Patrick Curran was just moments away from inspiring Waterford to another Hurling League title but the forward was gracious in defeat insisting there was “no point in complaining” about a controversial late free that helped Clare to victory.
The Dungarvan man finished with a total of 1-09, which included a goal after just 16 seconds at Semple Stadium.
It seemed like the Déise had back-to-back titles wrapped up when they led by two points going into stoppage time but a point from Darach Honan and two from Tony Kelly, including a contested free, won the game for Davy Fitzgerald’s men.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport after the 1-23 to 2-19 replay loss, Curran said: “You’re bound to be disappointed to lose by a point in a game we led for most of it.
“Congratulations to Clare, they just about pipped it and that’s what it’s about.
“Sometimes you get [the decisions] and sometimes you don’t. There’s no point in complaining now the game is over.
“Clare won and we just have to look forward and train for the Championship, that’s the way it is now.
"We have to go for the Championship and prepare as we did for this and hope it goes well on the day."
The sides are due to clash again in four weeks’ time in the Munster Championship and Curran says the focus will immediately turn to cutting out the errors that led to defeat.
He added: “Hopefully we can just perform that bit better and maybe get over the line.
“Things went well at stages and they didn’t at others and we just have to look at what went wrong and see if we can improve on it.”