Quinn’s goal lifts Clare and ends Waterford unbeaten run

Waterford 0-15 Clare 1-16

The Banner garnered a hard-earned but thoroughly deserved victory over the Division 1A National League table-toppers in a fiery and sometimes fractious game.

In the end a 63rd-minute goal by super-sub Derek Quinn when the sides were deadlocked was the decisive score, bringing Waterford’s unbeaten run to halt.

Credit Quinn for the opportunistic way he took his gift-wrapped chance, but spare a thought for the hitherto excellent defender Tom Feeney, who failed to cope with substitute Pat Vaughan’s speculative delivery; Quinn was left with the easy task of goaling.

Within seconds Feeney was called ashore; his substitution rough justice for a lone error.

Clare manager Anthony Daly readily acknowledged Quinn’s goal as vital.

“It was unquestionably the crucial moment of this game, but all credit to Derek (Quinn) for the way in which he took his chance,” Daly said. “He is a great option to have and is a major addition to our squad. This win has put us in a very good position in the group, with Offaly next at home and then an away game against Cork.”

His Waterford counterpart Justin McCarthy was also in no doubt about the importance of that lone goal.

“In the end it made the difference between winning and losing from our perspective,” he said.

Clare were good value for a win they had to graft hard for, and it was even more to their credit that they overcame losing the hugely influential Brian Lohan through injury for the entire second half.

Lohan had been immense early on but on the turnover his brother Frank and Colm Forde took up the cudgels.

Their forwards too worked like beavers, none more so than Tony Carmody and Diarmuid McMahon, and between them they ended the game with nine points.

The game had an explosive start - before it began. Players laced into each other before the ball was thrown in and opposing midfielders Eoin Kelly and Brian Lynch were yellow-carded.

Within 90 seconds of the start Kelly’s day was over, the All Star going over on his ankle, and he was helped off with a injury that could sideline him for several weeks.

Defences dominated for most of the first half, with scores difficult to come by and neither goalkeeper having a serious shot to save.

Three times they were level inside the opening 10 minutes, with one of the Waterford scores coming from a delightful sideline cut by Paul Flynn.

Dan Shanahan’s super point gave Waterford the lead for the first time in the 11th minute but there was never more than two points between them and it was back to the minimum at the interval with Waterford just about deserving their 0-7 to 0-6 advantage.

Carmody had Clare level again within a minute of the restart before Waterford eased three points clear with quality scores from John Mullane, Flynn, and Shanahan. And with Mullane finally hitting peak form, the odds seemed stacked in favour of a home win.

Carmody and Mullane and Fergal Lynch and the outstanding Michael Walsh had further point exchanges, but amazingly that Walsh score in the 46th minute was to be Waterford’s last for 22 minutes.

Clare suddenly assumed control virtually throughout the field despite the best efforts of Brian Phelan, James Murray, Kevin Moran, Walsh, Mullane, and Flynn.

Points from a Quinn free, within seconds of his introduction, and from McMahon and Carmody from play, had them level by the 55th minute, and three minutes later came the defining moment when Quinn scored the game’s only goal. There was still ample time for Waterford to hit back, but by now they had lost all their momentum and Clare were on their way to a vital win.

Fergal Lynch, Carmody and sub Barry Nugent completed their tally, and while Mullane and Shanahan kept Waterford within striking distance with sweetly -truck points, there could be no room for argument about the merits of the Clare victory.

Scorers: Clare: T Carmody (0-6, 0-2 frees); D Quinn (1-1, 0-1 free); D McMahon (0-3); F Lynch (0-2); B O’Connell, B Lynch, T Griffin, B Nugent (0-1) each. Waterford: P Flynn (0-6, 0-4 frees, 0-1 sideline); D Shanahan (0-3); J Mullane (0-3); J Kennedy(0-2); M Walsh (0-1).

CLARE: D Fitzgerald; F Lohan, B Lohan, C McMahon; D Hoey, C Forde, C Harrison; B O’Connell, B Lynch; D McMahon, F Lynch, G O’Grady; A Markham, T Griffin, T Carmody.

Subs: G Quinn for B Lohan (inj), half time); D Quinn for Hoey (49 mins); P Vaughan for B Lynch (51 mins); B Nugent for F Lynch(62 mins).

WATERFORD: C Hennessey; T Feeney, K Moran, D Coffey; B Phelan, J Murray, E Murphy; E Kelly, M Walsh; D Shanahan, S Prendergast, J Mullane; J Kennedy, C Carey, P Flynn.

Subs: E McGrath for Kelly, inj, 2nd min); G O’Connor for Carey (half time); K McGrath for Prendergast (51 mins); D Bennett for Feeney(64 mins).

Referee: D Kirwan (Cork).

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