Tom Barron was the hero of the hour as Waterford ended a 13-year wait for a Munster championship win at Fraher Field last night.
The centre back, younger brother of All Star hurler Jamie, landed a last-minute winner. Clare full forward Diarmuid O’Donnell missed a 66th minute free to force extra time. Dermot Coughlan also had a penalty appeal turned down.
Darragh Corcoran was the man of the match, the St Saviours forward kicking 1-7 in his first underage football game for the county. Waterford lost 13 games in a row prior to last night.
The sides were level at 1-6 apiece after an entertaining first half. Corcoran scored 1-5 of Waterford’s total.
Clare had scored a goal from the throw in as Cillian Rouine combined with Sean O’Brien and rifled to the top corner after just 18 seconds.
Minutes later Clare defender Jayme O’Sullivan was dismissed on a black card. Corcoran converted the free. Billy Power then lashed over a point. Clare restored their goal advantage by the seventh minute via Diarmuid O’Donnell and Seamus Casey.
On 12 minutes, Corcoran looped the ball over Ronan Callinan, the goal nudging Waterford into the lead (1-3 to 1-2). O’Donnell levelled but Corcoran was clinical at the other end and added three points to make it 1-6 to 1-3.
Three Clare frees (two from O’Donnell) made it all square again at the break.
Coughlan edged the visitors back in front but Darragh O’Keeffe levelled. O’Donnell and Corcoran traded frees.
Corcoran nailed a delicious point from 45 metres off his right with three minutes left. Coughlan equalised from a close range free.
Barron had the last laugh in a frantic finale. Waterford will face Cork in Clonakility in the last four.
Scorers for Waterford: D Corcoran 1-7 (4fs), T Barron, B Power, D O’Keeffe 0-1 each.
Scorers for Clare: D O’Donnell 0-5 (4fs), C Rouine 1-0, S Casey (1f), D Coughlan (1f) 0-2 each.
Waterford: J Coffey; R Power, R Stringer, L Fennell; M Twomey, T Barron, S Fitzgerald; D Booth, B Lynch; S Whelan-Barrett, S Curry, B Power; D O’Keeffe, L Walsh, D Corcoran.
Subs: J Walsh for L Walsh (39), D Beresford for O’Keeffe (52),
Clare: R Callinan; D Conneely, J O’Sullivan, I Uguaru; T Hogan, S Rouine, C McNeilis; D Griffin, D Keating; C McDonough, C Rouine, S O’Brien; C O’Brien, D O’Donnell, S Casey.
Subs: C DeLoughrey for O’Sullivan (BC 3), D Coughlan for S O’Brien (20), C Shannon for McDonough (HT), P Talty for Keating (39), C Downes for Casey (51), M Garry for C O’Brien (56).
Referee: S Lonergan (Tipperary)