IT WAS the Chloe Morey show at Cusack Park as the Sixmilebridge sharpshooter reeled off 15 points to give Clare’s Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Championship hopes a real shot in the arm with a 2-19 to 3-9 win over Waterford.
Both sides had tasted defeat last weekend and so victory was imperative to keep their aspirations of making the top three of Group 1 and securing a place in at least the Quarter-Finals alive.
For a while, it looked as if it might be the Déise girls enjoying success. Morey opened the scoring but Beth Carton and Lorraine Bray had given Waterford the lead when Kate McMahon stretched the gap to four with a goal.
Morey got Clare back into the game but they were rocked, literally, when Niamh Rockett plundered Waterford’s second major and the margin was six.
Crucially, that was down to two by the interval (2-5 to 0-9) as Andrea O’Keeffe hit points from play at either end of a brace of converted frees by Morey.
The former All-Star hit the first three scores of the second half to edge Clare ahead but Carton, who scored five points for Waterford, kept the Déise girls in contention until an Áine O’Loughlin goal gave Clare some daylight.
Substitute Becky Kavanagh breached the Banner defences a third time but an Aoife Keane bullet two minutes from time sealed the deal for Patricia O’Grady’s crew.
In the other game played at the Parnell’s GAA grounds in Coolock, Galway overcame a sluggish start to ease to a 3-18 to 1-12 win.
Mark Dunne’s side had not played a competitive game for 10 weeks, while Dublin had the benefit of provincial championship, as well as getting this campaign underway with a win over Clare last weekend.
They were clearly buoyed by that and a goal from leading scorer Faye McCarthy, who finished with 1-4, enabled them to establish a six-point advantage.
Galway gradually reeled David Herity’s girls in though. Ailish O’Reilly’s 11-point haul is noteworthy, even if it pales slightly in comparison to Morey’s heroics in Ennis but her threat from play and placed balls was constant.
Just as important was the goalscoring prowess of Aoife Donohue, the 2016 All-Star pouncing for two goals and three points in an exceptional performance.
Rebecca Hennelly also weighed in with a goal and the defence held their end up too, curtailing Dublin to just three points in the second half.