Waterford Crystal Cup Hurling semi-finals review:
Clare 3-17 Waterford 4-9
For former Waterford Manager, Davy Fitzgerald it was a happy return to Walsh Park on Sunday when his native Clare defeated his former charges 3-17 to 4-9 and in the process qualified for the final at Sixmilebridge on a date to be decided.
It was originally believed that the final could take place next Sunday but that is not possible as Munster are involved in both hurling and football Inter Provincial semi-finals then.
Colin Ryan was top scorer for the Banner with 0-7 with other useful contributions including those of the goalscorers : Aaron Cunningham 1-2 , Daire Keane 1-1 and Colm Galvin 1-1.
Another bonus for Fitzgerald was the excellent form of Donal Tuohy in the Clare goal. On at least three occasions he saved almost certain goals from Waterford’s forwards, of whom Mount Sion’s Martin O’Neill (two) and Seamus Prendergast of Ardmore got late goals to make the score more respectable from a Deise viewpoint.
It was a well deserved victory for Clare though Davy Fitzgerald was at pains to point out later that it was all to play for when the teams meet again in June and no one should draw any conclusions from yesterday’s game. New Waterford manager Michael Ryan though was disappointed that his charges had not got those late goals much earlier and made a real contest out of it.
Tipperary 0-26 Cork 1-19
It has not been a good week for Tipperary manager Declan Ryan. Having come to terms with the shock resignation from his squad of Lar Corbett earlier in the week, yesterday he lost Patrick Maher, who had to be carried off following a leg injury which makes him a doubtful starter when the Allianz Hurling league gets under way in two weeks time.
Tipp’s four point winning margin at Templemore came against an understrength Cork side and that only after extra time. John Gardiner and Sean Og O hAilpin performed well in the Cork defence as did newcomers Ross Cashman from Kilbrittain and 18 years old Darren Sweetman of Dohenys who greatly impressed the Cork fans present as well as Manager, Jimmy Barry Murphy.
Gearoid Ryan and John O’Brien got early points for the home side .They led 0-7 to 0-6 at half time while another O’Brien point and two from Brian O’Meara and Pa Bourke accounted for the remainder of their tally. Equally there was little to choose between the sides in the second half as Adrian Ryan, O’Brien (again) Coughlan and Naughton exchanged points .Brian O’Meara was an impressive figure for the Tipp men.
Cork points from Brian Corry, Pa Cronin and an impressive Luke O’Farrell (sub) gave the Leesiders a one-point lead with but seconds to go in normal time but following Maher’s injury it was O’Meara who saved Tipp with the equalising point making it 0-18 each. So to extra time.
In the first period there were Tipp points from Eoin Kelly(sub) and Sean Curran with but a solitary Cork reply from the aforementioned young Sweetman. Eoin Kelly again, Curran and Johnny Ryan put the Premier County further ahead until a Cork goal from sub Michael O’Sullivan brought the Leesiders back into the game.
Tipp though had the last word with Burke, O’Mahony and O’Meara (the latter’s fifth of the game) all getting late points so that ended with Tipp through to the Waterford Crystal Final once more, at Sixmilebridge against Davy Fitztgerald’s Clare side.