Waterford 0-13 Clare 0-8
FOUR points ahead five minutes into the second half and dominating in most positions, Clare looked to be on their way to a semi-final date in the Munster Junior Football Championship, only for this game at Fraher Field in Dungarvan to be turned on its head when the visitors were reduced to 14 men with 23 minutes still to play.
A man short, playing against the breeze and very warm conditions proved too much for the Banner side and Waterford outscored them 0-7 to 0-1 in the remaining time to progress to a semi-final date with Limerick.
Kilrush man Paddy Clancy received a straight red card from referee Brian Tyrell after his challenge on Michael Crotty and while it was more a clumsy than a deliberate challenge, the match official instantly produced the red card. From this moment on the writing was on the wall for the visitors, who managed just one score in the remaining time.
Clancy’s 12th minute goal after great work by Kevin Hartnett had given Clare the edge in the opening half and it helped them to lead at half-time on a score of 1-4 to 0-4. The first goal chance came as early as the opening minute when Seán Haugh put James Hynes in the clear but the midfielder’s effort went inches wide. Waterford hit back and had two points on the board before Clare’s first score came from Mark McCarthy in the 10th minute, with a a 20m free.
It was 0-3 to 0-1 to Waterford when Paddy Clancy struck for the game’s only goal but they then went 12 minutes without a score, which was to prove costly.
A two-point advantage at the half-way point didn’t appear to be enough as they would have to face the breeze in the second half but they doubled their lead inside two minutes of the resumption and looked set to pull away.
Four points was still the margin when Clancy saw red and it was all downhill from here on for the Clare men. Entering the final quarter the lead was down to two points and by the 20th minute the sides were on level terms.
Clare were struggling and it was no surprise when Waterford went in front with eight minutes to go. To their credit, Clare tried hard to get back on terms but being a man short proved too much of a handicap and Waterford progressed to the last four.
Conor Crowley and Kevin Hartnett sparkled on the left wing of the Clare defence while Paddy Clancy, Conor Ryan and Mark McCarthy were prominent up front.
Waterford: Darren Mulhearne; John Moore, Michael Supple, Michael Crotty; Tadhg Houlihan, David Hickey, Mark Prendergast; Seán Dempsey, Craig Guiry; Edmond Hogan, Connie Power, Niall Walsh; John Wall, Eoghan Walsh, Joey Veale.
Subs: JJ Hutchinson for E Walsh (26 minutes); Patrick Lynch for Moore (half-time); Mark Ferncombe for N Walsh (40 minutes); Alan North for Hogan (51 minutes); John Hayden for Wall (58 minutes).
Scorers: Joey Veale (0-5), four frees; Edmond Hogan (0-3); Craig Guiry, Niall Walsh, Connie Power, Eoghan Walsh, John Wall (0-1) each.
Clare: Tony Burke (Kilrush); Shane Canavan (Liscannor), Keith O’Connor (Kildysart), Conor Crowley (Kilmihil); Con O’Brien (Kilrush), Dara Considine (St Breckan’s), Kevin Hartnett (Meelick); Kevin Larkin (Kilkee), James Hynes (Ballyvaughan); Paddy Clancy (Kilrush), Conor Ryan (Cratloe), Seán Haugh (O’Curry’s); Michael Mcdonagh (Ennistymon), David Ryan (Kilmihil), Mark McCarthy (Kilmurry-Ibrickane).
Subs: Gary Leahy (Wolfe Tones) for McDonagh (34 minutes); Michael O’Dwyer (Kilmurry-Ibrickane) for Ryan (36 minutes); Daniel Gallery (Wolfe Tones) for Haugh (40 minutes); Conor Marrinan (Cooraclare) for O’Connor (43 minutes).
Scorers: Mark McCarthy (0-5, 3f); Paddy Clancy (1-1); Kevin Larkin, David Ryan (0-1) each.
Referee: Brian Tyrell, Tipperary.