Liam Sheedy says Wexford's failure to push home their first-half advantage was the reason they were eventually beaten in Saturday's quarter final.

The Yellowbellies made a dream start when Jack O'Connor smashed home a goal in the first minute, but Conor McDonald flashed an effort wide shortly afterwards.

Rory O'Connor, a talisman for Wexford during their encouraging Allianz League campaign, had to come off injured inside a quarter of an hour and the sides went in level at the break.

In echoes of their defeat to Sheedy's Tipperary in the All-Ireland semi final three years ago, the Yellowbellies then surged clear as Mark Fanning and Lee Chin scored goals, and the gap was six with 11 minutes left to play.

From there though, Clare found their groove and scored 1-06 without reply before winning by four points in the end.

O'Connor came off injured in the first half

For Sheedy, speaking on RTÉ's The Sunday Game, it was Wexford's failure to build on their early prowess that cost them.

"I think when they look back on that first half they'll see some really good opportunities that they didn't take," said the former All-Ireland winning manager.

"When you get to the latter stages of the championship your decision making has to be of the highest order.

"I just felt that in that first half when Clare were at their most vulnerable, and they were still in that hangover position from their Munster final loss, there was a really big opportunity.

"Wexford needed to take all their chances, and they didn't take them, and it cost them."

Four-time All-Ireland winner Ursula Jacob agreed that Wexford left too many scores behind them in that opening 35 minutes.

"It was a pity we didn't get that Conor McDonald goal," she said.

"Wexford needed to push on. They were slightly rattled by Rory going off too. I was happy enough because at the back I felt our match-ups were quite good.

"We were containing their influential forwards – Shane O'Donnell, Peter Duggan and Tony Kelly.

"It was our period where we really should have pushed on with three or four more points."