Clare face Cork in Munster final following effective second half against Limerick

Clare's Shane O'Donnell scores a point. Pic: INPHO/Bryan Keane

Clare...0-26

Limerick...0-15

An effective second-half by Clare ensured they will face Cork in a second successive Munster final as they easily dismissed a flat Limerick in Ennis.

Limerick, who had been the best team in the province up to today, looked leggy and Clare needed no invitation to take advantage as Tony Kelly came alive after the turnaround, sending over four second-half points.

In front of an 18,803 crowd, the anticipated cracker never came to life and Limerick were unable to score for the final 19 minutes of action, but there was no difficulty for Kelly or John Conlon who was again impressive at full-forward.

A drab opening half was only lightened up by an intense unbroken spell of hurling before substitute David Fitzgerald’s second point, and the sendings off of another replacement Tom Condon and David Reidy for an off-the-ball incident as Jamie Shanahan struck over Clare’s 10th point on the half-hour mark.

Fitzgerald picked off a brace due to some slack marking down the Limerick left wing as the home team, even with Kelly and Podge Collins largely anonymous, went into the break 0-13 to 0-9 having had the benefit of a breeze and won the middle third where they were lacking somewhat against Tipperary a week previous.

Shane Dowling sent over four first-half frees to Peter Duggan’s six but would have been on level terms with his opposite number only for blazing a second-minute placed ball wide - the umpire’s decision had to be verified by referee James Owens - and hitting the post from long range just before the interval.

As well as losing a player to a red card, each side were forced to make early changes when Seán Finn and then Seadna Morey made way due to injury.

Scorers for Clare: P. Duggan (0-13, 10 frees, 1 65); T. Kelly (0-5, 1 65); J. Conlon (0-4); D. Fitzgerald (0-2); C. Galvin, J. Shanahan (0-1 each).

Scorers for Limerick: S. Dowling (0-4, frees); T. Morrissey (0-3); K. Hayes, D. O’Donovan (sideline), C. Lynch, D. Byrnes, S. Flanagan, G. Hegarty, D. Morrissey, A. Gillane (0-1 each).

CLARE: D. Tuohy; D. McInerney, P. O’Connor (c), J. Browne; S. Morey, C. Cleary, J. Shanahan; C. Galvin, C. Malone; P. Duggan, D. Reidy, T. Kelly; P. Collins, J. Conlon, S. O’Donnell.

Subs for Clare: D. Fitzgerald for S. Morey (inj 15); J. McCarthy for C. Malone (54); I. Galvin for D. Fitzgerald (62); C. McGrath for S. O’Donnell (65); M. O’Neill for P. Collins (70+1); D. Corry for P. Duggan (blood, 70+1 to 70+4).

Sent off: D. Reidy (straight, 34).

LIMERICK: N. Quaid; S. Finn, M. Casey, R. English; D. Byrnes, D. Hannon (c), D. Morrissey; D. O’Donovan, C. Lynch; G. Hegarty, K. Hayes, T. Morrissey; G. Mulcahy, S. Dowling, S. Flanagan.

Subs for Limerick: T. Condon for S. Finn (inj 13); R. McCarthy for G Mulcahy (h-t); A. Gillane for S. Flanagan (49); D. Dempsey for G. Hegarty (56); B. Nash for R. English (inj 65).

Sent off: T. Condon (straight, 32).

Referee: J. Owens (Wexford).

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