Clare 0-16 Tipperary 0-15
Clare advanced to the last four of the Waterford Crystal Cup for the seventh successive season after edging a low-key derby in Sixmilebridge this afternoon. An injury-time point from substitute Colin Ryan prove decisive in what was the fourth Waterford Crystal Cup meeting with Tipperary in a row, the last three of which were finals.
While Tipperary had the advantage of blooding players against Mary Immaculate last weekend, this was Clare’s 2015 competitive bow, with seven of the 2013 All-Ireland winning side on board along with senior debuts for Gearoid O’Connell and Conor Cleary.
It wasn’t a classic derby by any means however as the wintery conditions and experimental line-ups made it more a cobweb blowing exercise than anything else. The first half in particular was slow to ignite as the teams were level on four occasions before the home side finally rallied with four of the last six points, two from Cathal O’Connell frees to edge it by the break at 0-8 to 0-7.
The seesaw pattern would continue on the restart, with respective free takers Cathal O’Connell and Brendan Maher largely to the fore. However, with both sides emptying their benches as the game developed, Clare would get the sufficient jolt to push clear entering the final quarter as fellow replacements Colin Ryan and Paul Flanagan both pointed to give the hosts a 0-15 to 0-11 advantage.
A nervy four minutes of additional time ensued before Ryan finally popped up to set-up another meeting with Cork in Pairc Ui Rinn next Sunday.
Scorers for Clare: Cathal O’Connell 0-4 (4f); Davy O’Halloran, Patrick Donnellan, Colin Ryan (1f) 0-2 each; Aaron Cunningham, Brendan Bugler, Colm Galvin, Conor Ryan, Bobby Duggan, Paul Flanagan 0-1 each
Scorers for Tipperary: Brendan Maher 0-7 (5f); Sean Maher, Denis Maher 0-2 each: Gearoid Ryan, Tom Stapleton, David Butler, Shane McGrath 0-1 each
Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick)