By Seamus Hayes
Waterford 1-13 Clare 0-11
There was heartbreak for the Clare minor hurlers at Cusack Park on Wednesday evening when they went under by five points to All-Ireland champions Waterford in the opening round of the Munster minor championship.
Everything pointed to a Clare win when the home side led by three points with just seven minutes remaining
However, Waterford fired home three points in two minutes to level with five still to play and Clare were clearly rattled.
Substitute Eddie Meaney made a huge impact for Waterford in the remaining time, hitting the lead point with three to play and sealing his team’s victory a minute later with the game’s only goal folowing a defensive error on Clare’s part.
Clare must now look to the backdoor route in their search to get back into the title race. They will play Kerry on Wednesday April 23 with the winners of that tie then taking on the loser of this Thursday evening’s first round between Limerick and Tipperary for that last Provincial semi-final spot.
Having played with the aid of the breeze against Waterford, Clare took a two point lead, 0-7 to 0-5, to the break. Waterford levelled early in the second half but then Clare stepped up a gear and hit three unanswered points. However, Waterford’s strong finish proved too much on an evening when Clare waster a number of good scoring chances and hit a dozen wides
Clare were dealt a big blow before the throw in when defender Ben O’Gorman (Wolfe Tones) had to cry off due to illness. He was replaced by Jamie Arthur. They will return to training on this Friday ahead of their next outing
—Aaron Shanagher ((0-7), 6 frees; Michael O’Shea, Ian Galvin (0-2) each;
;–Patrick Curran (0-7), all frees; Eddie Meaney (1-1); Darragh Lyons, Shane Bennett (free), Edmond O’Halloran, Shane Ryan, Peter Hogan (0-1) each
Billy Nolan; David Prendergast, Eddie Hayden, Darragh Lyons; Conor Prunty, Shane Bennett, Shane Murray’ Conor Gleeson, Edmond O’Halloran; Joe Allen, Cormac Curran, Shane Ryan; Peter Hogan, Patrick Curran, Andy Molumby;
Sean Hogan for Alley(25 minutes); Michael Cronin for Molumby (39 minutes); Jack Mullaney for O’Halloran and Eddie Meaney for Ryan (both 49 minutes); John Kennedy for C. Curran (60 minutes);
Jacob Loughnane (Sixmilebridge); Jamie Arthur (Cratloe), Seamus Downey (Clonlara), Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones); David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona), Dara Walsh (Eire Og) Captain, Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona); Michael O’Malley (Kilmaley) Gavin White (Sixmilebridge); Ian Galvin (Clonlara), Michael O’Shea (Smith O’Briens, Killaloe), Darren Chaplin (Broadford); Padraig McNamara (Kilmaley), Aaron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones), Brian Guilfoyle (St. Josephs, Doora-Barefield);
;—Colm Fitzgerald (St. Josephs) for White (half time); Caimin Quigley (Smith O’Briens for O’Shea (52 minutes); Conor O’ Haloran (Eire Og) for O’Malley (inj. 55 minutes)
Referee—Johnny Murphy, Limerick