O'Neill hat-trick not enough
Waterford Crystal Cup (SH) S/f
Davy Fitzgerald's Clare were quick to shake off any signs of fatigue from two games with Limerick in the last week to overcome a very poor Waterford side in Walsh Park yesterday.
Waterford actually started this game very well and full-forward Shane Walsh gave Cian Dillon a torrid time in the opening quarter, scoring two points and having a hand in Martin O'Neill's 10th-minute goal, which helped Waterford into a 1-6 to 0-3 lead.
After that, though, Clare shook off the shackles and played some exquisite hurling with their long-range shooting, in particular, catching the eye.
Pat O'Connor and Pat Donnellan picked off some delightful scores from long distance which were instrumental in dragging Clare back into the game.
They were also helped by Daire Keane's 27th-minute goal, which drew Clare level and they kicked on from there to lead by 1-9 to 1-7 at the interval.
After the break, Clare improved if anything, and three early scores from Colin Ryan, Keane and substitute Patrick Kelly settled them once more.
Waterford simply could not score from play -- from the 10th minute all the way to the 64th -- and were further rocked when Aaron Cunningham struck Clare's second goal in the 54th minute. They did manage a brief comeback in the closing stages as O'Neill swooped for his hat-trick with two very well-taken goals but Adrian Power fumbled Colm Galvin's long-range effort into the net before Seamus Prendergast raised a fourth green flag for Waterford.
Scorers -- Clare: C Ryan 0-6 (4f), A Cunningham 1-2, D Keane 1-1, C Galvin 1-1, P O'Connor 0-2, P Donnellan, T Carmody, F Lynch, P Kelly, J Conlon 0-1 each. Waterford: M O'Neill 3-6 (6f), S Prendergast 1-0, S Walsh 0-2, M Shanahan 0-1f.
Clare -- D Tuohy; D O'Donovan, C Dillon, C Cooney; S Morey, E Barrett, P O'Connor; C Galvin, P Donnellan; J Conlon, D Keane, F Lynch; T Carmody, C Ryan, A Cunningham. Subs: P Kelly for Barrett, C Chaplin for Lynch, R Horan for Keane, S O'Halloran for Cooney.
Waterford -- A Power; S Fives, D Prendergast, A Kearney; J Nagle, S O'Sullivan, K Moran; M Walsh, P O'Brien; M Shanahan, S Prendergast, D Twomey; M O'Neill, S Walsh, E McGrath. Subs: P Nevin for Twomey, T Ryan for Walsh.
Ref -- J Ryan (Tipperary)