Waterford 1-10 Clare 0-9
COULD have, should have but didn’t. With the Munster championship first round in the balance in Dungravan last Sunday, Clare wilted under the heat of the south-eastern sun.
Similar to the Clare v Waterford junior game, this tie was there to be won if Clare had really believed in themselves. Eventually, Waterford stuttered into the provincial semi-final and a meeting with Limerick in Dungravan on June 6.
A number of critical incidents swung the result towards the home county. Waterford buried their one goal chance, when Gary Hurney held off Barry Duggan and Brian Carrig collected Liam Ó Lionán’s line ball and hammered the ball beyond Joe Hayes. That goal, the first score of the second half, eight minutes after the restart, put Waterford 1-6 to 0-7 ahead.
Clare had led 0-7 to 0-6 at half-time but only tagged on two additional points in the closing 35 minutes.
Eight minutes from full-time Michael O’Shea blazed a reasonable goal chance wide of Tom Wall in the Waterford goalmouth. Even a point would have closed the deficit to the minimum at that stage. However, when Declan Callinan was shown a second yellow card two minutes later, Clare were finished.
If the referee had got his facts right he would have also sent off Waterford’s Brian Wall on a second yellow. Instead, corner-back Maurice O’Gorman took the rap for his colleague’s indiscretion and was yellow-carded. While Clare cannot exclusively blame the referee for their defeat, they were penalised three times for marginal over-carrying incidents, while the advantage rule didn’t help Clare either.
Yet if Clare had sustained their display in the opening 20 minutes for the entire game, the referee’s display wouldn’t have bothered them. They led 0-6 to 0-2 after 21 minutes, having played with the wind, and looked sharper than a turgid Waterford.
Clare’s best score was their first, when Gary Brennan caught the throw-in and powered through the Waterford defence before firing a superb point. The Clondegad man then stayed at full-forward for the opening half, with David Russell posted at midfield.
Patrick Hurney replied with two early points off Brian Carrig before David Tubridy responded with a brace, one from play. Brennan’s second point from play put Clare 0-4 to 0-2 ahead. Tubridy then knocked over a couple of frees, won by Alan Clohessy and Peter O’Dwyer, as Clare established a four-point lead.
Waterford rallied though and outscored Clare by four points to one in the closing 14 minutes of the first half. A point up, 0-7 to 0-6 at half time, Clare introduced Enda Coughlan and Gearóid Lynch at the interval. Neither made the impact Clare needed if they were to beat Waterford. Coughlan played at wing-forward and indeed lined out at wing-back, in a swap with Martin McMahon, for some of the second half.
Hurney’s goal settled Waterford, who looked fairly comfortable for most of the second period without ever totally pulling away from Clare.
In fact, Gordon Kelly’s team, with successive Clohessy and Michael O’ Shea points, pulled level, 0-9 to 1-6, 16 minutes into the second half. Waterford notched four additional points however, inside the remaining 18 minutes, with Clare failing to add to their total.
O’Shea’s goal chance cropped up during this spell, shortly before Callinan was dismissed.
Every Clare man gave his utmost but they were short the self-belief required to dig out a result. Joe Hayes was steady in goal and even did a Peter Schmeichel on it, briefly joining the Clare attack when they were awarded a late 45.
Gordon Kelly was Clare’s best player, giving his last drop, although he appeared to run out of legs late in the game. Gary Brennan, Declan Callinan and Martin McMahon also gave it everything for the county jersey. Clare were due to return to training on Tuesday of this week. How they get on in the All-Ireland qualifiers in late June will be determined by the manner in which they throw themselves into training. If Clare stick at it they might win a game or two and build up some momentum. If they show no ambition or desire, 2010 will be written off.
Clare: Joe Hayes (Lissycasey); Mark Tubridy (Cooraclare), Barry Duggan (Cratloe), Brian Carrig (Clondegad); Martin McMahon (Kilmurry-Ibrickane), Gordon Kelly (St Joseph’s, Miltown, captain), Declan Callinan (Kilmurry-Ibrickane); Ger Quinlan (O’Curry’s), Gary Brennan (Clondegad); Diarmuid Daly (Corofin), Peter O’Dwyer (Kilmurry-Ibrickane), Alan Clohessy (Liscannor); Michael O’Shea (Kilkee), David Russell (Kilkee), David Tubridy (Doonbeg).
Subs: Enda Coughlan (Kilmurry-Ibrickane) for Diarmuid Daly (half-time); Gearóid Lynch (Kilkee) for Peter O’Dwyer (half- time); Barry Toner (Shannon Gaels) for David Russell (56).
Scorers: David Tubridy 0-4, (0-3 f); Gary Brennan and Michael O’Shea 0-2 each, Alan Clohessy 0-1.
Wides: 7; Frees: 20; 45s: 2
Yellow cards: David Russell, Declan Callinan, Mark Tubridy.
Red card: Declan Callinan.
Waterford: Tom Wall; Maurice O’Gorman, Kieran Connery, Tony Grey (captain); Shane Briggs, Eamon Walsh, Mick Ahearne; Tommy Prendergast, Brian Wall; Conor McGrath, Wayne Hennessy, Gary Hurney, Patrick Hurney, Liam Ó Lionáin.
Subs: Stephen Cunningham for Conor McGrath (55); Rob Ahearne for Patrick Hurney (56); Brian Phelan for Mick Ahearne (65).
Scorers: Gary Hurney 1-1; Patrick Hurney 0-3; Brian Wall 0-3, (0-2 f); Wayne Hennessy, Tommy Prendergast, Liam Ó Lionáin 0-1 each.
Wides: 9; Frees: 22; 45s: 1
Yellow cards: Brian Wall, Eamon Walsh, Maurice O’Gorman.
Referee: Aidan Mangan (Kerry).