Limerick ... 1-28; Clare ... 1-15: Limerick will contest the Munster U21 hurling final later this month following this comfortable penultimate round win over Clare.
By Eoghan Cormican in the Gaelic Grounds
Having posted 2-24 during their quarter-final win over Tipperary, Pat Donnelly’s much-vaunted young charges went one better here.
Cian Lynch’s point from open play on 58 minutes meant all starting six forward had etched their names onto the scoresheet.
Colin Ryan of Limerick in action against Brian Cahill of Clare during the Bord Gais Energy Munster GAA Hurling Under 21 Championship Semi-Final match between Limerick and Clare at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Both midfielders, Colin Ryan and Robbie Hanley, along with wing-back pair, Thomas Grimes and Ronan Lynch, also contributed to Limerick’s 1-28 total
The winners were out the gap by half-time, leading 1-14 to 1-5. Peter Casey delivered the Limerick goal six minutes in, referee Cathal McAllister correctly allowing play continue after Hayes had been fouled by Conor O’Halloran - the latter was yellow carded for the indiscretion and was later dismissed on a second yellow.
The green flag moved the hosts 1-5 to 0-2 clear and although the Banner countered with a well-worked Billy Connors goal on 11 minutes, the Limerick reply was to hit four unanswered points.
In truth, the nine-point difference at the break could have been so much greater, with Peter Casey, Aaron Gillane, twice, and Tom Morrissey spurning goal chances. This trend continued into the second period as Morrissey fired the wrong side of the crossbar within 36 seconds of the restart.
Clare’s most productive period arrived thereafter, with Ian Galvin (two frees), Brian Cahill, Michael O’Malley and Aaron Shanagher landing five without reply to make it 1-15 to 1-10. That was as close, though, as the visitors would come.
Limerick await the winners of tomorrow’s semi-final between Cork and reigning Munster champions Waterford.
Scorers for Limerick: A Gillane (0-14, 0-4 frees, 0-2 ‘65s); P Casey (1-0); C Ryan (0-3); R Hanley, T Morrissey, B Nash (0-2 each); T Grimes, R Lynch (free), C Lynch, P Ahern, B Murphy (0-1 each).
Scorers for Clare: I Galvin (0-5, 0-4 frees); B Connors (1-0); D Fitzgerald, C Corbett (0-2 each); M O’Malley, B Cahill, A Shanagher, M Moloney, M O’Shea, P O’Loughlin (0-1 each).
Limerick: E McNamara (Doon); S Finn (Bruff), D Fanning (Pallasgreen), D Joy (Kilmallock); R Lynch (Na Piarsaigh), K Hayes (Kildimo/Pallaskenry), T Grimes (Na Piarsaigh); R Hanley (Kilmallock), C Ryan (Pallasgreen); A Gillane (Patrickswell), B Murphy (Doon), C Lynch (Patrickswell); P Casey (Na Piarsaigh), T Morrissey (Ahane), B Nash (South Liberties).
Subs: Subs: C Boylan (Na Piarsaigh) for Murphy (40); A La Touche Cosgrave (Monaleen) for Grimes (40); C McSweeney (South Liberties) for Finn (51); P Ahern (Killeedy) for Morrissey (53); O O’Reilly (Kilmallock) for Casey (56);
Clare: K Nugent (O’Callaghan Mills); C Cooney (O’Callaghan Mills), D Walsh (Éire Óg), C O’Halloran (Éire Óg); C Smyth (Feakle), D Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona), R Hayes (Wolfe Tones); J McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona), M O’Malley (Kilmaley); B O’Gorman (Wolfe Tones), I Galvin (Clonlara), B Cahill (Kilmaley); C Corbett (Tulla), A Shanagher (Wolfe Tones Na Sionna), B Connors (Cratloe).
Subs: M Moloney (Éire Óg) for Smyth (18 mins); M O’Shea (Smith O’Briens) for Corbett (39); P O’Loughlin (Clonlara) for Hayes (43); C Noonan (Killanena) for Cahill (57); J Cunningham (Wolfe Tones) for O’Gorman.
Referee: C McAllister (Cork).