Clare 0-17 Waterford 1-21
Derek McGrath’s Waterford are through to a second successive Munster Senior Hurling Championship final after a seven-point victory over Clare at Semple Stadium this afternoon.
Pauric Mahony hit six points, five of which were frees, on his first championship start since the All-Ireland qualifier defeat against Wexford in 2014 as Waterford avenged their League final replay defeat against Clare last month.Mahony was called up as a late replacement for Colin Dunford and rewarded McGrath’s faith by displaying brilliant ball striking throughout the game.
Austin Gleeson was a forced to be reckoned with today and deservedly picked up the man-of-the-match award.
There were other big displays from Maurice Shanahan, scorer of 1-02, Darragh Fives and captain Kevin Moran, particularly in the second half, as McGrath’s men advanced to a 10th July Munster final with either Limerick or Tipperary.
The sides registered 20 wides between them before half-time, Clare responsible for 11 of them.The usually reliable Conor McGrath fired five and Tony Kelly three, as the Banner men misfired massively this afternoon.
Waterford started on the front foot and held four-point half-time advantage, leading by 1-09 to 0-08.They had raced into a 1-01 to 0-00 lead within four minutes, Shanahan scrambling the ball home following an aerial delivery with Clare’s full-back exposed.
Waterford built on their early scoring and their lead grew to eight points at one stage in the second half (1-20 to 0-15) before they won pulling up, condemning League champions Clare to another run through the qualifiers. Davy Fitzgerald’s men never had Waterford under strain and will be kicking themselves with the high number of wides registered today.