Limerick overcome wet conditions to win

Limerick 2-05 Clare 0-08

Limerick 2-05 Clare 0-08

Limerick won through to a Munster SFC semi-final meeting with Cork as they overpowered Clare in a low-scoring game today.

The rain-sodden Gaelic Grounds survived two pitch inspections before getting the go-ahead for the sides’ 37th championship tie. The clash was watched by only 1,254 spectators as a combination of poor weather and the Munster rugby squad’s victory parade in Limerick saw the attendance severely hit.

First half goals from corner forward Maurice Crowley and midfielder John Galvin set the trend for the Shannonsiders who led 2-02 to 0-06 at the break.

Poor shooting let Clare down in the second half as wing forward Denis Russell (0-02 (1f)) hit their only scores after the interval. Points from full forward Johnny Murphy and sub John Cooke confirmed Limerick's passage through.

Clare, who were left ruing a wides tally of 15, started at a hundred miles an hour with forwards David Russell and David Heddington and midfielder Ger Quinlan all pointing within the opening seven minutes.

But Limerick were back level on the quarter-hour. Crowley, who was captain for the day in Muiris Gavin’s injury-enforced absence, fisted a high ball to the Banner net to equalise.

Points from Niall Considine, David Russell and Michael O’Dwyer edged Clare back in front but two Seanie Buckley points and Galvin’s late goal enabled Limerick to turn around with a two-point buffer.

The second half was a drab affair with little in the way of quality football. It took 12 minutes until Denis Russell pointed for Clare. He added a free for his side’s only other point in the second half.

Limerick, who struck six wides in all, sewed up the win with efforts from Murphy – with one from play and a 25-metre free – and Cooke, three minutes from time.

The Limerick v Cork tie will be played on June 11 with the venue to be Páirc Uí Chaoímh or the Gaelic Grounds.

LIMERICK: S Kiely; S Gallagher, J McCarthy, P Browne; C Mullane, S Lavin, A Lane; J Stokes, J Galvin (1-00); P Ahern, D Reidy, S Buckley (0-02); M Crowley (capt) (1-00), J Murphy (0-2 (1f)), M Reidy.

Subs used: J Cooke (0-01) for Ahern, E Keating for Murphy, D Horan for D Reidy.

CLARE: D O'Brien; P Gallagher, C Whelan (capt), D Kelly; D Blake, B Considine, N Considine (0-01); G Quinlan (0-01), P O'Dwyer; David Russell (0-02), M O'Shea, Denis Russell (0-02 (1f)); M O'Dwyer (0-01), E Coughlan, D Heddington (0-01).

Subs used: R Slattery for Heddington, S Hickey for M O'Dwyer, L Healy for Blake, F O'Dea for P O'Dwyer, O O'Dwyer for Gallagher.

Referee: Tomas Quigley (Dublin).

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