Bobby Duggan and Ian Galvin send Banner into a fourth consecutive Munster final
Clare 0-23 Waterford 1-18 Munster U-21 HC semi-final
Ian Galvin and Bobby Duggan hit a combined 19 points as Clare turned on the style to reach a fourth provincial final in a row at this grade.
Austin Gleeson could have forced extra-time at the death, but his 20-metre free was blocked by the Clare defence to clinch a place in final against the winners of tonight’s semi-final between Limerick and Tipperary.
Clare’s victory rarely looked in doubt once Duggan levelled the scores immediately after half-time.
Despite Clare’s pedigree, the Deise started brighter. A purple patch sent them three points clear by the end of the first quarter. Three of those scores came from Patrick Curran frees, while Gleeson – playing at centre-forward – weighed in with two from play.
But Duggan, one of five senior panellists in the Banner line-up, was in inspired form, hitting Clare’s first five points to keep them in touch.
Waterford focused a lot of attention on Shane O’Donnell and the 2013 All-Ireland final hero hardly had a sniff before the break.
The closest he came to a score arrived in the 18th minute when Davy Conroy’s effort rattled the bar but Tadhg De Burca crowded him out when he gathered the rebound.
Ian Galvin – younger brother of Clare senior Colm – Ryan Taylor and Shane Gleeson all pointed to cut Waterford’s half-time lead to 0-11 to 0-10.
Duggan equalised on the resumption, before a great move featuring Eoin Quirke and Kevin Hehir sent Galvin on his way for the lead score, and wing-back Aidan McGuane made it 0-13 to 0-11 a minute later.
Waterford weren’t helping themselves with three poor wides to start the half, but Austin Gleeson settled them with a long range free after 38 minutes.
Clare responded with three points in a row, but the Deise refused to lire down, and in the 43rd minute Patrick Curran followed Colin Dunford’s point with a goal to put them back in front once again.
But three on the bounce from the Banner – two of them from Galvin – saw them into the final.
Scorers – Clare: B Duggan 0-13 (7f), I Galvin 0-6, S Gleeson, R Taylor, E Quirke, A McGuane 0-1. Waterford: P Curran 1-7 (5f), A Gleeson 0-5 (1f, 1’65), Shane Bennett 0-2 (1’65), DJ Foran, M Kearney, C Dunford, C Curran 0-1.
Clare – K Hogan; S O’Brien, D Fitzgerald, E Quirke; A McGuane, C Cleary (c), B O’Gorman; D Conroy, K Hehir; B Duggan, S Gleeson, I Galvin; R Taylor, S O’Donnell, S Ward. Subs: S Taylor for Gleeson (38), N Deasy for Hehir (58).
Waterford – J Henley; C Gleeson, K Bennett, S McNulty; M Harney, T De Burca, T Devine; C Dunford, R Donnelly; Shane Bennett A Gleeson, Stephen Bennett; M Kearney, DJ Foran, P Curran. Subs: D Lyons for Harney (h-t), C Curran for Donnelly (40), S Keating for Foran (46).
Ref – J Murphy (Limerick).