Munster U20 Football Quarter-Final: Clare 3-14 Waterford 0-6
Clare set up a last four showdown with Cork after a dominant display on a wet and windy night in Miltown.
Shane Meehan’s first half goal was the major difference between the sides at the break as the Banner GAA man slotted a classy finish to the net inside the closing ten minutes.
Waterford had the aid of a gale for the opening period, but it was Clare who were playing the more controlled football with support runners hitting the line at pace. Waterford held the upper hand on their own kick-outs and anything positive they did came from that platform. Cillian Rouine and Daniel Walsh were anchoring the defence well but Waterford still found space when they broke.
The sides were level at the 15 minutes mark at 0-2 each with Mark McInerney notching both of Clare’s scores, and that dovetail between the Eire Óg man and Meehan was threatening to unlock a big chance.
It arrived in the 23rd minute as McInerney’s clever ball through found Meehan out in front, and he left the Waterford defender in his wake as he pirouetted before slotting to the far corner to send Clare 1-3 to 0-2 clear.
Waterford were reliant on the free-taking of Aaron Ryan for their scores with Meehan and Diarmuid O’Donnell replying to see Clare 1-5 to 0-4 in front at the break.
The Meehan-McInerney axis took only 30 seconds of the new half to put the game to bed, as McInerney read the bounce of the ball much better than his marker, before laying off to Meehan to fire home. Clare were totally dominant, and reeled off another 0-8 without reply in the next 20 minutes. McInerney and McMahon notched a brace each along with points from Meehan, Morgan Garry, Eoghan Thynne and Diarmuid O’Donnell, and with ten minutes to play Clare led 2-13 to 0-4.
McInerney got his reward for an industrious evening as a brilliant crossfield ball from Daniel Walsh found him in space, and he made no mistake with a clinical finish to the net.
McMahon added another fine score from distance before Waterford broke a 30 minute spell without a score to fire the last two points of the night.
It mattered little, as Clare marched on to a meeting with Cork next Wednesday evening in Hennessey Memorial Park.
Clare: Tom O’Brien; Manus Doherty, Michéal Murray, Ciarán McMahon; Daniel Walsh, Cillian Rouine, Sean Conway (c); Oisín Looney, Eoin Rouine; John Murphy, Emmet McMahon, Thomas Clancy; Diarmuid O’Donnell, Shane Meehan, Mark McInerney.
Subs: Gavin D’Auria for Conway, Eoghan Thynne for Eoin Rouine, Morgan Garry for Clancy, Cian McDonough for O’Donnell, Seamus Casey for McInerney.
Scorers: Shane Meehan (2-2, 2f), Mark McInerney (1-5, 4f), Emmet McMahon (0-3), Diarmuid O’Donnell (0-2), Morgan Garry and Eoghan Thynne (0-1 each).