Clare’s senior hurlers recorded their second win of 2017 as they prevailed by the three points against a depleted Waterford.
Venue: Fraher Field, Dungarvan
Although they went twenty three minutes without a score in the second half, the Banner County held on for the win with their goals coming courtesy of Cathal Malone and Ben O’Gorman at the concluding stage of the first half.
For the second game in succession, Donal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor’s side conceded soft goals. Green flags in either half of the midweek clash with Limerick came back to bite them while they escaped unscathed this time round.
In front of an attendance of 884 people, Waterford took the lead with points from DJ Foran and Eamonn Murphy. Conor O’Donnell and Shane Golden added two points each to put the visitors in front.
They would stay in the lead up until the eleventh minute when a Peter Hogan ground strike beat Pa Kelly in the Clare goal. Nine minutes later and Hogan once more had the umpires reaching for the green flag as he increased Waterford’s lead to four points.
A strong finish to the opening half saw Clare outscore their opponents 2-04 0-02. Cathal Malone struck for the first goal while Wolfe Tones’ duo Aaron Cunningham and Ben O’Gorman linked up well as the latter scored his first goal in the county colours on a day when he was handed his first start for the senior side. The Duggans, Bobby and Peter also chipped in on the scoring to leave it 2-11 2-07 at the break.
Waterford were the more clinical side in the second half and were first on the board via Billy Nolan. Clare replied with efforts from Jason McCarthy, Aaron Cunningham and Ben O’Gorman but twenty three minutes would then pass before Moloney and O’Connor’s men would score again.
Derek McGrath’s men gradually chipped away at the deficit and were boosted as their opponents were reduced to fourteen men with Brendan Bugler getting the line for a second bookable offence.
Clonlara’s John Conlon was reintroduced having picked up a finger injury in the second quarter. He helped his side over the line adding a brace of points to save Clare’s blushes. A late Billy O’Keeffe goal left just the one point between the teams at the final whistle.
Next up for Clare is a home tie with Cork in the Co-Op Superstores.ie Munster Hurling League. They need a win to secure a place in the final of the competition. The game is fixed for Wednesday in Sixmilebridge but management are seeking to have it deferred as thirteen members of their panel are involved in Fitzgibbon Cup action.
Clare: Patrick Kelly (Inagh-Kilnamona), Shane McNamara (Clooney-Quin), Cian Dillon (Crusheen) Capt., Stephen O’Halloran (Clarecastle); Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona), Conor Cleary (Kilmaley), Brendan Bugler (Whitegate); Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge); Ben O’Gorman (Wolfe Tones na Sionna), John Conlon (Clonlara), Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge), Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin); Conor O’Donnell (Crusheen), Bobby Duggan (Clarecastle), Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones na Sionna).
Waterford: Ian O’Regan (Mount Sion), Charlie Chester (Roanmore), Shane McNulty (De La Salle), Callum Lyons (Ballyduff Lower); Darragh Lyons (Dungarvan), MJ Sutton (Ferrybank), Seamus Keating (Ardmore); Eoin Madigan (Roanmore), Killian Fitzgerald (Passage); Martin F. O’Neill (Mount Sion), DJ Foran (Portlaw), Billy Nolan (Roanmore), Peter Hogan (Ballygunner), Jack Fagan (De La Salle), Eamonn Murphy (Dunhill).
All photos by Raymond O’Mahony