Whyte's last-gasp score gives Deise chance to fight again
Waterford earned themselves a replay against Clare in Dungarvan next Saturday, when they kicked three late points at Cusack Park to snatch a draw.
Clare 2-8 Waterford 2-8 - Munster SFC
For most of the game they struggled to keep up with a Clare side who were in command for the most part and led by 1-5 to 1-2 at the break.
Played in front of a 1,768 attendance, the game began brightly for the home side. Free-taker David Tubridy converted a 30 metre shot after Shane McGrath was fouled after three minutes.
Then McGrath was through on goal and his shot was stopped by Waterford 'keeper Stephen Enright only for the rebound to be smashed to the net by Enda Coughlan. Six minutes in and Clare were 1-1 to no score in front.
Eventually Waterford found their range and were rewarded by two points from the boot of corner-forward JJ Hutchinson.
In that opening period the Clare defence did well by denying an eager Waterford attack, giving away no frees within scoring range.
By the 29th minute they had stretched their lead to 1-4 to 0-2 thanks to scores by McGrath (twice) and a free from Martin O'Leary.
The visitors responded with a well taken goal close to half-time by Paul Whyte, in a movement that also involved centre-back Dean Crowley and wing-forward Michael O'Gorman. Whyte dispatched a low shot past Joe Hayes in the Clare goal.
Before the break, Clare stretched their lead to three points thanks to a right-footed effort from play by Tubridy.
In that opening half, the Banner lost Gordon Kelly for a black card offence – he was replaced by Shane Brennan.
On the restart, Clare forged ahead and kicked two early points by Jamie Malone and captain Gary Brennan.
But then they hit a barren patch for 23 minutes. In the interim, Waterford mounted a spirited challenge and scored 1-3 .
Points from Whyte and Michael Curry were added to by a Liam Ó Lonáin goal in the 57th minute. That goal put them on level terms, and when Tadhg Ó hUallacháin split the Clare posts minutes later, the Decies found themselves in front (2-5 to 1-7) for the first and only time in the game.
Clare, who were in control for much of the game, hit back with a goal of their own. Dual star Sean Collins came in from the right flank and off-loaded to substitute Rory Donnelly who set up Tubridy for the all-important three-pointer.
With three minutes of normal time remaining, Gary Brennan restored a three-point advantage with a well taken long-range point.
Nevertheless, the game still hung in the balance.
First off Shane Aherne kicked a score from play. Then Whyte was hauled down in possession by Podge Collins, earning the All Star hurler a black card.
Aherne made no mistake with the subsequent free to make it a one-point game, going into injury-time. Then deep into added-time, a left-footed kick by Whyte sailed between the Clare posts, much to the delight of the Waterford followers.
A never-say-die attitude by Niall Carew's team kept them in the race and those three late scores deservedly earned them another day out.
Scorers: Clare: D Tubridy 1-3 (0-1f), E Coughlan 1-0, S McGrath 0-2, M O'Leary (f), J Malone, G Brennan 0-1 each. Waterford: P Whyte 1-2, L Ó Lonáin 1-0, JJ Hutchinson, S Aherne (f) 0-2 each, M Curry, T Ó hUllacháin (0-1) each.
Clare: J Hayes; D Ryan, K Harnett, M McMahon; S Hickey, G Kelly, C Russell; G Brennan (Capt.), S McGrath; J Malone, E Coughlan, S Collins; P Collins, D Tubridy, M O'Leary. Subs: S Brennan for Kelly (BC, 31), R Donnelly for O'Leary (51), E Cleary for Malone (63), P McMahon for P Collins (BC, 70).
Waterford: S Enright; S Briggs (Capt.), Maurice O'Gorman, T O'Gorman; C Phelan, D Crowley, O Keevers; P Whyte, T Prendergast; T Ó'hUallacháin L Ó Lonáin , Michael O'Gorman; B Wall, S Aherne, JJ Hutchinson. Subs: M Curry for Hutchinson (42), D Allen for Wall (58), W Hutchinson for Briggs B/C (50), D Grey for Michael O'Gorman (56), D Hallinan for Keevers (60), L Ó'Corraoin for Phelan (66).
Referee: C Lane (Cork)
The game at a glance
Man of the match
Kevin Harnett (Clare) - The Meelick clubman, marshalled his defence with a cool head and made sure that no unnecessary frees were conceded within scoring range, especially in the first half. Also, his numerous bursts out of defence to set up attacking options were vital on an evening when scores were at a premium.
Waterford's second goal by Liam Ó Lonáin in the 57th minute. It tied the game and gave his side the impetus to take the lead with a subsequent point by Tadhg Ó hUallacháin. Even though Clare hit back with another goal, Ó Lonáin's goal gave Waterford belief that there was something in the game for them.
Paul Whyte's left-footed equaliser splitting the Clare posts in the 73rd minute.
How Clare, who controlled matters for most of this game, almost lost it. Their barren spell for a long period in the second half will have to be addressed if they are to win the replay.
Conor Lane didn't stand out and that's a compliment to any referee. He did issue three black cards, two to Clare and one to Waterford, and all were merited.
What they said
Colm Collins (Clare manager): "Waterford worked hard and they really played well. We are really delighted to get another chance and redeem ourselves."
Shane Aherne (Waterford midfielder): "We dropped eight balls into their goalie's hands and missed a few handy frees as well. We needed a goal to get us back into the game. We weren't scoring that fluently and we need that goal. Overall we are pleased enough about the replay being in Dungarvan and hopefully we'll put in a good performance."
Clare (5) 12
Waterford (3) 5
Clare (8) 15
Waterford (10) 17
Clare: David Tubridy (47)
Clare: Gordon Kelly (31), Podge Collins (70)
Waterford: Shane Briggs (50)
A replay in Dungarvan next Saturday.