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Clare stun Déise with exhibition in first half

ALL-IRELAND champs CLARE showed ruthless efficiency in the first half against Waterford at Cusack Park, scoring four goals and raising the white flag 15 times.

All-Ireland final replay star man Shane O'Donnell was the central figure, scoring one goal and assisting Pat Donnellan, Podge Collins and Peter Duggan to heap misery on the Waterford defence for the other three in that half.

The Banner men led by a clear 23 points at half-time (4-15 to 0-4), but Waterford did put up a better show in the second period, outscoring their opponents 0-16 to 1-3 as the match finished 5-18 to 0-20.

But the coup de grâce had already been delivered as Davy Fitzgerald's men completely humiliated their Munster rivals to cement their quarter-final spot

Tipperary suffered their third successive defeat, at Pearse Park, yesterday as relegation fears abound ahead of Sunday's clash against Dublin.

Hit for 5-20 by Kilkenny and for 4-15 by Clare in the previous two rounds, Tipperary conceded 3-16.

Galway scored all three goals in the first half and had the comfort of having fresh wind behind them in the second period.

Tipp were breached on three occasions by Niall Healy (20th minute), Conor Cooney (26th minute penalty) and Jonathan Glynn (31st minute), leaving the visitors with too much to do.

Tipp were nine points down when Galway centre-back Iarla Tannian was sent off on a second yellow card. It offered Tipperary a chink of hope, with Séamus Callanan (1-11) to the fore, but the Premier county just couldn't get the goal that would have earned them a precious point.

In Division 1B, WEXFORD's Ian Byrne was the driving force, contributing 0-10 to his side's 2-21 total in their win over Laois (1-18) at Wexford Park, to secure a last-eight berth.

However, aside from Byrne, Wexford made hard work of the second half against 14-man Laois, who had Charlie Dwyer sent off on 35 minutes. The home side only managed to secure victory when Shane Tomkins hit the back of the net three minutes from the end.

Laois had got themselves level at 1-16 each with 12 minutes remaining, but tiredness then set in.

Joe Bergin was the hero for Offaly as his 12th point of the afternoon, the last puck of the game, earned the Faithful a 2-15 to 2-15 draw at O'Connor Park. Limerick can point to their final tally of 12 wides as a cause of regret, having been four points in front.

Antrim could have taken a major scalp as they were only edged out 0-18 to 1-12 by Cork in their clash at Ballycastle. Matthew Donnelly's goal in first half injury-time helped them lead 1-9 to 0-8 at the break, but the Saffrons also had 11 wides in the opening period. Patrick Horgan's eight points helped Cork fight back.