Three late points snatches Clare a draw against Limerick

Midfielder Sean Rynne fired over two scores in injury time to ensure the Banner avoided defeat in the Munster U20 Championship.
Three late points snatches Clare a draw against Limerick

ALL SQUARE: Adam English, Limerick, under pressure from Jarlath Collins and Nial O'Farrell, Clare in the Munster U20 HC in the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick

Limerick 1-19 Clare 1-19

Three stoppage time points including two from midfielder Sean Rynne rescued a draw for Clare at the hands of defending Munster U20 champions, Limerick at the TUS Gaelic Grounds on Wednesday.

Patrick O’Donovan thought he had won it when he pushed Limerick clear with his 12th of the contest, but the Banner boys rallied in the three additional minutes.

The final say was had by Rynne as his point from the wing finished off a superb hour of hurling, where it had looked like Diarmuid Mullins’ Limerick would sneak the victory.

There was a large roar from many of those among the 1,876 in attendance – with the Clare support backing their young charges which performed well in spurts over the course of this contest.

The Treaty had edged beyond Waterford on Saturday afternoon, while Clare played out a thrilling draw with Tipperary. As with the minor and senior championship, these sides are in the race for a top three spot, so this late salvo from Terence Fahy’s side could prove vital at the end of round five.

This Shannonside derby was tight throughout but it was Clare who opened with three unanswered scores – the lively Keith Smyth with two and David Kennedy all on target before O’Donovan got his first.

Limerick were wasteful and trailed 0-7 to 0-4 before Joseph Fitzgerald and a long distance Ethan Hurley score brought them closer.

But it was the hosts who held the advantage at half-time, with a goal from Adam English the difference – 1-9 to 0-9. He had just switched from his midfield berth to the full forward line and he caught a mis-hit shot from Con Hayes before drilling low beyond Aaron Shanahan.

BATTLE: Oisin O'Donnell, under pressure from Adam English, Limerick in the Munster U20 HC in the Gaelic Grounds
BATTLE: Oisin O'Donnell, under pressure from Adam English, Limerick in the Munster U20 HC in the Gaelic Grounds

English quickly tacked on a point but Clare closed the half with Patrick Crotty and Oisin O’Donnell getting on the scoresheet. The first half wide count was 8-5 with Limerick particularly wasteful in the opening 15 minutes.

Clare’s goal, which tied this game up, came from the pacy and direct Patrick Crotty – he drilled low from inside the ‘D’. The Scariff forward quickly added a brace of scores, as the green defence failed to handle him. But again, Limerick came back – they were struggling to retain ball but when O’Donovan brought his total to give from play, they were back level at 1-14 each.

There was another lead change when O’Donovan landed four placed balls, three frees and a ‘65’. Clare had more of a threat and this was emphasised when Jack O’Neill got a second.

Then, when O’Donovan restored a three point buffer in the final minute of normal time, it appeared only a goal would save Clare. Up stepped Rynne either side of Colm Cleary’s effort to keep the Banner unbeaten ahead of round three.

Limerick have a bye in round three while Clare visit Waterford on April 12th in search of a first victory.

Scorers for Limerick: P O’Donovan 0-12 (0-6 frees, 0-1 ‘65’); A English 1-1; E Hurley 0-2; A Fitzgerald, F Fitzgerald, J Fitzgerald, S O’Brien 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clare: K Smyth 0-7 (0-4 frees, 0-1 ‘65’); P Crotty 1-3; S Rynne 0-3;C Cleary, J O’Neill 0-2 each; D Kennedy, O O’Donnell 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: J O’Reilly (Ballybrown); R Lyons (Monaleen), J Fitzgerald (Na Piarsaigh), E O’Leary (Ahane); D Fitzgerald (Kildimo/Pallaskenry), C Scully (Dromin/Athlacca), E Hurley (Newcastle West, Capt); J Fitzgerald (Monaleen), A English (Doon); F Fitzgerald (Mungret/St Pauls), P O’Donovan (Effin), J Kirby (Patrickswell); C Hayes (Newcastle West), A Fitzgerald (Templeglantine), S O’Brien (Kilmallock).

Subs: L Lynch (Mungret/St. Paul’s) for Hayes (30); B Duff for A Fitzgerald (Mungret/St. Paul’s) (ht); J Molloy (Knockaderry) for J Fitzgerald (45), L Dennehy (Glenroe) for F. Fitzgerald (48), S O’Neill (Blackrock) for Kirby (58).

CLARE: A Shanahan (Tulla); J Collins (Éire Óg Ennis), A Hogan (Feakle, capt), I McNamara (Killanena); O Cahill (Éire Óg Ennis), J Conneally (Clooney-Quin), D Lohan (Wolfe Tones Na Sionna); S Rynne (Inagh-Kilnamona), C Whelan (Whitegate); O O’Donnell (Crusheen), P Crotty (Scariff), N O’Farrell (Broadford); D Kennedy (Sixmilebridge), K Smyth (Killanena), J O’Neill (Clooney-Quin).

Subs: C Cleary (O’Callaghans Mills) for Whelan (ht), O Clune (Feakle) for Cahill (51) K Hartigan (Scariff) for O’Farrell (53), J Doherty (Clarecastle) for Kennedy (56).

Referee: N Barry (Waterford).

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