Munster MFC: Cahill on fire as Banner batter Na Deise

April 19, 2017

Clare and Waterford faced off in a Munster MFC play-off at Cusack Park, Ennis tonight.

Gearoid Cahill's hat-trick of goals helped Clare to an emphatic 5-11 to 0-6 victory over Waterford at Ennis tonight.

With corner back Jack Sheedy and wing back Diarmuid Ryan getting in on the scoring act, the second half was a procession for the barnstorming Banner men, who outscored their opponents by 4-8 to 0-2 after the break, including 3-6 without reply in the last 14 minutes.

Beaten by 13 points by Kerry in Tralee seven days ago, Seamus Clancy's charges prevailed by 20 at calm and mild Cusack Park and will now host Tipperary in a second play-off at the same venue next Wednesday night to see who joins the Kingdom, Cork and Limerick in the last four of a somewhat protracted provincial competition.

Waterford, who ran the Treaty County close last week, couldn't reproduce that form again and are the first team to be eliminated from the 2017 Munster minor football championship.

Having roared out of the blocks, the winners led by 1-3 to 0-4 at the end of a dour opening period, which Waterford largely dominated - but the visitors were left frustrated by eight first-half wides. The home team did all their first half scoring inside the first ten minutes and Na Deise then took complete control but wayward shooting derailed their challenge as they managed just one score from play before the short whistle.

Full forward Gavin Cooney's straight-forward converted free into the scoreboard end made it 1-3 to 0-2 in favour of the hosts after ten minutes. The goal was scored by left corner forward Cahill in the third minute - following good foraging from captain Dermot Coughlan - to give the Banner County an early 1-2 to no score lead.

With 389 in attendance, Sean Rouine and Ross O'Doherty notched the first two scores of the match from play for the Banner and, after Corofin ace Cahill hit their net for the first of five times, there would be no way back for Na Deise.

The visitors pulled back points in the sixth and eighth minutes - with Tom Barron (free) and midfielder Mick Devine (with their sole score from play) on target - before Barron's converted free in the 20th had the Suirsiders back within three points - 1-3 to 0-3. The losers came more and more into the game but five wides inside the opening 25 minutes did little to help their cause.

Stephen Curry cut inside to register a sixth Waterford wide, Dan Booth missed another glorious opportunity and Tom Looby likewise spurned a presentable chance from a free on the stroke of half time. Barron slotted his second successive free in added time to leave just two between them at the interval.

Just one point was registered in the first ten minutes after the restart and it was supplied by Coughlan, to make it 1-4 to 0-4, but Clare then took control and Ennistymon's O'Doherty's brilliant 42nd-minute major - an unstoppable rocket - had them ahead by two goals at the three-quarters stage, 2-5 to 0-5.

The winners added two of the next three points and Cahill grabbed his second and third three-pointers in the 50th and 51st minutes to finish the game as any sort of meaningful contest - 4-7 to 0-6. But for the crossbar, Cahill could have had a fourth goal and Loody also hit the woodwork from the penalty spot at the other end but the winners added their fifth three-pointer (O'Doherty's second) in injury time to ease into the second play-off round next week.

Clare - M Lillis; J Miniter, J O'Sullivan, J Sheedy (0-1); D Ryan (0-1), F Donnellan, C McNelis; C McMahon, D Griffin; S Rouine (0-2), D Coughlan (0-3, 2f), R Phelan; R O'Doherty (2-1), G Cooney (0-1f), G Cahill (3-0). Subs: C O'Donoghue (0-1) for R Phelan, K White for D Griffin, A O'Brien for C McNelis, R Considine (0-1) for G Cooney, A McNamara for C McMahon, C O'Brien for G Cahill.

Waterford - A Beresford; M Horgan, D Cullinane, S Murphy Nix; M Twomey, S Ahern, C Kilgannon; M Devine (0-1), C Cullinane; T Looby (0-1f), D Booth, S Whelan Barrett; S Curry, D O'Keeffe, T Barron (0-4f). Subs: R Lynch for D O'Keeffe, J Devine for C Kilgannon, R Stringer for M Horgan, N Dunphy for S Whelan Barrett, R Power for S Curry.

Referee - J Ryan.

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