Young gun Gaffney toast of Clare

Clare 2-12 Waterford 1-10

Gaffney ended the game with a tally of 1-5 and his second half goal proving crucial to Clare’s eventual victory.

The victory sets up a semi-final meeting with Cork which, ironically, is a repeat of the first round, which the Leesiders won by a decisive ten point margin.

It looked to be going Waterford’s way throughout most of the opening half during which they enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession.

Ominously for them however, their forwards were making little headway against a Clare defence in which magnificent wingback, Alan Brigdale gave a man of the match performance.

The Crusheen club man covered every blade of grass, popping up everywhere to effect relieving clearances and in the end, there was simply no challenger to him for the game’s individual accolade.

Reliant in the main, on the free-taking accuracy of midfielder, Shane O’Sullivan for their scores, the Waterford attack continuously floundered and by the interval, when they led by an unflattering 0-8 to 0-3 only one of their six forwards Mark Hoban, had registered on the scoreboard.

Hoban posed the main threat to the Clare defence, but he could not sustain the effort without the necessary backup and the writing was on the wall for Waterford very early in the second half.

Clare resumed firing on all cylinders and within 20 seconds Niall McMahon narrowed the deficit with a sweetly struck point.

Gaffney followed with a brace before Waterford regained the initiative with as good a goal the venue has witnessed in many a day.

Substitute, Tommy Power delivered a superb sideline ball from 50 metres and full forward David Hickey brilliantly connected overhead to crash the ball to the net.

That super strike should have been enough to get the Deisce bandwagon rolling again but instead it was Clare who hit back with a vengeance.

Gaffney scored their opening goal in the 41st minute and when Danny O’Hallorhan also goaled eight minutes later, Clare were firmly in the driving seat.

Although Hoban equalised for Waterford with a superb point, Clare were now the dominant force and finished with a flurry of four unanswered points that left no room for argument about the merits of their victory.

Scorers; Clare; B. Gaffney 1-5, D. O’Hallorhan 1-1, N. McMahon 0-2, T. Kierse, J. Clancy, M. Hawes, A. Browne 0-1 each. Waterford: S. O’Sullivan 0-8 (0-7 frees), D. Hickey 1-0, M. Hoban 0-2.

CLARE: C. Devitt, M. Liddane, E. Collins, B. McNamara, A. Brigdale, M. Hawes, B. Bugler, R. Keane, C. Lafferty, M. O’Hanlon, N. McMahon, T. Kierse, B. Gaffney, D. O’Hallorhan, N. Dunne, subs. A. Browne for O’Hanlon, R. Shanahan for Lindane, J. Clancy for Kierse, S. O’Brien for Clancy.

WATERFORD: D. Ryan, M. O’Gorman, W. Hutchinson, M. O’Doherty, M. Whelan, L. Lawlor, I. O’Flynn, S. O’Sullivan, J. Kindergan, M. O’Connor, M. Hoban, S. Quirke, G. O’Connor, D. Hickey, M. Barden, subs. T. Power for Kindergan, J. Nagle for O’Connor, N. O’Murchu for Quirke.

Referee J. O’Mahoney (Limerick).

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