FAI Inter League Cup
Waterford League 1 Clare League 1
The Waterford League made it through to the quarter-final of the FAI Inter League Cup when they battled hard for a hard-fought draw against a classy Clare team in Ozier Park on Sunday afternoon. The point gained has secured a place in the last eight for Anthony Brown’s team. Cork and Clare will meet in the new year and the outcome of that match will determine if Waterford will have home advantage or whether they will have to play away. The visitors went close after 20 minutes when Chiby Okoye met a cross from Jamie Stack but his header went narrowly wide.
Five minutes later Jamie Stack was just off target with a well struck free kick. It took Waterford 38 minutes to get their first shot on target. Stephen Imiren hammered in a super effort from 20 yards but the Clare goalkeeper Michael Garrihy tipped the ball over his crossbar. The visitors went close just before the interval when Conor Whelan got space out on the left but his dangerous cross was well cut out by the home custodian Kyle Gahan. The Clare outfit went close once again through Evan Kelly who clipped the ball over Kyle Gahan but the ball went narrowly over the crossbar.
Stephen Imiren rattled the Clare crossbar on 57 minutes with an angled strike from the right side of the penalty area. The ball was moved swiftly upfield and Clare were awarded a free kick just outside the right side of the 18 yards box one minute later. Evan Kelly floated the ball to the back post and Harvey Cullinan headed powerfully to the roof of the net. They almost doubled their advantage five minutes later when Evan Kelly fired in good shot from 20 yards but the ball went narrowly wide. Waterford began to get a grip on proceedings after that and got back on level terms on 65 minutes.
Following a sustained period of pressure the Clare goalkeeper was forced to take down Stephen Imiren inside the 18 yards box and Niall McSweeney dispatched the resultant penalty with ease. The hosts took over completely after that goal as the Clare outfit began to get tired but try as they might they could not score a second goal. Michael Brennan, John Kavanagh and Stephen Imiren all went close in the dying minutes but overall a share of the points was a fair outcome.