Waterford’s dismal season came to an end with one game to spare as they were swept aside by Clare on a comprehensive scoreline of 2-22 to 0-16 in Semple Stadium this evening.
Tony Kelly put on yet another masterclass with his 0-13 haul deservedly earning him the man-of-the-match gong as Brian Lohan’s Banner backed up their victory over Limerick a fortnight ago in emphatic fashion.
Waterford were left to rue a shooting malfunction in the first half as 12 wides undercut any hopes of reigniting their Munster SHC campaign while they lost Calum Lyons to a red card, picked up for two separate yellows, just before half-time.
Ian Galvin’s goal was the difference as Clare led 1-10 to 0-10 at the break while Davy Fitzgerald kept his old Clare comrade Lohan waiting for the start of the second half, presumably geeing up his troops.
It didn’t work, however, as they limped out of the provincial race for the second year running and serious questions will be asked in the Déise about what has happened in their last three games.
Without a championship win at minor, U-20 or senior in football or hurling this year – 16 losses from 16 games – the wheels have come off in Waterford and their scoring statistics under Fitzgerald paint a harrowing picture.
Their tallies in three championship games this year (0-19, 0-18 and 0-16) clock a paltry average of just under 17.67 points per game while they have failed to score a goal in this year’s championship.
Liam Cahill got plenty of criticism for the second half of their Munster campaign last year when he was Waterford manager – having won the League just weeks previous – but scoring averages under the now Premier manager dwarf Fitzgerald’s.
Their 2022 Munster SHC tallies of 2-24, 2-21, 1-19 and 2-22 leave an average of 26.75 per game and most Waterford supporters would argue that they were much better to watch under Cahill’s watch. Where to now for Waterford?
As for Clare, they went about their business professionally but they will need to get something out of their final game against Cork next Sunday in Ennis to ensure qualification.