Clare hero Joe McGann stuns Limerick

Clare 0-9 Limerick 1-5: For the third year in a row in the Munster Minor Football Championship, Clare had the hex on neighbours Limerick, winning by a single point at Miltown Malbay last evening.

The Banner county will now face champions Kerry on May 11 in the provincial semi-final.

Joe McGann’s late point was enough to squeeze the Banner County to victory.

Though Clare dominated proceedings in the opening half, they still only managed a two-point lead at the break (0-6 to 1-1).

Playing a passing brand of football, the hosts retained possession for the most part and, aided by a substantial wind, they opened the scoring in the sixth minute through corner-forward Sean Rouine.

He converted a move that began with Dermot Coughlan and also involved defender Cillian Flaherty.

Coughlan added a second, before a Pádraig Kelly free from about 35 metres made it a three-point game on 12 minutes.

Limerick were finding it difficult to get their hands on the ball and, even when they did, chances were squandered.

Scoreable frees by both midfielders Josh Ryan and Diarmaid Kelly fell into the Clare goalkeepers arms in a period of frustration for the Limerick management.

Clare’s lively full forward Joe McGann put four between them on 17 minutes and it was a full three further minutes before the visitors opened their account.

It was left to centre-back Adams Kearns to break the duck, when he found the target from the right wing.

With six minutes to go to half-time, Limerick were given a lifeline when James Ryan found the Clare net.

Clare keeper Mark Lillis pulled of a fine save from Noel Callinan but Lillis could do nothing about the rebound by Ryan.

Clare did finish the half well, though, with McGann pointing from play, before Kelly did likewise from a free to make it a two-point game at the break.

On the turnover, Limerick looked fired up.

However, poor shooting in front of goal let them down. Eoin O’Mahony grabbed an early point, but by the time the half was 10 minutes old, the Treaty men had hit five wides. In fact a total of 12 second-half wides proved to be Limerick’s undoing on the night.

Scores from O’Mahony and an Adam Storan effort saw the visitors take the lead by the 56 minute, before Clare restored their advantage with points from Kelly and Coughlan.

A Conor O’Grady pointed free for Limerick drew the sides level once more with three minutes remaining.

However, Clare full forward Joe McGann proved to be the hero of the day, when his shot sailed between the posts to achieve a vital Clare victory.

Scorers Clare:

J McGann (0-3), P Kelly (0-3) all f’s, D Coughlan (0-2), S Rouine ( 0-1).

Limerick:

James Ryan (1-0), E O’Mahony (0-2), C O’Grady (f), A Storan A Kearns (0-1) each.

Teams Clare:

M Lillis, P Collins, J Culligan, D O’Loughlin (Capt.), C Flaherty, A Shannon, R Danaher, D Bohannon, P Kelly, R O’Doherty, C O’Donoghue, D Coughlan, S Rouine, J McGann, G Cooney.

Subs, T Hannon for Shannon(B/C) (39), D Griffin for Bohannon (46), C Lynch for O’Doherty (65), D Meade for Cooney (70)

Limerick:

A Murphy, G Brennan, F Murphy, D Enright, S Hurley, A Kearns, O Collins, Josh Ryan, D Kelly (Capt.), E O’Mahoney, C McSweeney, N Callinan, A Barrett, A Storan, James Ryan.

Subs,C O’Grady for Callinan (29), S Ryan for Barrett (53), E Carew for Collins (56). D Ranaghan for James Ryan (70).

Referee:

D Murnane (Cork)


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