Clare ran up a big lead in the first half, but Waterford almost caught them on the finish line, giving both teams plenty to ponder after the clash in Dungarvan.
Jamie Barron pointed to the calendar in assessing the weekend’s work.
“January is about getting the work done and getting those fitness levels up again after the Christmas, and between the game against Cork, last Wednesday, and Clare, on Sunday, we got two good games under our belt in one week.
“We’d be happy enough with that. It was a good week’s work, even if the result on Sunday wasn’t what we were looking for. You can do all the training you like and play practice matches amongst yourselves, but there’s no substitute for real games against good opposition.
“We were out on Sunday in a really good game and we were also improving our match fitness at the same time, obviously, after the Christmas break.”
For Jamie Barron and his colleagues, the early exit from last year’s championship means the appetite is sharp for 2019.
“We’re looking forward to the league. It won’t be long at all coming round again to us,” said the Nire-Fourmilewater clubman.
“I’d say most of the lads are looking forward to this season even more than usual, because we went out early enough last summer.
“Going out of the championship that early means you had a good few months where you’re watching other teams tear into it. The likes of Clare, Galway, Cork, and Limerick were playing in unbelievable games, All-Ireland finals and semi-finals, and it would only drive you to get back there.
“We’ve been itching for the new year to start, and, thank God, we’re back into it now; it’s all systems go.”
Back with the club, Barron had a good run last year.
“We (The Nire) won the county and had a couple of games in the Munster club, so, at least, I had that when Waterford were gone out of the championship.
“In one way it was ideal, because I had the time to give to the club and we were able to drive it on, and it was great to win the county, obviously. But, now, the main focus is on Waterford again.”