Clare 1-16; Waterford 1-11
Thoughts of another day out were far from the minds of Waterford’s disappointed minor hurlers on Sunday having surrendered their provincial title to an impressive Clare outfit at Semple Stadium.
While Clare fully deserved their first success at this grade since 1989 (when a certain D Fitzgerald lined out in goal), Jimmy Meaney knows his team should still have a big say in the All-Ireland series.
Forget not, Waterford felled Clare earlier in this Championship and look how the Saffron and Blue have since responded.
With a hard-fought semi-final win over Cork just four days previously appearing to linger in the system, the Deise tank certainly didn’t look as replenished as Clare’s.
Talk of tiredness in teenage limbs does Clare’s performance somewhat of a disservice, as there was no doubting the merit of their victory.
A ravenous sextet of backs provided only slivers for Waterford to pick at, and how well Eamonn Murphy did when firing home a superb 45th minute goal.
But make no mistake, this was Clare’s day and while there was some lead in the Deise legs, fatigue can’t be cited as the ultimate factor in determining last Sunday’s outcome.
At the interval, the sides were tied at 0-6 apiece. Waterford were first to settle and inside seven minutes led by two points thanks to Eamonn Murphy and Cormac Heffernan.
Clare, looking a tad nervous in the opening exchanges, soon dispelled those early jitters and drew level by the 12th minute through a David O’Halloran brace.
For the remainder of the half, Clare were the more authoritative and ought to have converted their greater territory and possession into a wider lead. By the break, the Banner had struck eight efforts ‘as láthair’ in contast to Waterford’s four errant shots.
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