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Published: 17:56 | 1/5/16

Deise and Clare face final replay

Munster rivals draw thriller in Thurles

Waterford and Clare must contest a replay of the Allianz National Hurling League Division 1 final following a thrilling 0-22 to 0-22 draw after extra time at Semple Stadium.

At the beginning of the first addition period, scores from substitutes Brian O'Halloran and Tommy Ryan, followed by a Shane Bennett free, secured Waterford the advantage.

However, David Reidy and Tony Kelly hit back for Clare, before Conor McGrath's free levelled the affair at the interval in extra time.

Tom Devine was unsuccessful with a goal chance for Waterford, while Aaron Shanaher was denied at the other end by Stephen O'Keeffe, interrupting a spree of scores that ended with the sides again on level terms.

A long-range strike from Colin Ryan appeared to have won it for Clare but Deise substitute Maurice Shanahan's massive free ensured a replay.

Reigning champions Waterford and Davy Fitzgerald's troops will meet again next Sunday.

Clare had started the clash brightly, as scores from McGrath helped the Banner men into a 0-6 to 0-4 lead by the midpoint of a tense and scrappy first half.

Following a foul by Kelly on Colin Dunford, tempers flared, including between Fitzgerald and Derek McGrath on the touchline. Calm, though, was swiftly restored.

Frees from Bennett dragged the Deise onto level terms but a McGrath strike late in the half saw Clare lead by the narrowest of margins.

Curran and Bennett kept Waterford meekly ticking over in the second period but McGrath's accuracy continued to provide Clare with the edge, as the Banner moved into a three-point lead with a quarter of the clash remaining.

However, with the accuracy of the striking improving, a treble from Bennett restored parity.

A series of quick-fire scores saw the lead swap hands before Bennett responded to a Kelly miss by sweeping Waterford ahead with the minutes ticking away.

There was still time, though, for McGrath to set up extra play with a late, late free.

The additional periods could not determine a winner, ensuring a repeat clash next weekend.

The pair will also meet in the Munster Senior Hurling Championship in a little over a month’s time.

Earlier on Sunday, in the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship's qualifier group, Kerry recorded a 2-19 to 0-17 victory over Carlow at Austin Stack Park, while Westmeath produced a shock 2-22 to 1-11 hammering of Offaly in Mullingar.

The top two teams in the group will progress to the provincial quarter-finals, with Offaly still likely to move forward in the competition, alongside the Lake County.

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