A late Enda Coughlan goal ensured that Clare would make it through to a semi-final meeting with Cork as they beat Waterford 2-14 to 2-10 in the first round of the Munster SFC at Cusack Park Ennis.
In a tight, if unspectacular, contest the home-side just about deserved their victory, finishing the stronger at the end of a game that kept the 2,379 spectators entertained for its closeness rather than any spectacular football.
Waterford drew first blood with a Niall Curran point from play after six minutes before the Banner raced into a 0-4 to 0-2 lead by the mid point of the half.
Twenty-one minutes in, Gary Hurney the Decies full-forward rattled the Clare net with a fine goal after some good work by Liam O Lionain and Curran, to give manager John Kiely a timely boost.
A resolute Clare kept it tight though and a 1-4 to 0-7 half-time score was an accurate reflection of the opening half’s exchanges.
At the beginning of the second Kilely brought full-forward Hurney to mid-field to counteract the dominance of Clare’s David Russell, yet the Banner had the better of the early exchanges forging ahead into a 1-9 to 1-6 lead by the 45th.
A Niall Curran goal for the Waterford side in the 47th left Clare in disarray somewhat, but the introduction of Ronan Slattery into the hosts half-back line helped to stem what might have become an upset.
The sides were locked at 1-12 to 2-9 for long period of time before Rory Donnelly gave Clare the lead with a pointed free four minutes from time.
Then the killer from a Waterford point of view arrived on 33 minutes when Enda Coughlan the Clare centre-forward sealed victory with a goal from close range.
Clare: D O’Brien, P Gallagher, K Dilleen, B Moloney, A Clohessy, D Kelly, M O’ Connell, G Quinlan (Capt.), D Russell (0-01), P O’Dwyer (0-01), E Coughlan (1-03), O O’ Dwyer (0-02), R Donnelly (1-06; 4 f), D Neylon, M O’Dwyer.
Subs: G Tubridy for Maloney, S Hickey (0-01) for Neylon, R Slattery for Dilleen, M O'Shea for M O'Dwyer
Waterford: T Wall, P Ogle, L Hurney, N Hennessy, A Heffernan, M Ahern, T Costelloe (Capt.), S Briggs (0-01), A Hubbard, C O'Keeffe, W Kavanagh, G Power, N Curran (1-08; 7 f), G Hurney (1-01), L O’Lionain.
Subs: E Walshe for L Hurney, J Wall for Kavanagh, S Cunningham for J Wall, F Halpin for O'Lionain