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Clare 5-18 Waterford 0-20

Updated: Sunday, 16 Mar 2014 21:26 | Comments

Cathal McInerney is first to the high ball, the Banner were ruthless against their Munster rivals this afternoon
Cathal McInerney is first to the high ball, the Banner were ruthless against their Munster rivals this afternoon

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Clare destroyed Waterford with a devastating first half blitz in Ennis, as they cruised to a 5-18 to 0-20 victory in the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A.

The Banner men led by a clear 23 points at half-time (4-15 to 0-04). All-Ireland final sensation Shane O'Donnell scored 1-02 and set up three other goals for Patrick Donnellan, Podge Collins and Peter Duggan. 

Waterford recovered with 16 second half points but O'Donnell bagged his second goal after 45 minutes.

Davy Fitzgerald's men completely humiliated their Munster rivals in the opening 35 minutes to cement their quarter-final spot at a blustery Cusack Park.

The 7,352-strong crowd gave Clare a standing ovation as they departed at the break with a 23-point advantage.

Fitzgerald unleashed a dozen of his September winners to take apart the visitors who arrived with back-to-back home triumphs under their belts.

All-Ireland final man-of-the-match O'Donnell posted 2-02 and he provided the assist for the three other Clare goals. He exploited the space left in front of the vulnerable Waterford full-back line.

Clare also dominated the puck-outs and the midfield warfare. Podge Collins exhibited his wizardry again in a wandering centre forward role and plundered 1-02.

Eleven different players accounted for scores in Clare colours. Derek McGrath's Waterford side restored their battered pride in winning the second half by 0-16 to 1-03.

Waterford started the scoring through a pair of Pauric Mahony placed balls. With significant wind assistance,  Clare settled to their task with six points on the trot through two Colin Ryan frees, two from play from O'Donnell and one each from Podge Collins and Cathal McInerney.

On 14 minutes, Patrick Donnellan collected from O'Donnell to finish from a narrow angle for a 1-06 to 0-02 lead. Conor McGrath and Ryan soon tacked on further points.

Then, with 21 minutes on the clock, Collins picked up from supplier O'Donnell to run straight through and whip past the ball Stephen O'Keeffe. At this point, Noel Connors was asked to perform the inevitable task of watching the exuberant full-forward.

The deficit soon increased for the shell-shocked visitors. Conor McGrath sprinted through to set up O'Donnell on 27 minutes. Four minutes before the break O'Donnell found Peter Duggan charging down the left flank for a fourth green flag.

Following a gap of 28 minutes, Brian O'Sullivan ended Waterford's barren scoring spell with two points towards the latter stages of the half.

The Clare faithful rose to their feet to salute a first half massacre. Nine different players chalked up scores and 4-11 arrived from general play.

The intensity dipped sharply in the second period and Waterford cashed on the elements in their favour. A defensive reshuffle and the introduction of fresh legs brought about an improvement.

The Déise picked off five points in-a-row from Kevin Moran, Stephen Molumphy, Pauric Mahony, Ryan Donnelly and Maurice Shanahan).

However, O'Donnell found the net once more in the 45th minute. Colin Ryan played in a pass in front of the Eire Og flyer and he turned Connors and gave O'Keeffe no chance, making it 5-15 to 0-09.

Waterford battled away until the end. Pauric Mahony concluded with eight points (six frees), Brian O'Sullivan managed four from play, substitute Shanahan scored three and Molumphy struck two.

However, they never looked like troubling Donal Tuohy in the Clare goal. Tony Kelly, Colin Ryan (free) and Patrick O'Connor landing the closing points for Fitzgerald's charges as they cruised to their third win of the league campaign.

CLARE: D Tuohy; D O'Donovan, C Dillon, D McInerney; B Bugler (0-01), Conor Ryan (0-01), P O'Connor (0-01); P Donnellan (1-00), Colin Ryan (0-06, 0-05f); J Conlon, P Collins (1-02), P Duggan (1-01); C McInerney (0-02), S O'Donnell (2-02), C McGrath (0-01).

Subs used: T Kelly (0-01) for Conlon (30 mins), P Flanagan for Dillon (61), S Golden for Colin Ryan (65).

WATERFORD: S O'Keeffe; N Connors, S Fives, T Bourke; J Nagle, K Moran (0-01), Philip Mahony; S Molumphy (0-02), S O'Sullivan; B O'Sullivan (0-04), Pauric Mahony (0-08, 0-06f), J Dillon; R Barry, S Prendergast, R Donnelly (0-01).

Subs used: M Shanahan (0-03, 0-02f) for Barry, B Coughlan for Fives (both 26 mins), S Roche (0-01) for Donnelly (45), K Fitzgerald for Pauric Mahony (60).

Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath)

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