Clare set sights on Rebels as forward stars inflict damage
McGrath cup: Clare 2-18 Waterford 1-9
Fielding 10 players who were lining out at senior level for the first time, Clare eased to a 12-point win over Waterford in the opening round of the McGrath Cup.
Just three teams have entered the 2018 competition, which means that Clare will qualify for the final unless Waterford shock Cork in next Sunday's game in Dungarvan. Clare are due to play Cork in their round robin fixture in Mallow on Sunday, January 14.
Clare led 1-7 to 0-6 at half-time with corner-forward Eimhin Courtney kicking 0-4 from play in the opening half.
Waterford had 18 players togged and also started 10 debutants. Tom McGlinchey's team had plenty of possession in the opening quarter. However, they kicked eight first-half wides, along with six balls into Clare goalkeeper Killian Roche.
Clare looked much sharper up front with corner-forward Conor Finnucane putting over seven second-half points. In fact, the Clare full-forward line contributed 1-14 of the winners' final tally. Gearóid O'Brien buried Clare's second goal after O'Connor opened up the Waterford defence with a diagonal ball.
Conor Murray scored the Waterford goal in second half injury-time, while their wing-forward Jason Curry was their most impressive attacker, with a tally of 0-7.
SCORERS - Clare: C Finnucane 0-8 (4fs), E Courtney 0-5, G O'Brien 1-1, C O'Connor 1-0, S Collins 0-2; K Malone, D Egan 0-1 each. Waterford: J Curry 0-7 (4f); C Murray 1-0; M Kiely, G Crotty 0-1 each.
Clare - K Roche; J Blake, C Brennan, G Kelly; S Collins, A Fitzgerald, J Culligan; D Bohannon, C O'Connor; P Lillis, A Sweeney, K Malone; E Courtney, G O'Brien, C Finnucane . Subs: E Tubridy for K Roche (h-t), E Collins for J Blake (h-t), D Egan for P Lillis (h-t), T Hannon for J Culligan (h-t), J Hannon for S Collins (53), E O'Connor for G Kelly (55).
Waterford - D Whitty; C McCarthy, G Cullinan, A Trihy; K Murphy, S Prendergast, S Ryan; C McGuire, D Guiry; E O'Brien, J Veale, J Curry; G Crotty, P Walsh, C Murray. Subs: A Walsh for K Murphy (h-t), M Kiely for E O'Brien (43), K Power for C McGuire (46), E O'Brien for J Veale (66).
REF - P O'Driscoll (Cork)