By Mike Fitzpatrick
The Decies of Waterford have made the critics eat their words.
Before the start of the season, Waterford had suffered something of a serious exodus of players, with many of their stars from last season opting to either return home or join other clubs in the tri-state area. Many had predicted doom and gloom for the south east club. But boomtime occurred on Sunday at Gaelic Park with Waterford playing Clare off the park with some stunning scores in this senior hurling clash.
This Waterford side is quietly moving up the table with manager Noel Brophy having done a fabulous job in keeping the current side together, and gelling them into a winning unit, an admirable feat considering the amount of players the club lost before the start of the season.
Clare battled throughout the tie, but as the scoreline suggests, they were really overcome by their opponents. With Paul Flynn hammering in an impressive seven points, and Fintan O’Shea lagging just behind with a goal and three points, their scores alone were enough to see off the Bannermen.
Clare battled on, but missing some key players, they were simply not up to the task of defeating this rampant Waterford side.
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James Burke hit three over the bar for Clare, but his efforts were in vain as their rivals continued to rampage forward and hit the target.
It has become obvious that there could well be a new force in New York hurling, and although they’ve yet to face Limerick or Tipperary, I feel they will not be as intimidated this time around as they have perhaps been before.
Watch out for the Decies this year.
Waterford: Noel Kelly, Tom Feeney, Tom Bermingham, Dave Ryan, Tom Morissey, Tomas Maher, Kevin Martin, Rory Hussey, Fintan O’Shea (1-3), Sean Cotter (0-4), Brendan Hannon (1-2), Donncha Crotty, Paul Flynn (0-7), Subs: Ken Geary, Gareth Burke, Mike Shea, Dan Sweeney (0-3).
Clare: Aidan O’Connor, Brian Adams, Noel McGovern, Marty McGlade, Ray McKenna (0-1), Colm Walsh, Martin Craig, Gerry Rogers, Darren Doherty (0-1), Barney Breen (0-1), Eddie Flynn, James Burke (0-3), Liam Briody.