Clare 0-26 Limerick 0-15: Impressive Banner reach Munster final
By Kevin Fallon
Last Updated: 18/06/18 5:04pm
Clare are into the Munster final after seeing off Limerick 0-26 to 0-15.
A first Munster hurling title since 1998 is within Clare's reach as Peter Duggan pointed them to victory over lacklustre Limerick at the Cusack Park.
After four weeks of lightning hurling in the Munster championship, this clash failed to ignite, with the first-half sending-off of Limerick's Tom Condon and Clare's David Reidy the big talking point.
Duggan was the hero for Clare in their win over Tipperary last weekend and again he led the line with 13 points for the Banner, who also had John Conlon on song.
Tony Kelly hit five points for Clare in the second period as they finished easy winners against a Limerick side that clearly ran out of steam.
Playing for the third week in succession, the big question coming into this game was how Limerick would manage physically, and a scrappy opening 35 minutes suited their hopes of reaching the Munster final, but their challenge never materialised.
They didn't get off to the best of starts when Shane Dowling missed a simple free in the second minute and, when Clare followed it up with points from Duggan and Conlon, the home side were off to a flier.
It took Limerick seven minutes to find their first point: a Tom Morrissey effort from the left, but with Dowling in sharp form Clare continued to tag on the points and they never trailed in that first half.
After the early slip, Dowling went on to score Limerick's first four points, but two points from substitute David Fitzgerald ensued Clare were good value for their 0-7 to 0-4 lead after 22 minutes.
The loss of Sean Finn to injury after 14 minutes was a blow to Limerick, but in Tom Condon they had an experienced replacement.
With Conlon and Colm Galvin on song for the Banner men, Limerick managed to stay in touch as Kyle Hayes pointed before Dowling and Darragh O'Donovan from a sideline cut the Clare lead to two points with half-time approaching.
But three minutes from the interval the game's talking point unfolded. A clash between Bynes and David Reidy resulted in the Limerick defender hitting the ground. Condon then entered the equation and appeared to strike Reidy, which earned him a straight red card. On the advice of his umpires, referee James Owens then sent off Reidy, which seemed to be a harsh punishment.
Another three Duggan frees before the break meant Clare led 0-13 to 0-9 at half-time, but after a quiet first period Kelly found his feet and a couple of early points ensured Limerick could not close the gap.
Gearoid Hegarty and Dan Morrissey pointed for Limerick to cut the gap to four in the 46th minute, but Clare remained steady and hit the last seven points of the game to pull clear.
Referee: James Owens (Wexford)
Scorers for Clare: Peter Duggan 0-13 (0-10f, 0-01 65, 0-02), Tony Kelly 0-05 (0-01f, 0-04), John Conlon 0-04, David Fitzgerald 0-02, Colm Galvin 0-01, Jamie Shanahan 0-01.
Scorers for Limerick: Shane Dowling 0-04 (0-04f), Tom Morrissey 0-03, Kyle Hayes 0-01, Darragh O'Donovan 0-01, Cian Lynch 0-01, Diarmuid Byrnes 0-01, Seamus Flanagan 0-01, Gearoid Hegarty 0-01, Dan Morrissey 0-01, Aaron Gillane 0-01.
1. Donal Tuohy
2. Patrick O'Connor
3. David McInerny
4. Jack Browne
5. Seadna Morey
6. Conor Cleary
7. Jamie Shanahan
8. Colm Gavin
9. Cathal Malone
10. Peter Duggan
11. Tony Kelly
12. David Reidy
13. Podge Collins
14. John Conlon
15. Shane O'Donnell
David Fitzgerald for Morey (15th minute)
Jason McCarthy for Malone (54th minute)
Ian Galvin for Fitzgerald (62nd minute)
Conor McGrath for O'Donnell (66th minute)
Michael O'Neill for Collins (70th minute)
Darragh Corry for Duggan (70th-73rd minute)
1. Nickie Quaid
2. Sean Finn
3. Mike Casey
4. Richie English
5. Diarmuid Byrnes
6. Declan Hannon
7. Dan Morrissey
8. Darragh O'Donovan
9. Cian Lynch
10. Gearoid Hegarty
11. Kyle Hayes
12. Tom Morrissey
13. Seamus Flanagan
14. Shane Dowling
15. Graeme Mulcahy
Tom Condon for Finn (13th minute)
Ritchie McCarthy for Mulcahy (halftime)
Aaron Gillane for Flanagan (49th minute)
David Dempsey for Hegarty (56th minute)Barry Nash for English (65th minute)