Waterford v Clare, Sunday 12th of May, 2 pm, Walsh Park
Waterford will home advantage for the first time ever in the Munster Round Robin campaign in what will be a sold out Walsh Park. This will be a difficult game for Clare who revisit the scene of their league defeat. Waterford racked up 0-31 that day beating Clare easily enough. This will obviously be a different type of game with the white heat of Munster Championship different to league hurling.
Waterford had a superb league campaign. They topped Division 1b before going on to the league final. They lost out to 2018 All-Ireland Champions Limerick in that game. However, Pauric Fanning will be absolutely thrilled. Stephen Bennett was on the frees for much of the league, it is likely Pauric Mahony will be back on them for this game though I expect. Players like Tadhg De Burca, Aussie Gleeson, Kevin Moran will once again be expecting big years. In attack, Pauric Mahony and the Bennett’s will be key players.
Clare under joint managers Gerry O’Connor and Donie McInerney probably would have preferred to have a longer league campaign. They lost out to Waterford in the league quarter-final conceding 0-31 in the process. Clare have superb talent Tony Kelly once again will be the main man, but players like Diarmuid Ryan, Peter Duggan and Podge Collins will be key players in attack.
Last 5 Championship Meetings
2018 Clare 2-27 Waterford 2-18 (Munster round robin)
2016 Waterford 1-21 Clare 0-17 (Munster semi-final)
2013 Clare 2-20 Waterford 1-15 (Munster quarter-final)
2012 Waterford 2-17 Clare 1-18 (Munster semi-final)
2010 Waterford 0-22 Clare 1-15 (Munster semi-final)
Waterford: Stephen O’Keeffe; Shane McNulty, Conor Prunty, Noel Connors; Philip Mahony Tadhg De Búrca, Kevin Moran ; Jamie Barron, Conor Gleeson, Austin Gleeson Mikey Kearney, Paraic Mahony, Peter Hogan, Stephen Bennett, Shane Bennett.
CLARE: Donal Tuohy, Pat O’Connor, Dave McInerney, Jack Browne, Seadna Morey, Colm Galvin, David Fitzgerald, Shane Golden, Cathal Malone, Peter Duggan, Tony Kelly, Diarmuid Ryan, Shane O’Donnell, John Conlon, Podge Collins
Waterford are priced as even money as are Clare. Waterford with home advantage will be difficult to beat that is why I would side with them. Shane Bennett at 15/8 to score a goal anytime looks a good bet.