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Win sets up clash with Limerick side

Whitegate 1-13  Carrick Davins 0-10

A STRONG opening seven minutes to the second half earned Whitegate victory over Tipperary’s Carrick Davins in the opening round of the Munster Intermediate Club Hurling championship at Scariff on Saturday.
The victory has put the Clare side through to a semi-final meeting with Limerick’s South Liberties.
A week after being crowned Clare champions, the East Clare outfit struggled a little in the opening half and they were a little fortunate not to have been more that two points, 0-4 to 0-6, behind at the mid point.
It was a different story on the changeover as the Clare title holders took control and stepped up a couple of gears. A magnificent point from wing-back Tommy Holland gave them the lead for the first time, four minutes into the second half and from here on, they dictated affairs.
Given the rainfall in the days prior to the game and particularly that which fell an hour before it, the Scariff pitch held up remarkably well. Early points from Mikey Cronin (free) and Shane Butler gave the visitors from South Tipperary the lead, which could have been greater but Whitegate goalie Andrew Fahy saved from Butler in the sixth minute when the visitors had a goal opportunity.
The game was 10 minutes old before Whitegate opened their account through George Waterstone after an Andrew Fahy free had dropped short. Carrick Davins led by 0-3 to 0-2 at the end of the first quarter before opening up a four-point advantage, 0-6 to 0-2, with five minutes to go to half-time. Two from Waterstone, Whitegate’s only scorer in the first half, left Carrick Davins 0-6 to 0-4 in front when the half-time whistle sounded after the visitors had played with the aid of a slight breeze.
The second half was just 20 seconds old when the lead was back to the minimum thanks to a John Minogue effort. Waterstone levelled in the third minute and then, a superb effort from Tommy Holland put the Clare champions into a lead they would hold to the end. Another Waterstone point followed before a delivery from team captain Patrick Minogue led to Stephen Malone scoring the game’s only goal. In the space of seven minutes, Whitegate had gone from being two points adrift to holding a five-point advantage and the pressure was now clearly on the visitors.
Holland and Brendan Bugler were now dominant in the winners’ defence, while Patrick Minogue and Ian Fahy had come much more into the game at midfield. The Clare title holders had stretched their lead to seven points with 10 minutes remaining, after Ian Fahy had converted a 35m line ball.
Carrick Davins kept in touch with two pointed frees from Mikey Cronin but any chance of getting back into the tie disappeared when Lee Mackey saw his effort from a 20m free go high and over the bar two minutes from the end of normal time. It proved to be their final score and Whitegate went on to finish off an impressive win with a Michael O’Brien point.
The half-back trio of Holland, Bugler and Jason Malone was strong while John Bugler was prominent throughout at full-back. After a slow start, the midfield duo of Patrick Minogue and Ian Fahy got the upperhand while up front, George Waterstone was always a danger and Stephen Malone did well in the second half when he moved to corner-forward.
Richard McGrath, Lee Mackey, Mikey Cronin, Willie O’Dwyer and Shane Butler did best for the visitors.

Whitegate: Andrew Fahy; Trevor Kelly, John Bugler, Cathal Mulvihill; Tommy Holland, Brendan Bugler Jason Malone; Patrick Minogue (captain), Ian Fahy; Stephen Malone, Raymond Cahill, John Minogue; John O’Brien, Terence Fahy, George Waterstone.
Subs: Michael O’Brien for Fahy (55 minutes);  Shane O’Rourke for Cahill (58 minutes), Jody Bleach for J Minogue (59 minutes).
Scorers: George Waterstone (0-8), 4 frees; Stephen Malone (1-0), Tommy Holland, Patrick Minogue, Ian Fahy (line ball), John Minogue and Michael O’Brien (0-1 each).
Frees: 9; Wides: 7.
Bookings: Tommy Holland (23 minutes), Raymond Cahill (32 minutes), Brendan Bugler (50 minutes) and Terence Fahy (53 minutes).
Carrick Davins: Ed McGrath; Keith Condon, Richard McGrath, Johnny Coady; Steven Cronin, Lee Mackey, Michael Ryan; Philip Murphy, Willie O’Dwyer; Noel Butler, Gerard Robinson (capt), Mikey Cronin; John Murphy, Jason Butler, Shane Butler.
Subs: Eoghan Power for
Steven Cronin (40 minutes), Paul Tobin for N Butler (52 minutes) and Brendan Butler for P Murphy (59 minutes).
Scorers: Mikey Cronin (0-6), all frees; Lee Mackey (free); Shane
Butler, Steven Cronin and John Murphy (0-1) each.
Frees for: 15; Wides: 7.
Bookings: Keith Condon (28 minutes) and Noel Butler (32 minutes).

Referee: Declan O’Driscoll, Limerick.

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