Saturday 21 September 2019

Collins relieved to survive scare as Whelan left to rue Déise's shoddy start

Clare 0-9 Waterford 0-8

Clare manager Colm Collins. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Clare manager Colm Collins. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

Relief and regret emanated from opposite dressing-rooms at Cusack Park: Clare were happy to hear the final whistle, while Waterford were left to wonder what might have been if they had performed anywhere near their capabilities in the first half.

Clare manager Colm Collins was unimpressed by his side's second-half capitulation and he conceded they have a mountain of improvement to make ahead of their Munster semi-final with Kerry in three weeks' time.

Waterford struggled to break out of their ultra-defensive set-up in that first half, but manager Benji Whelan was happy to see his players show their talents after the break.

"We were never going to shut up shop. We were always going to go after it. It was the errors in the first half that cost us," said Whelan.

Uphill task

"Everyone in there knows we didn't do ourselves justice in the first half. Then it became very much an uphill task."

Eoin Cleary was the star of that first period: he kicked six of his side's first seven points and provided the assist for the other.

Waterford were almost non-existent in attack in that period, although Conor Murray kicked a great score ten minutes from the break, and added another shortly after the restart. That was the second point in Waterford's run of six unanswered scores, with Clare unable to add to their tally after the 39th minute.

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The arrival of the Hutchinsons, Dessie and JJ, brought some zip up front for Waterford, and in the end Collins was happy to live to fight another day.

"We needed to keep the scoreboard ticking over, but we didn't. We missed a lot of chances. Listen, I'd rather be in our position than Tipperary's position," he said.

"Galway got a right rattle off London last weekend, Limerick are just after throwing the form book out the window to beat Tipperary."

Scorers - Clare: E Cleary 0-6 (3fs), J Malone 0-2, D Ryan 0-1. Waterford: C Murray, D Hutchinson (2fs), JJ Hutchinson 0-2 each, S Ahearne (f), T Ó hUallacháin 0-1 each.

Clare - S Ryan 7; K Harnett 7, C Brennan 8, G Kelly 7; D Ryan 8, A Fitzgerald 7, S Collins 6; G Brennan 7, D Bohannon 6; K Malone 6, E Cleary 9, J Malone 8; C Murray 8, G Cooney 7, C O'Dea 8. Subs: G O'Brien 7 for K Malone (h-t), C Ó hAiniféin 5 for Cooney (48), C O'Connor 5 for Bohannon (58, BC), D Masterson for Murray (65), D O'Halloran for S Collins (72).

Waterford - D Mulhearne 7; J McGrath 6, R O Ceallaigh 6, S O'Donovan 7; T O hUallachain 8, S Ryan 6, B Looby 7; S Ahearne 6, T Prendergast 6; C Murray 8, D Guiry 6, S Whelan-Barrett 5; J Mullaney 6, F Ó Cuirrín 6, M Curry 6. Subs: D Hutchinson 7 for Whelan-Barrett (35), JJ Hutchinson 8 for Mullaney (48), D Fitzgerald 5 for Ó Cuirrin (65), J Curry for Guiry (68), B O'Keeffe for Ó hUallacháin (70), B Lynch for Murray (74).

Ref - B Cawley (Kildare)

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