Then, in the third minute of stoppage-time, Clare were awarded a 20-metre free, marginally to the right of goal. They brought their goalkeeper, Patrick Kelly, up to fire the bullet. His contact was clean, but it was O’Keeffe’s hurley again that got the crucial ricochet.

Seconds later, James McGrath spread his arms. A humanitarian gesture for those of us feeling dizzy. It had been a wonderful contest, routinely tilting in opposite directions as both sides emptied themselves of all they had. Waterford’s return to a more direct style looked to have them pushing clear, particularly when an unanswered 1-4 scoring burst between the 10th and 17th minutes edged them four points ahead. Descending high ball had all manner of sirens wailing in the Clare full-back line, yet the goal came from what — on replay — was confirmed as a harshly awarded penalty.

Eoin Kelly had drifted in to full-forward and, as Richie Foley’s long free came dropping towards the square, Kelly tugged at Cian Dillon’s helmet. The full-back seemed to fall off balance, his arm reaching around Kelly’s neck. McGrath saw the second act only, booking an unfortunate Dillon. Kelly nailed the penalty. Six minutes later, Waterford had another goal from another high delivery. This time Dillon missed it and Patrick Kelly overshot the runway in his attempt to spoon the sliotar to safety. Shane Walsh nudged the ball home one-handed, like a farmer hurrying a sheep into a pen.

Davy Fitz’s preference for thoughtful, carefully guarded use of possession was crying out for patience now. Clare’s two-man full-forward line had begun to look increasingly isolated, especially with an adventurous O’Keeffe virtually supplementing his full-back line as an extra body. Waterford were clearly winning midfield and Mullane’s clever diagonal runs from left wing to right had his marker, Conor Cooney, employed in a thankless task of damage limitation. But Clare were thrown a lifeline 23 minutes in when two Waterford defenders collided and Padraig Collins crossed from the left corner for John Conlon to beat O’Keeffe with a rasping finish. It was game on.

Conlon, Jonathan Clancy and Conor McGrath all looked to have the beating of their markers, though the latter’s influence waned a little when debutant Stephen Daniels was moved across after Aidan Kearney’s early booking. Waterford had a better ball-winning capacity, particularly in the middle third where Kevin Moran and Seamus Prendergast were, at times, majestic in the air. Yet, by the mid-point, their lead was a miserly two as a brace of late Conlon points left Clare looking perfectly primed for a team that hadn’t hurled with any palpable freedom. Two quick Waterford points just after the resumption then prefaced Clare’s best period of the game. Between the 39th and 50th minutes, they struck five unanswered points to go in front by a point, the fifth an enormous free from deep in his own half by goalkeeper Kelly. If Waterford’s fitness, either mental or physical, was up for question, now was that moment. Their answer, though, proved exemplary. Five unanswered scores of their own were delivered, three of them frees, the others from Mullane and the magnificent Stephen Molumphy.

Clare, mind, got four of the next five scores and a realisation began to dawn that the game was lurching towards a late terror-ride. Critically, for Clare, O’Connell’s free-taking was now in mini-crisis. On the stroke of 70 minutes, Martin O’Neill’s point at the Killinan end effectively ended the scoring. But the fourth official had announced three minutes of added-time and they were to prove minutes scripted by Dante. Between O’Keeffe’s two wonder-saves, Honan would twice fail to get the sliotar to co-operate while in a goal-scoring position and, at the other end, Thomas Ryan had his pocket brilliantly picked as he lined up a potential kill. “I still think there’s a savage amount in that Waterford team but anybody that knows my style, knows I won’t be throwing in the towel too easy,” said Davy Fitz at the end. Michael Ryan reflected: “It’s a big result for us, there’s no two ways about it. There’s a long way to go, but we’re on the road.” The rest of us just thanked the Lord we’d had the good sense to travel.

SCORERS — Waterford: M Shanahan 0-7 (5f), S Walsh 1-1, J Mullane 0-3, E Kelly 1-0 (pen), P Mahony, S Molumphy, S Prendergast, G O’Brien, M O’Neill, R Foley (f) 0-1 each. Clare: J Conlon 1-2, N O’Connell 0-5 (4f), C McGrath 0-4, J Clancy, C Ryan (3f) 0-3 each, P Kelly 0-1f.

WATERFORD: S O’Keeffe 9; A Kearney 6, L Lawlor 7, S Daniels 8; R Foley 7, M Walsh 7, K Moran 9; P Mahony 7, S Molumphy 9; M Shanahan 8, S Prendergast 8, E Kelly 6; J Mullane 8, S Walsh 7, G O’Brien 6.

Subs: N Connors 7 for Kearney (h-t), P O’Brien 7 for O’Brien (h-t), T Ryan 6 for S Walsh (60), D Twomey 6 for Foley (61), M O’Neill 7 for Kelly (67).

CLARE: P Kelly 6; C Cooney 7, C Dillon 6, D O’Donovan 8; B Bugler 8, J McInerney 6, P O’Connor 7; N O’Connell 7, P Donnellan 7; J Conlon 9, J Clancy 8, E Barrett 7; P Collins 7, C Ryan 6, C McGrath 8.

Subs: L Markham 7 for McInerney (45 ), F Lynch 7 for Barrett (54), S Morey 7 for O’Connor (60), D Honan 7 for Collins (60), A Cunningham 6 for Ryan (65).

Ref — J McGrath (Westmeath)

 

Resolute Waterford stand firm at the finish

SEÁN MORAN at Semple Stadium for the Irish Times newspaper

Waterford 2-17 Clare 1-18: APART FROM being the tightest-rated match of the weekend, yesterday’s Munster hurling semi-final didn’t promise a great deal. Clare, by common consent, are on the up and Waterford travelling in the other direction but between them they contrived a contest that pulsed until the end when in a finale of striking drama, Clare had a two-point deficit and a 20-metre free to try and remedy it.

Goalkeeper Patrick Kelly, who had redeemed an early mistake with some good saves and a monster free from his own half, came up and from a slight angle went for goal. His counterpart Stephen O’Keeffe blocked the shot and as the ball ricocheted into the air, Clare appeared to celebrate the inevitability of batting it into the net but it was Waterford’s defence, which scrambled clear to leave Michael Ryan’s team heading for a fourth successive Munster final. It was agonising for a Clare team that had put itself in a position to win the match on a couple of occasions.

They will look back on Nicky O’Connell’s dead ball striking going on the blink in the second half when, by his first-half standards, he left behind three scoring chances – two frees and a 65. They will also think of Darach Honan’s injury-time chance when he twice fumbled a pick-up, which would have given him a clear shot on goal but having been sent on for the final 10 minutes after a long lay-off, his touch lacked the assassin’s calm. They will believe they had Waterford on the ropes in the last 15 minutes or so but just failed to make it count. They will be pained by the goal conceded in the first half when Eoin Kelly’s tussle with full back Cian Dillon should have been a free out rather than a penalty.

Although the tide looked to be flowing against them, Waterford did enough to survive. They would have been speechless had they lost after managing in rugby parlance to butcher a three-on-one overlap in the 72nd minute albeit that Patrick Donnellan’s hook on O’Neill was high-quality fire brigade service. But a point at that stage would have made them unbeatable. Instead the match surged up the other end, as Clare made one last play to earn their last shot at salvation.

Arguably the first chance Clare let slip was in the opening quarter when they surrendered an early initiative when leading by 0-4 to 0-1. Waterford’s half backs were struggling to establish a bulwark and the ball was flying into the danger area too frequently for comfort. Yet for the following 10 minutes it was Waterford who developed momentum and outscored their opponents with an unanswered 1-4. The half backs began to function as a platform with Michael Walsh imposing himself and Kevin Moran, switched to wing back before the start, stepping up the resistance. The goal came when Kelly drove home a confident penalty after an incident, which had begun with the Waterford forward fouling his marker Cian Dillon but concluded with the Clare full back retaliating.

Worse was to follow. The excellent Stephen Molumphy, whose drive and energy sustained Waterford, dropped the ball in and although Patrick Kelly came to it, he failed to secure possession and Shane Walsh was on hand to bundle home a typical poacher’s goal for a six-point lead, 2-5 to 0-5. Clare’s response was admirable. Conor McGrath, who was a major threat (but ultimately contained by Waterford who switched Aidan Kearney off and Stephen Daniels on to the Clare forward) produced a dazzling turn and lift in the 22nd minute which led to the first salvo in the comeback. He finished with four points.

John Conlon, another thorn in Waterford’s side – particularly in the first half – erupted onto a ball that had been dug out of a scrum in the corner and finished decisively to cut the margin to two and although the lead expanded once more, Conlon showed a calm nerve to add two more points in injury-time. Waterford’s half-time lead of two, 2-8 to 1-9, looked vulnerable. Early on in the second half it looked as if Waterford’s experience and steadiness would smooth the way. John Mullane stepped up on an already good performance and Seámus Prendergast underlined his aerial domination and the interval lead was doubled by Mullane and Maurice Shanahan.

But the suspicion that Clare’s younger legs might last longer began to harden, as five unanswered points flipped the lead – the last one shot from goalkeeper Kelly around his own 65. Two fouls, one harshly judged, on replacement Paul O’Brien allowed Shanahan to restore the lead almost immediately and it became clear that the match was heading for a photo finish. But Waterford were able to source vital scores – Richie Foley’s free from the half-back line, Mullane popping up with another. Critically O’Connell began to miss his chances and the pressure built on Clare. But they kept coming and closed to within a point before O’Neill notched the last score of the match. It wasn’t a definitive statement, as so much excitement was to follow in the final minutes. There was a bit of unseemly triumphalism in front of Clare – and former Waterford – manager David Fitzgerald but his day had already been spoiled and he disappointed anyone seeking to provoke an angry outburst.

WATERFORD: 1 S O’Keeffe; 2 A Kearney, 3 L Lawlor, 4 S Daniels; 5 R Foley (0-1, free), 6 M Walsh, 8 K Moran; 7 P Mahony (0-1), 9 Molumphy (0-1); 10 M Shanahan (0-7, 0-5 frees), 11 S Prendergast (0-1), 12 E Kelly (1-0, penalty); 13 J Mullane (0-3), 14 S Walsh (1-1), 15 G O’Brien (0-1).

Subs: 20 N Connors for Kearney (half-time), 22 P O’Brien for G O’Brien (49 mins), 26 T Ryan for S Walsh (59 mins), 21 D Twomey for Foley (62 mins), 24 M O’Neill (0-1) for Kelly (68 mins). Yellow cards: Kearney (17 mins), Foley (40 mins), G O’Brien (46 mins), Mullane (49 mins), Connors (73 mins).

CLARE: 1 P Kelly (0-1, free); 2 D O’Donovan, 3 C Dillon, 4 C Cooney; 5 B Bugler, 6 J McInerney, 7 P O’Connor; 9 P Donnellan, 8 N O’Connell (0-5, 0-4 frees); 14 J Conlon (1-2), 12 J Clancy (0-3), 10 E Barrett; 22 P Collins, 13 C Ryan (0-3, frees), 15 C McGrath (0-4).

Subs: 18 L Markham for McInerney (45 mins), 20 F Lynch for Barrett (54 mins), 17 S Morey for O’Connor (59 mins), 24 D Honan for P Collins (59 mins), 21 A Cunningham for Ryan (66 mins). Yellow cards: Dillon (12 mins), Donnellan (29 mins).

Referee: J McGrath (Westmeath).

 

Dogged Déise shade a gripper

Waterford 2-17 Clare 1-18

By Diarmuid O’Flynn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

A superb Munster senior hurling championship semi-final in balmy Semple Stadium yesterday, with drama right at the death as Waterford’s championship debutant Stephen O’Keeffe saved a rifled 20m free from Clare custodian Patrick Kelly in the final act of the game to deny the Banner men a victory they had been favoured to achieve. In the end it was a fully merited win for Waterford, and saw them create their own little bit of history, becoming the first team from the Decies to reach four Munster finals in a row.

And yet such was the see-saw nature of this game, so evenly matched the teams, that had Kelly’s last-ditch effort succeeded, or had Clare sub Darach Honan managed to control the bobbling ball on the edge of the Waterford square a few seconds earlier, or had Nicky O’Connell pointed even two of the three late placed-ball opportunities Clare had and the result been a win for the Banner, that too would have been well merited. It was that kind of game.

Much of the talk beforehand had been dominated by what had come to be known as The Davy Factor, the influence that former Waterford manager (2008-11) Davy Fitzgerald would have now that he had taken his allegiance home to his native Clare. Always an animated figure on the sideline, engaging on occasion with match officials, opposing managers/selectors and even opposing players, would that be the case on this occasion? Would it turn sour, would the side-show dominate the main event?

Thankfully none of the above ever transpired, not until after the final whistle when John Mullane (an outstanding performance yet again from one of the finest forwards of the past dozen years) ran crossfield to celebrate Waterford’s win in front of Davy, prompted apparently by reports mid-week that his former manager had written him off as being over the hill. Mischief-making, that’s all it was — the opposite is in fact the case. “I think John Mullane was told something that was untrue,” said Davy; “Listen, let me say this 100% on the record — John Mullane is one of the best players I’ve ever seen and has another two or three years in him big-time if he wants. Sometimes people tell players things to get them riled up and to perform in a game. I have a lot of respect for those guys.” Even more respect this morning, surely, because while this wasn’t champagne hurling of the type and the style we’ve seen from Waterford teams of the past decade, it was still a performance of outstanding character.

Goalkeeper O’Keeffe was outstanding, always available to take a back pass from his under-pressure defence, struck laser-like puckouts and produced a super block of a point-blank Conor McGrath shot minutes before the final game-saving heroics. Another debutant, corner-back Stephen Daniels, did a brave containing job on the aforementioned McGrath (a superstar in the making) while full-back Liam Lawlor and Aidan Kearney alongside him also did well.

The half-back trio of Richie Foley, captain Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh and Kevin Moran formed a stout outer defensive wall, Phillip Mahony (yet another debutant) and Stephen Molumphy shaded the midfield battle, while up front, well, six forwards scoring, five of those from play, what more can you ask? Clare too had their heroes, starting with keeper Patrick Kelly who recovered from an early stumble that gifted Shane Walsh the second Waterford goal to make a super save from Gavin O’Brien, hit a monster free in the second half to put his side a point ahead with just 20 minutes remaining.

Full-back Cian Dillon too recovered from a shaky start to do well, Domhnall O’Donovan was a tiger, Conor Cooney did the same kind of limitation job on Mullane as Daniels was doing at the other end, midfielders Nicky O’Connell and Patrick Donnellan had their moments, while up front Clare too had their scoring heroes, four players sharing the load with McGrath who, even if wasn’t the main scorer for either side, was certainly the main man. On a day when there was no great wind advantage to speak of Waterford led at the break by two points, 2-8 to 1-9, their goals coming from an Eoin Kelly penalty bullet (13th minute, Kelly himself getting away with an earlier foul) and Walsh’s opportunist effort (20th minute).

John Conlon had Clare’s major after a fine cross by late call-up Padraig Collins. Twice in that period Waterford led by four points and were looking the more balanced side, but two Conlon points just before the break kept Clare in touch. Early in the second half Waterford again went four clear thanks to fine points from Mullane and Maurice Shanahan, but a five-point run from Clare culminating in that 100m Kelly bomb had them ahead by one in the 50th minute (1-14 to 2-10). Waterford’s turn then to take charge, five unanswered points restoring that four-point lead; then a change in fortunes yet again as Clare went into the ascendancy, back to a point in the 65th minute (2-16 to 1-18).

Again and again Clare were going to McGrath and he almost delivered, but Daniels was always doing just enough to frustrate him. Sub Martin O’Neill had the final word on the scoreboard, scoring with his first touch for Waterford to put them two clear, setting up those last-minute dramatics. Enjoyable, hugely enjoyable — pity there were only 12,296 there to see it.

Scorers for Waterford: M Shanahan 0-7 (5f); S Walsh 1-1; J Mullane 0-3; E Kelly 1-0 (pen); P Mahony, S Molumphy, S Prendergast, G O’Brien, M O’Neill, R Foley (f), 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clare: J Conlon 1-2; N O’Connell 0-5 (4f); C McGrath 0-4; J Clancy 0-3; C Ryan 0-3 (3f); P Kelly 0-1 (1f). Subs for Waterford: N Connors (Kearney 35); P O’Brien (G O’Brien 49); T Ryan (S Walsh 59); D Twomey (Foley 62); M O’Neill (Kelly 68).

Subs for Clare: L Markham (McInerney 44); F Lynch (Barrett 54); D Honan (Collins 59); S Morey (O’Connor 59); A Cunningham (Ryan 65).

Referee: J McGrath (Westmeath).

 

Waterford edge out Clare in thrilling finale

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Report from the GAA.ie web site

Munster GAA Hurling Championship Semi-Final: Clare 1-18 Waterford 2-17

Waterford are through to a Munster GAA Hurling Championship final for the fourth year in a row after a thrilling two-point win over Clare at Semple Stadium, Thurles on Sunday. But the Déise were made to live on their nerves in the closing stages, as Clare spurned several late chances to win the game in a breathless finale. Debutant Waterford goalkeeper Stephen O’Keeffe will rightly get all the plaudits having pulled off a super save to deny Conor McGrath in the 70th minute and then to block a 20-metre free from his opposite number, Clare ‘keeper Pa Kelly, who had the chance to win the game for Davy Fitzgerald’s side with the last puck of the game.

It wasn’t to be for Fitzgerald against his former charges. Two missed dead balls, both hit wide by the normally reliable Nicky O’Connell, as well as another wasted late goal chance from sub Darach Honan, who spilled possession at just the wrong time, contributed to their downfall. However, Waterford probably deserved the win, as they shaded a full-blooded contest before the harum scarum finish, with Eoin Kelly and Shane Walsh netting first half goals to give them a commanding lead. Clare refused to die, though, and they hit five points in a row at one stage in the third quarter, goalkeeper Kelly doing a wonderful impression of his manager to land a long-range free, to give the Banner County the lead. Waterford’s experience came to the fore in the final quarter, as Michael Walsh played his cards cleverly to add some vitality from the bench to aid the Désie’s experienced hands, including the excellent Michael Walsh, Stephen Molumphy, Seamus Prendergast and John Mullane.

Clare made all the running in the opening exchanges and were 0-4 to 0-1 ahead inside 10 minutes. McGrath opened the scoring, before Jonathan Clancy added a point and O’Connell landed two well-struck frees. Waterford’s only response in that period was a Philip Mahony point in the third minute, but after a shaky start the Déise soon imposed themselves on the game, with Michael Walsh, in particular, making his presence felt at centre back. Mullane started a brilliant spell with a fine score from play in the 10th minute. Remarkably, Waterford hit 2-4 over the next nine minutes to take complete control of the game. Their first goal came when Clare full back Cian Dillon was penalised for fouling Eoin Kelly, and the former GAA All Star forward dusted himself down and drilled a penalty to the roof of the Clare net on 12 minutes. Two successive scores from Maurice Shanahan nudged Waterford even further ahead, before they grabbed a second goal, when Shane Walsh beat Clare goalkeeper Kelly to a breaking ball and poked the sliothar into an empty net.

Fitzgerald’s side were six points in arrears, 2-5 to 0-5, and needed an instant response. Conor McGrath grabbed a relieving point, before John Conlon gave them a shot in the arm when he pounced on an Aidan Kearney mistake and buried a shot past Waterford goalkeeper O’Keeffe. Shanahan hit back with his third score for the Déise, before debutant Gavin O’Brien forced a fine save from Clare goalkeeper Kelly. O’Brien, one of four Waterford debutants, should have passed to Eoin Kelly who was in a much better position, but he made amends when he snaffled his first score moments later. Still four points down going into first half added time, Clare goalscorer Conlon, brimming with confidence, scored two points in a row to bring the Banner County right back into the game at half-time, 2-8 to 1-9. It was Waterford who made the better start to the second half and two quick scores, from Mullane and Shanahan, stretched their lead to three points.

However, in keeping with the tone of the game in which each side enjoyed period of dominance, Clare hit a rich seam of form and struck five points without reply, goalkeeper Kelly rounding off that purple patch with a beautifully hit long-range attempt that no doubt would have pleased his manager. Waterford’s response? They hit five points of their own in a row and were back in the lead by the 57th minute, when Richie Foley matched Kelly with a massive free.

McGrath notched his fourth point from play and Colin Ryan tapped over a free to leave just one point in it with five minutes left. O’Connell then missed a great chance to level matters from a free, before Waterford sub Martin O’Neill hit what proved to be the final point of the game. It was then that O’Keeffe made what will surely prove one of the saves of the season, diving spectacularly to save McGrath’s angled shot. O’Connell and Honan then fluffed their lines and it was left to goalkeeper Kelly to save the day, but it just wasn’t to be for Clare.

Waterford Scorers: P Mahony 0-1, J Mullane 0-3, S Walsh 1-1, E Kelly 1-0 (1-0 pen), M Shanahan 0-7 (0-5f), G O’Brien 0-1, S Prendergast 0-1, S Molumphy 0-1, R Foley 0-1 (0-1f), M O’Neill 0-1.

Clare Scorers: C McGrath 0-4, N O’Connell 0-5 (0-4f), J Clancy 0-3, C Ryan 0-3 (0-3f), J Conlon 1-2, P Kelly 0-1 (0-1f)

Waterford: S O’Keeffe; A Kearney, L Lawlor, S Daniels; R Foley, M Walsh, P Mahony; K Moran, S Molumphy; M Shanahan, S Prendergast, E Kelly; J Mullane, S Walsh, G O’Brien.

Clare: P Kelly; D O’Donovan, C Dillon, C Cooney; B Bugler, J McInerney, P O’Connor; N O’Connell, P Donnellan; E Barrett, P Collins, J Clancy; C Ryan, J Conlon, C McGrath.

Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath)

Attendance: 12, 296

Team News

The Clare Senior Hurling team to play Waterford is as follows –

1. Patrick Kelly Inagh/Kilnamona P.O.Ceallaigh

2. Domhnall O Donnovan Clonlara D.O.Donnabhain

3. Cian Dillon Crusheen C.O.Diolon

4. Conor Cooney O.C.Mills C.O.Cuana

5. Brendan Bugler Whitegate B.O.Bolguir

6. James McInerney Newmarket S.MacAirchinnigh

7. Patrick O Connor Tubber P.O.Cunchuir

8. Nicky O Connell Clonlara N.O.Conaill

9. Patrick Donnellan O.C.Mills ( C ) P.O.Donalain.

10. Enda Barrett Newmarket E.O.Bairead

11. Sean Collins Cratloe S.O.Coilean

12. Jonothan Clancy Clarecastle S.O.MacLannchaidh.

13. Colin Ryan Newmarket C.O.Riann

14. John Conlon Clonlara S.O.Conallain

15. Conor McGrath Cratloe C,MacGraith

16. Donal Touhy Crusheen D.O.Tuathaigh

17. Seadna Morey Sixmilebridge S.O.Mora

18. Liam Markham Cratloe L.O.Marchain

19. Brian O Connell Wolfe Tones na Sionna B.O.Conaill

20. Fergal Lynch Clooney/Quin F.O.Lionsigh

21. Aaron Cunningham Wolfe Tones na Sionna A.MacCuinneagain

22. Padraig Collins Cratloe P.O.Coilean

23. Colm Galvin Clonlara C.O.Gealbhain

24. Darach Honan Clonlara D.O.hEoghanain

25. Eamon Glynn Inagh/Kilnamona E.O.Glionn

26. Camin Morey Sixmilebridge C.O.Mora

Management Team : Davy Fitzgerald, Mike Deegan, Louis Mulqueen, Joe O Connor, Paul Kinnerk, Saoirse Bulfin

Medical : Dr Padraic Quinn M.D. Physio : Abbey Physio.

Goalkeeper Patrick Kelly will be the only player named in the starting 15, making his Championship Debut against Waterford on Sunday.

James McInerney resumes his position at centre back , having missed the League Semi-Final against Kilkenny with a broken hand.

Sean Collins remains a serious doubt, while Darach Honan , Brian O Connell, and Padraig Collins, take their place on the panel for the first time this year,

 

The Waterford Senior Hurling team to play Clare on Sunday is as follows –

1. Stephen O’Keeffe Ballygunner

2. Aidan Kearney Tallow

3. Liam Lawlor Fourmilewater

4. Stephen Daniels De La Salle

5. Richie Foley Abbeyside

6. Michael Walsh (Captain) Stradbally

7. Philip Mahony Ballygunner

8. Kevin Moran De La Salle

9. Stephen Molumphy Ballyduff Upper

10. Maurice Shanahan Lismore

11. Seamus Prendergast Ardmore

12. Eoin Kelly Passage

13. John Mullane De La Salle

14. Shane Walsh Fourmilewater

15. Gavin O’Brien Roanmore

Bainisteoir: Michael Ryan

Roghnoirí: Sean Cullinane, Ken McGrath

For the Record

Clare Waterford
2012 Team Manager Davy Fitzgerald Michael Ryan 

 

2011 Championship Performance Lost to Tipperary by 4-19 to 1-19 in the Munster semi-final before going down to Galway by 4-25 to 0-20 in the All-Ireland Qualifiers. Defeated Limerick in the Munster semi-final before losing to Tipperary in the Munster Final. Defeated Galway by 2-23 to 2-13 in the All-Ireland Quarter-Final before losing to Kilkenny in the All-Ireland Semi-Final.
Number of Munster Senior Hurling titles 6 9
Last Munster Senior Hurling Title 1998 2010
Munster Senior Hurling Championship Record since 2000 Played – 25
Won – 3
Lost –  12
Drawn – 0
Played – 24
Won – 13
Lost –  8
Drawn – 3
Last meeting in the Munster Senior Hurling Championship June 7th 2010 – Waterford 0-22 Clare 1-15 (Munster Semi-Final at Semple Stadium Thurles) – Clare led by four points at the interval but Waterford scored 13 second half points to secure a place in the 2010 Munster Final. Click for more details.

Munster GAA HURLING Senior Championship 2012

Quarter-Final

Sunday May 27th

@ Semple Stadium Thurles Tipperary 2-20 Limerick 1-19


Semi-Finals
Sunday June 17th (Replay date – June 23rd)

@ Semple Stadium Thurles Clare v Waterford @ 4:00pm

Sunday June 24th (Replay date – June 30th)

@ Pairc Ui Chaoimh                        Cork v Tipperary                                        @ 4:00pm

Sunday July 15th (Replay date – July 21st)

Venue permutations

@ Semple Stadium Thurles Clare v Cork                                                  @ 4:00pm

@ Semple Stadium Thurles Waterford v Cork                                           @ 4:00pm

@ Pairc Ui Chaoimh                        Waterford v Tipperary                                   @ 4:00pm

@ Gaelic Grounds Limerick            Clare v Tipperary                                          @ 4:00pm

2012 Munster Senior Hurling Championship Matches played to date

Tipperary 2-20 Limerick 1-19 – May 27th @ Semple Stadium Thurles (Munster Quarter-Final)

Tipperary: B Cummins; D Maher (C O’Brien 48), P Curran, M Cahill; T Stapleton, C O’Mahony, Padraic Maher; J Woodlock (S McGrath 28), B Maher; G Ryan (S Callanan 50), N McGrath, P Bourke; E Kelly (Patrick Maher 42), B O’Meara, J O’Brien (S Bourke 63).

Limerick: N Quaid; S Walsh, R McCarthy, T Condon; W McNamara (T Ryan 68), D O’Grady, G O’Mahoney; P Browne, J Ryan; D Breen, C Allis (B Geary 63), S Dowling; S Tobin (N Moran 65), K Downes (D Hannon 50), G Mulcahy.

Referee: B Kelly (Westmeath)

2012 Top Scorers – Munster Senior Hurling Championship

Pa Bourke (Tipperary) – 1-7 (0-4 frees, 0-1 65)
Shane Dowling (Limerick) – 0-8 (0-4 frees)
Brian O’Meara (Tipperary) – 1-2
Graham Mulcahy (Limerick) – 1-2
Noel McGrath (Tipperary) – 0-3
Sean Tobin (Limerick) – 0-3
Seamus Callanan (Tipperary) – 0-2 (0-1 free)
Kevin Downes (Limerick) – 0-2
Conor Allis (Limerick) – 0-2

Eoin Kelly (Tipperary) (0-1 free), Thomas Stapleton (Tipperary), John O’Brien (Tipperary), Shane Bourke (Tipperary), Shane McGrath (Tipperary), Conor O’Brien (Tipperary), David Breen (Limerick), Declan Hannon (Limerick) – 0-1 each

Match Preview

They meet for the 30th time in the championship (including All-Ireland qualifiers) with Clare leading 15-10 while there were four draws in their previous 29 encounters. Their last clash was in the 2010 Munster semi-final when Waterford won by 0-22 to 1-15 in Thurles. Eoin Kelly (0-6), Declan Prendergast (0-3), John Mullane (0-3) were Waterford’s top scorers while Darach Honan (1-3), Nicky O’Connell (0-3), Jonathon Clancy (0-3) were Clare’s top marksmen.

Waterford are bidding to reach the Munster final for a fourth successive year w