Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Final – Clare 0-22 Waterford 0-22

Waterford and Clare played out a draw after extra time in the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Final on Sunday May 1st at Semple Stadium Thurles.

Allianz HL Final: Shanahan free earns Deise draw after extra-time.

Allianz Hurling League Division 1 final

Clare 0-22 Waterford 0-22 (After extra-time; 0-15 each after normal time)

By Jackie Cahill at Semple Stadium, Thurles for

HOLDERS Waterford and Clare must meet again next weekend in the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 final replay following this afternoon’s Semple Stadium stalemate. Maurice Shanahan rescued a draw for Waterford with a free in the 92nd minute – after Colin Ryan looked to have won it for Clare with a 90th-minute point from play.

Ryan’s score was a cracker from the middle third but Shanahan boomed over the equaliser from inside his own half to ensure that the Munster SHC semi-final opponents will be seeing plenty of each other in the coming weeks. With both teams adopting their usual sweeper systems, and Fitzgerald warning beforehand that it mightn’t be the “prettiest” of games, that’s exactly how it transpired – before extra-time provided more entertainment.

Both sides were extremely wasteful in normal time, registering a total of 35 wides between them (Waterford 19, Clare 16). When the dust settled, they had collected 39 in total (Waterford 20, Clare 19). They were deadlocked at 0-15 apiece when Clare’s leading marksman Conor McGrath, with 73 minutes and 33 seconds on the watch, fired over the equalising score from the 20m line, tight on the left touchline.

In the first minute of stoppage time, Waterford’s rising young star Shane Bennett had popped over his seventh point of the game, and third from play, to hand the Déise a lead that looked like a winning one. But throughout this fixture, there was very little to separate the sides – even though Clare were three points clear in the second half.

In front of 19,498 spectators, it was predictably tight and tense, with both sides putting over just four points from play between them – three of those for Clare – in the first half. Waterford also racked up a massive tally of 12 wides in that opening half, five of them from Austin Gleeson.

Waterford were struggling badly on placed balls, Patrick Curran missing three and Gleeson two, before Shane Bennett assumed free-taking responsibilities before half-time and landed two successful efforts. A cagey atmosphere pervaded throughout the first half and there was just the merest whiff of a goal chance when Curran caught a Gleeson delivery close to goal but was bottled up the massed Clare ranks.

There were goal chances in the second half but Tom Devine, goal hero in last year’s final against Cork, missed the best of them. Right from the start, Waterford operated with just one forward inside the 45m line and it quickly became apparent that this would be an afternoon for long-range shooters to strut their stuff.

Unfortunately, Waterford were wayward with those 12 wides, with another two efforts dropping short. Clare were a little more economical in their shooting, registering six wides, but Waterford picked up more than enough breaking ball around a congested middle third to make more of an impact on the scoreboard before the break.

Instead, it was Clare who went in a point up, 0-7 to 0-6, with Conor McGrath’s fifth point of the half, and fourth free, handing the Banner County a slim advantage. There was barely a whiff of cordite in the air until Tony Kelly careered into Colin Dunford with a head-high challenge in the 29th minute, referee Brian Gavin opting for a yellow card.

There was also a touchline flare-up involving both benches shortly afterwards as the temperature gauge went up a notch but linesman Cathal McAllister intervened to help ensure that there was no physical contact between the respective backroom teams as the verbals flew.

After half-time, Bennett missed a few early frees as the second half picked up where the first had left off. Clare led by three points, 0-11 to 0-8, but Waterford reeled them in with a trio of Bennett points, two from play.

Gleeson’s free then handed Waterford the lead for the first time in the game but the sides were level on three further occasions in a dramatic final ten minutes, plus stoppage time, before extra-time ensued. Waterford moved three clear in the first period before they were reeled in – 0-18 apiece at the midway point. They were level again four times in the second period before Gavin blew for full-time.

Scorers for Clare: C McGrath 0-13 (10f), T Kelly 0-3, C Galvin 0-2, P Duggan, P Collins, D Reidy & C Ryan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Waterford: S Bennett 0-9 (6f), P Curran 0-4 (2f), A Gleeson (2f) & T Ryan 0-2 each, Philip Mahony, J Barron, C Dunford, B O’Halloran & M Shanahan (f) 0-1 each.

CLARE: P Kelly; O’Brien, C Dillon, P O’Connor; B Bugler, C Cleary, D Fitzgerald; D Reidy, C Galvin; P Duggan, T Kelly, A Cunningham; P Collins, D Honan, C McGrath
Subs: S O’Donnell for Duggan (45), C O’Connell (Clonlara) for Honan (49), C Ryan for Cunningham (54), A Shanagher for Galvin (62), J Browne for Cleary (77), C Galvin for Collins (80+2), S Morey for Bugler (85).

WATERFORD: S O’Keeffe; N Connors, B Coughlan, D Fives; T de Búrca, S Fives, Philip Mahony; A Gleeson, J Barron; M Walsh, S Bennett, K Moran; P Curran, C Dunford, J Dillon
Subs: T Devine for Dunford (45), M Shanahan for Dillon (57), B O’Halloran for A Gleeson (63), C Gleeson for S Fives (66), T Ryan for Curran (67), C Dunford for Bennett (87), Pauric Mahony for Walsh (88).

Referee: B Gavin (Offaly)

Team News

The Waterford Team for the Allianz NHL Final has being announced after training tonight. Below is the starting team. Best of luck to Derek and all the team on Sunday. #DeiseAbú

1. Stephen O’Keeffe (Ballygunner)
2. Shane Fives (Tourin)
3. Barry Coughlan (Ballygunner)
4. Noel Connors (Passage)
5. Tadhg de Burca (Clashmore / Kinsalebeg)
6. Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion)
7. Philip Mahony (Ballygunner)
8. Jamie Barron (Fourmilewater)
18. Darragh Fives (Tourin)
10. Kevin Moran (De La Salle)
11. Shane Bennett (Ballysaggart)
12. Michael Walsh (Stradbally)
13. Patrick Curran (Dungarvan)
14. Jake Dillon (De La Salle)
15. Colin Dunford (Colligan)

Clare (HL v Waterford) – P Kelly; O O’Brien, P O’Connor, C Dillon; B Bugler, C Cleary, D Fitzgerald; D Reidy, C Galvin; A Cunningham, D Honan, P Duggan; P Collins, T Kelly, C McGrath.