By Therese O’Callaghan
Waterford 1-23 - Clare 1-20: VICTORY for Waterford but they still find themselves in a relegation play-off against Cork next weekend after this round 5 clash of the Allianz Division 1A hurling league at Walsh Park on Sunday.
Clare, who had already qualified for the last eight, will meet neighbours Limerick in the quarter-finals.
Waterford, with the wind in the first half, fell 0-5 to 1-8 behind – the goal coming from Clare corner-forward Conor McGrath on 17 minutes following an inch-perfect cross from Ian Galvin However, Waterford managed to turn matters around.
Inspired by a wonderful save from goalkeeper Ian O’Regan they reeled off the next seven points unanswered, five of these from Patrick Curran (finished with 1-13) to take the lead by one. And when Curran netted a few minutes before the break, the home side, in front of a crowd of 2,656, moved three points clear.
That gap remained at half-time as Galvin and Austin Gleeson swapped points during the two minutes of added time (1-13 to 1-10).
Clare levelled with points from Tony Kelly (2) and Peter Duggan. A tit-for-tat second-half ensued, deadlock again 1-15 apiece. Waterford added a trio of points from Curran and with 10 minutes remaining they edged it 1-21 to 1-17. It was a two-point game with normal time elapsed, a late free from Curran wrapping up the win.
Waterford finished with 14 men after Conor Gleeson received a second yellow near full time.
Scorers for Waterford: P Curran (1-13, 0-9 frees), M Kearney (0-4), S Bennett (0-2), K Bennett, C Gleeson, A Gleeson, K Moran (0-1 each).
Scorers for Clare: P Duggan (0-5, 0-4 frees), C McGrath (1-1), T Kelly (0-4), D Reidy (0-3), J Conlon (0-2), I Galvin (0-2), C Malone, S O’Donnell, S Morey (0-1 each).
Waterford: I O'Regan; S Fives, B Coughlan, I Kenny; T de Burca; C Gleeson, A Gleeson, K Bennett; M O’Brien, K Moran; M Walsh, S Bennett, DJ Foran; M Kearney, P Curran.
Subs: T Devine for DJ Foran, T Ryan for M Walsh (both 50), C Prunty for M O’Brien (54), M Shanahan for K Moran (60), P Mahony for S Bennett (71).
Clare: D Tuohy; J Browne, C Cleary, P O’Connor; S Morey, D McInerney, D Fitzgerald; C Malone, T Kelly; P Duggan, J Conlon, D Reidy; S O’Donnell, I Galvin, C McGrath.
Subs: M O’Malley for S Morey (52), J Shanahan for P O’Connor (60), C McInerney for C Malone (67), R Taylor for I Galvin, E Quirke for J Browne (70).
Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick).