Clare claim Munster intermediate glory in final thriller

Limerick 2-18 Clare 1-26 (AET): Clare claimed Munster glory after edging Limerick in extra-time at the Gaelic Grounds last night.

In front of 2,319 fans, the teams were tied, Clare 1-16 Limerick 2-13, after 60 minutes. Clare corner back Rory Hayes forced the game into extra-time when he pointed superbly from under the Mackey Stand, two minutes into injury time.

Two minutes earlier Limerick captain Mark Carmody had pointed his side ahead and it seemed that they were destined to win their first title at this level since 2008.

In normal time, Clare played the last 20 minutes of the second half of normal time with 14 men, following a double yellow card for Dara Walsh, inside two minutes.

But back to their full compliment, in extra-time, Shane Gleeson and Ben O’Gorman proved the Clare heroes.

Following an opening 30 minutes which featured 17 wides, nine of which were hit by Clare, the teams were deadlocked at half-time.

Clare had made the better start to the game and led 0-4 to 0-2 after eight minutes, with Shane McGrath pointing a trio of scores. His Feakle club mate Oisin Donnellan, picking up a break of Mikey O’Neill, netted for the Banner County in the 10th minute, putting them 1-4 to 0-3 ahead.

Points from Kevin Hehir and Jason McCarthy stretched Clare’s advantage, 1-6 to 0-4, before Limerick’s David Dempsey placed Aaron Gillane for Limerick’s first goal. The same players had combined in the 13th minute, forcing a excellent Vaughan save from a Gillane shot.

Two minutes before the break Clare led 1-9 to 1-5 but the Leo O’Connor managed Limerick men hit 1-1 in the closing two minutes. Cutting in from the left of Daniel Vaughan’s goalmouth, Limerick’s Pat Ryan buried his side’s second goal in first-half injury time. Limerick won the resultant puck out and a Ronan Lynch shot was met with no initial decision from the umpires. Having spoke to referee Joe Larkin, Lynch was awarded what was his fourth first-half point from play.

In the second half, Clare suffered the loss of Walsh, on a second yellow card.

Yet they would come back to force extra-time, and ultimately claim that Munster crown.

Clare will now face Wexford or Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final on Saturday August 6.

Clare:

D Vaughan; R Hayes, E Quirke, C Cooney; J McCarthy, A McGuane, D Walsh; D Conroy, K Hehir; O Donnellan, S McGrath (c), D Corry; M O’Neill, R Taylor, C Crehan.

Subs:

S Gleeson for D Corry (half-time), B O’Gorman for O Donnellan (43), D Russell for R Taylor (52), M Lynch for S McGrath (58), M O’Shea for C Crehan (68), E Enright for K Hehir (75), S Tayor for M Lynch (78).

Scorers:

S Gleeson (0-8, 5frees) S McGrath (0-6, 4 frees), O Donnellan (1-1), B O’Gorman, R Taylor, D Conroy (0-2 each), K Hehir, J McCarthy, R Hayes, D Russell, M O’Neill (0-1 each).

Yellow cards:

K Hehir, D Walsh, S Gleeson, A McGuane, R Hayes, C Cooney.

Red cards:

D Walsh, S Taylor.

Limerick:

E McNamara; M Casey, B Lynch, S Flanagan; C Ryan, L Lyons, M Carmody (c); A La Touche Cosgrave, W O’Donoghue; D Dempsey, R Lynch, P Ryan; A Gillane, K O’Brien, P Casey.

Subs:

O O’Reilly for K O’Brien (44), B Murphy for P Ryan (54), W Griffin (61), W Griffin for A Gillane (60), M Fitzgibbon for R Lynch (63), P Ryan for W O’Donoghue (70), D Fanning for P Casey (70).

Scorers:

R Lynch (0-6, 2 frees), A Gillane (1-2, 2 frees), P Ryan (1-0), Willie Griffin (0-3 frees), B Murphy (0-2) A La Touche Cosgrave, K O’Brien, D Dempsey, L Lyons, M Carmody.

Yellow card:

M Carmody.

Referee:

J Larkin (Cork).


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