Clare v Waterford, Saturday, 7pm, Ennis
Clare and Waterford meet in Ennis on Saturday evening in what on paper looks an easy win for Clare. However, Benji Whelan has assembled a good squad and will know a good performance will be needed.
Clare had an average enough league campaign in Division 2. They survived by the skin of their teeth with the head to head win over Cork ensuring their status. They won two games, lost four and drawn one. Waterford operated out of Division 4 this season and finished fourth in Division 4 winning three games and losing four.
Waterford have failed to win a Munster Championship game since 2010, when in fact they beat Clare in the Munster quarter final. Clare haven’t lost a Munster championship opening round game since 2013, when Cork beat them in a Munster semi-final. Colm Collins is in his sixth year at Banner boss, while Benji Whelan is just in first year.
Clare (SF v Waterford): Stephen Ryan; Kevin Hartnett, Cillian Brennan, Gordon Kelly; Dean Ryan, Aaron Fitzgerald, Sean Collins; Gary Brennan, Darragh Bohannon; Kieran Malone, Eoin Cleary, Jamie Malone; Cormac Murray, Gavin Cooney, Cian O’Dea.
Waterford (Munster SFC v Clare): Darren Mulhearne; Sean O’Donovan, Ray O’Ceallaigh, James McGrath; Brian Looby, Shane Ryan, Tadhg O’Huallachain; Shane Aherne, Tommy Prendergast; Sean Whelan-Barrett, Dylan Guiry, Conor Murray; Jack Mullaney, Ferghal O’Cuirrin, Michael Curry
Clare are 1/25 to win. Waterford are 10/1 with the draw at 25/1. Clare – 9 in the handicap doesn’t appeal to me they are missing a couple of players. Therefore Waterford +9 looks good.