Five talking points from Clare’s victory over Waterford.
We have selected five talking points from Clare’s 1-22 to 0-21 victory over Waterford. Brian Lohan’s group face Tipperary next weekend in the Munster championship semi-final.
1. Waterford’s abysmal Munster championship record continues.
Waterford have won just one of their last 13 Munster championship matches. That is a terrible record and what is stranger is that the Deise have reached two All-Ireland titles in that timeframe.
Liam Cahill’s side’s bad provincial record dates back to the 2016 Munster final where Tipperary beat them by 21 points.
It is definitely a worry for the 2020 All-Ireland finalists.
2. Clare win despite hitting 22 wides.
If Clare hit 22 wides against Tipperary it is very unlikely that they will progress. Clare need to be more clinical, however, it is the only major fault that one could take from Brian Lohan’s side’s display.
The Banner county produced one of their best performances in recent championship history to secure a four-point win.
3. Tony Kelly excellent as per usual.
Tony Kelly is an outstanding hurler and apart from a few uncharacteristic wides, he was flawless here. Kelly caused Calum Lyons an awful lot of problems and finished with 1-12. The Ballyea star hit a penalty superbly and hit five points from play.
If Kelly is on form, Clare will be very difficult to stop.
4. Waterford’s forward line did not perform – in contrast to their subs.
Just one of Waterford’s starting forwards registered a score. Four Waterford subs scored from play in contrast.
Dessie Hutchinson was kept very quiet by the Clare defence and in truth, the outcome of the game never looked in doubt from the early stages.
Last year’s All-Ireland runners up need to improve on their efficiency in attack if they are to make an impact in the qualifiers.
The Clare goalkeeper hardly had a save to make all afternoon.
5. What level can this Clare team reach?
Clare won three All-Ireland u-21 hurling titles from 2012-2014 and looked sure to be a serious hurling force.
This process appeared to be accelerated when the Banner county claimed the 2013 All-Ireland title with a very young team.
A number of those players are still hurling with Clare, though they have been unable to reach those heights in recent seasons.
The immediate challenge for Lohan’s group now is to replicate this display next weekend when they face Tipperary.
Clare have not won a Munster championship since 1998 and they would love to end that particular hoodoo.