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Friday 24 November 2017

Hurney goal crucial as Déise take down Banner

AS Waterford manager John Owens would explain afterwards, the novelty of being clear favourites heading into a Munster championship match got old very quickly.

It was unfamiliar territory and clearly weighed heavily as the football failed to match the scenic settings in sunny Dungarvan. Waterford could only fall over the line against 14-man Clare as Gary Hurney's goal early in the second half proved crucial.

That strike came after a disputed line-ball was awarded to the Déise men. Liam O Lionain's delivery was excellently fielded by the Ballinacourty man who fired to the roof of the net past a helpless Joe Hayes. That gave Owens' side a two-point cushion and Waterford did just enough to get home 1-10 to 0-9 over the course of the 70 minutes.

"Clare came down here and played very well in the first half," Owens said. "They were dominating us and we just couldn't get on top of them for a spell. Once we got a wee bit of dominance there before half-time, it brought us closer to parity and we were happy enough going into the dressing room at the break. We had a bit of a wind coming out and the main thing was to hit long balls into Gary. One of them, he caught it brilliantly and banged it in. It was just great to see him hitting the back of the net."

Clare finished the game with 14 men after wing-back Declan Callinan picked up a second yellow card late in the game. Referee Aidan Mangan had no option but to dismiss the Clare man but the Kerry official failed to avoid the wrath of the Clare boss.

"I've no problem with the hand-pass or new rules like that, but I have to say the referee made some very bad calls today," said McDermott.

Limerick are next up for Waterford as they look to reach their first Munster football final since 1960.

"We've got two weeks of pure work ahead of us now for Limerick," Owens said. "It's going to be a powerful day down here in two weeks' time."

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