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Munster Under 21 Hurling Q-Final – Clare 2-20 Limerick 1-14

June 4, 2014 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Clare defeated Limerick by 2-20 to 1-14 in the Bord Gais Energy Munster GAA Hurling U21 Championship Quarter-Final on Wednesday June 4th at the Gaelic Grounds Limerick. Second half goals by Aaron Cunningham and Peter Duggan proved decisive before a consolation goal by Kevin O’Brien in injury time reduced the final deficit to 9 points.

Clare will now host Tipperary in the Munster Semi-Final on Wednesday July 16th at 7:30pm in Cusack Park Ennis.

Clare power and class too much for Limerick

Report by Diarmuid O’Flynn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

The turnstiles were clicking merrily at the Gaelic Grounds last night for this Munster hurling U21 opening round match, so much so that throw-in was delayed 15 minutes, to 7.45pm, as 6,000 fans made their way in. Understandable also — lovely summer’s evening, two counties on a high, Clare the reigning All-Ireland champions at both U21 and senior, Limerick reigning Munster senior champions and victors over Tipperary last Sunday.

One of the heroes of that Limerick win was sharp-shooter Shane Dowling and as captain of this team he was back in action again last night and back on song. Six points Shane scored in the opening half, all from distance into a stiff breeze as Limerick looked set fair for a surprise win, only trailing 0-12 to 0-10.

Just past the three-quarter Mark Dowling again featured, a quickly taken free from just inside the 45m line against a Clare defence that had momentarily lost concentration, ended up in the back of the net. Fortunately for Clare referee Johnny Ryan disallowed the goal on the grounds a Limerick substitution had just taken place. Shane did point that free, eventually, leaving Limerick trailing by four (0-17 to 0-14). That was that really for the home side, their last chance.

Clare started with six of last year’s All-Ireland winning senior panel, half a dozen more on the fringe of this year’s extended panel and that power and class eventually told. One of those Clare heroes from last year Tony Kelly, like Dowling, also lined out last night, also as team captain and he too was on song. Four points Tony scored, two in each half, sparkled from start to finish as did Seadna Morey, Conor Clancy and Jamie Shanahan in defence, Colm Galvin in midfield, Peter Duggan, Shane Glennon and Aaron Cunningham up front.

On this night though another fledgling Clare star really made his mark, teenager Bobby Duggan, coming off three years as a starter with the minor team. Six points he notched in the first-half, two from play; two more he added in the second but also set up Cunningham for Clare’s opening goal, 50th minute; perfect pass, perfect finish, Aaron lobbing the advancing Darragh Stapleton. That score put Clare out of sight, nine points in front (1-19 to 0-13), just ten minutes to go.

It was about to get worse for Limerick, centre-back Diarmuid Byrnes then sent off for a second yellow-card offence, leaving them with an impossible job. The icing on the cake for Clare came in the 56th minute, the giant Peter Duggan controlling a fine Jamie Shanahan centre !, then giving Stapleton no chance from point-blank range. It came at a cost, however, the unfortunate Aaron Cunningham crumbling under the same high ball and subsequently stretchered off with a suspected cruciate injury.

A pity for Limerick it ended as it did; they had put up a worthy stand, had their own stars in full-back Richie English and Dan Morrissey on the wing, but they needed everything to go right on the night. It didn’t. Didn’t help their own cause with a few missed opportunities, that sending off, weren’t helped either on the night by some questionable refereeing. Overall however they were simply beaten by a better team, a much better team. On this evidence, Clare are again the team to beat at this level. Perhaps at any level.

Scorers for Clare: B Duggan 0-8 (5f); T Kelly 0-4; A Cunningham 1-1; P Duggan 1-1; S Gleeson 0-2; J Shanahan 0-2; C Galvin, S Morey, 0-1 each.

Scorers for Limerick: S Dowling 0-8 (8f); K O’Brien 1-0; M Carmody, D Morrissey, C Lynch, M Fitzgibbon, P Ryan, D O’Donovan, 0-1 each.

CLARE: K Hogan; J Colleran, J Browne, S Morey; G O’Connell, C Cleary, J Shanahan; C Galvin, E Enright; P Duggan, T Kelly (c), S Gleeson; A Cunningham, D Reidy, B Duggan.
Subs: S McGrath for Gleeson (54); S Taylor for Cunningham (inj. 58); S O’Brien for Colleran (58); N O’Connor for O’Connell (60); S Ward for Kelly (61).

LIMERICK: D Stapleton; M Callaghan, R English, S Irwin; M Carmody, D Byrnes, D Morrissey; W O’Donoghue, C Lynch; S Dowling (c), D Dempsey, M Fitzgibbon; L O’Sullivan, K O’Brien, P Ryan.
Subs: D O’Donovan for O’Donoghue (37); D Coleman for O’Sullivan (42); B Griffin for Fitzgibbon (47).

Referee: J Ryan (Tipperary)

Two of hurling’s most promising stars Shane Dowling & Tony Kelly will lead out their counties in U21 action tomorrow night in the Gaelic Grounds.

Clare are going for 3 titles in a row at this grade while Limerick hurling is on a high after winning the 2013 Munster SH title & qualifying for the 2014 final in style last Sunday.

Supporters are asked to purchase their tickets in advance from any Centra or Supervalu outlet (see list below) to avoid delays on the night as a big crowd is expected for this eagerly awaited clash.

Admission Prices

Adults – €10
Students / OAP’s – €5
Under 16s free

Team News

Limerick (U21H v Clare) – Darragh Stapleton (Doon); Mark Callaghan (Knockaderry), Richie English (Doon), Shane Irwin (Bruff); Mark Carmody (Patrickswell), Diarmuid Byrnes (Patrickswell), Dan Morrissey (Ahane); William O’Donoghue (Na Piarsaigh), Cian Lynch (Patrickswell); Shane Dowling (Na Piarsaigh – Captain), David Dempsey (Na Piarsaigh), Mike Fitzgibbon (Feohanagh); Liam O’Sullivan (Knockaderry), Kevin O’Brien (Patrickswell), Pat Ryan (Doon)

Clare (U21 v Limerick) – Keith Hogan (Clooney-Quin); Jarlath Colleran (St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield), Jack Browne (Ballyea), Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge); Jamie Shanahan (Sixmilebridge), Conor Cleary (Kilmaley), Gearoid O’Connell (Ballyea); Eoin Enright (Kilmaley), Colm Galvin (Cratloe); Shane Gleeson (Cratloe), Tony Kelly (Ballyea), Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin); Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones), David Reidy (Eire Og), Bobby Duggan (Clarecastle)
Subs: Eibhear Quilligan (Feakle), Shane McGrath (Feakle), Shane O’Brien (Clonlara), Eoin Quirke (Whitegate), David Conroy (St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield), Brian Carey (Sixmilebridge), Shane Taylor (Broadford), Stephen Ward (Clarecastle), Niall O’Connor (Newmarket)

List of Centra and Supervalu outlets in Clare and Limerick

SuperValu Killaloe Clare
SuperValu Tulla Clare
SuperValu Ennistymon Clare
SuperValu Kilrush Clare
SuperValu Miltown Malbay Clare
Centra Scariff Clare
Centra Ennis – Ryan’s Clare
Centra Ennis – Lynch’s Clare
Centra Ennis – Donnellan’s Clare
Centra Kilmihil Clare
Centra Sixmilebridge Clare

Centra Ennis Rd – Rodahan’s Limerick
Centra Drumcollogher Limerick
Centra Kilfinnane Limerick
Centra Hospital Limerick
Centra Raheen Limerick
Centra Bruff Limerick
SuperValu Abbeyfeale Limerick
SuperValu Castleconnell Limerick
SuperValu Corbally Limerick
SuperValu Kilmallock Limerick
SuperValu NewcastleWest – Dooley’s Limerick
SuperValu NewcastleWest – Garvey’s Limerick
SuperValu Askeaton Limerick
Centra Patrickswell – Hodkinson’s Limerick
Centra Dooradoyle Limerick
Centra Castletroy Limerick
Centra Clarina Limerick
Centra Pallas Green Limerick


June 4, 2014
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
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