Waterford 0-20; Clare 2-5Bits of sporting history, big and small, were made last weekend. Tony McCoy finally claimed his first Aintree Grand National at the 15th attempt after riding over 3,000 career winners; while a little under 20 hours later at Fraher Field the Waterford senior footballers captured promotion from the National League’s bottom tier for the first time.
Having gone close on a number of occasions in recent years only to fall short within sight of the finish line, confidence within the camp going into Sunday’s game was at an all-time high. This belief also filtered through to the supporters and in the region of 2,000 passed through the turnstiles in Dungarvan to witness what many hoped would be one of the greatest days in Deise football history. And how glad they were.
The home side began the game brightly and within seconds had the ball in the back of the Clare net but referee Pat Sheedy from Kerry rightly ruled Conor McGrath’s effort out as he fist-passed beyond the Banner’s third choice netminder Conor O’Loughlin.
Clare registered the first score through talisman David Tubridy who kicked a point after a minute but Waterford assumed control thereafter.
Points from play by Liam Ó Lionáin (2) and Garry Hurney, plus frees from Wayne Hennessy and Brian Wall saw Waterford 0-5 to 0-3 in front – Clare’s other scores coming from a Tubridy free and Graham Kelly – by the time Gary Brennan gave the Decies’ defence the slip to find the net and give his side the lead 18 minutes in.
See The Munster Express newspaper for full story and photos.