Climbing to the top of the Munster SHC table, Clare sent a sorry 14-man Waterford packing from the championship in front of a 14,320 crowd in Thurles this evening.
Cathal Malone’s 53rd-minute goal, teed up beautifully by Peter Duggan, ended a contest that Clare had full control of in the second half as Waterford felt the cost of Calum Lyons’ first half red card.
Four unanswered points between the 37th and 45th minutes pushed Clare seven points up as Waterford never looked like clawing back the deficit. Tony Kelly was in mean form, scoring 13 points, and gave Darragh Lyons a torrid time.
Out of keeping with what the Munster SHC has delivered to this point, the first half was pockmarked by a litany of mistakes and played at three-quarter pace.
Waterford didn’t register a score from play until the 16th minute by which time Clare had sent over three of them. However, The Banner were laborious clearing from defence and their puck-outs were a mixed bag between scores and easy turnovers for Waterford.
Clare turned on the charm midway through the half with 1-2 without reply, Shane O’Donnell and Ian Galvin sending over points before the latter netted in the 21st minute. Kelly had dispossessed Mark Fitzgerald in the Clare half, Diarmuid Ryan found David Fitzgerald with a long delivery and Fitzgerald’s touch down to himself and delightful hand-pass sent Galvin clear.
Waterford, who racked up 12 first-half wides to Clare’s four, returned fire with the next three points and the margin was three points up to the 32nd minute when Calum Lyons was giving his marching orders for tripping Mark Rodgers and incurring his second yellow card.
Kelly sent over the resultant free, which was later cancelled out by a long-range Gleeson placed ball, and the margin was three points, 0-10 to 1-10.
A win against Cork in Ennis next Sunday will secure Clare qualification from the Munster SHC and possibly a provincial final place. Waterford’s remaining game against Tipperary on May 28th is a dead rubber for them.
Elsewhere, Kildare became Eirgrid All Ireland Under 20 Football champions.
The young Lillywhites saw off Sligo by 1-17 to 0-12 in the final at Kingspan Breffni Park.
It was also day one of the Tailteann Cup.
Cavan beat Laois 2-20 to 1-14 at Breffni Park.
Down were 2-14 to 1-06 winners against Waterford in Newry.
It finished Limerick 2-16, Longford 1-16 at the Gaelic Grounds.
Meath beat Tipperary by 1-19 to 0-11 in Navan.