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Munster Senior Hurling Semi-Final – Clare 3-17 Limerick 2-16
Clare defeated Limerick by 3-17 to 2-16 in the Munster Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final on Sunday June 4th at Semple Stadium Thurles.
— The GAA (@officialgaa) June 4, 2017
— The GAA (@officialgaa) June 4, 2017
Munster SHC: Clare out-shoot Limerick
CLARE 3-17 LIMERICK 2-16
Report By Jackie Cahill for GAA.ie
Clare are through to a first Munster senior hurling final since 2008, after scoring a four-point victory over Limerick in Thurles this afternoon.
Shane O’Donnell struck two early first half goals and Conor McGrath netted in the second half as the Banner men set up a July 9 meeting with Cork or Waterford.
It’s Clare’s second successive championship victory over their neighbours, having beaten them in last year’s All-Ireland qualifier. Clare could even afford the luxury of a missed Tony Kelly penalty with two minutes of normal time left.
And while David Reidy hit four pointed frees, he also sent a number of efforts wide in the second half. But Limerick, who head for the qualifiers, will rue a huge tally of 11 first half wides. And after coming from eight points down to level, with an unanswered run of 1-5, they allowed Clare to regain the advantage approaching half-time.
Having been reeled in, Clare hit five unanswered points before the interval, to lead by 2-10 to 1-8, in front of 19,168 spectators. It was O’Donnell who had provided Clare with an early platform, recapturing his 2013 All-Ireland final replay hat-trick form with a sensational opening quarter of an hour.
O’Donnell netted in the fifth minute, taking advantage of indecision in the Limerick full-back line when goalkeeper Nickie Quaid could only half-clear John Conlon’s effort which dropped short. O’Donnell was on hand to send a ground-stroke to the net and in the 14th minute, he struck again to hand Clare a 2-2 to 0-3 lead.
O’Donnell followed up with a point and when Colm Galvin and Reidy (free) added further scores, Clare were eight ahead – 2-5 to 0-3. That was Limerick’s cue to come alive and they did, drawing level with 1-5 in five minutes.
After points from Peter Casey and Cian Lynch (2), David Dempsey goaled in the 22nd minute, profiting after Andrew Fahy popped Lynch’s effort into the air. Fahy will feel he should have done better but the goalkeeper, making his full Munster senior championship debut, had done well a couple of minutes earlier to keep out Kyle Hayes.
Shane Dowling (free) and Paul Browne hauled Limerick level with scores – 1-8 to 2-5 – but Clare took over again before half-time and notched five points. In the second period, Clare comfortably kept Limerick at arm’s length, as the played with a slight breeze towards the Town End of Semple Stadium.
Limerick tried desperately hard to work their way back into contention and were within three, 1-12 to 2-12, before more hesitation in defence allowed in McGrath for a 51st minute goal. Clare went on to lead by eight points again and were in cruise control down the home straight. Quaid conceded a penalty after fouling Clare sub Aaron Cunningham but Kelly drove the penalty low and wide.
It mattered little as the game was done and dusted but there was some late cheer for Limerick when Hayes, making his senior championship debut, netted in the final minute.
Scorers for Clare: Shane O’Donnell 2-2, Conor McGrath 1-3, David Reidy 0-5f, John Conlon 0-2, Seadna Morey, Conor Cleary, Colm Galvin, Jason McCarthy & Ian Galvin 0-1 each.
Scorers for Limerick: Shane Dowling 0-7f, David Dempsey & Kyle Hayes 1-1 each, Paul Browne (1 sl) & Cian Lynch 0-2 each, Peter Casey, Pat Ryan & Barry Nash 0-1 each.
CLARE: Andrew Fahy; Seadna Morey, David McInerney, Patrick O’Connor; Gearóid O’Connell, Conor Cleary, David Fitzgerald; Colm Galvin, David Reidy; Tony Kelly, Shane O’Donnell, Padraic Collins; Aron Shanagher, Conor McGrath, John Conlon
Subs: Jason McCarthy for O’Connell (54), Ian Galvin for Collins (59), Aaron Cunningham for Shanagher (63), Cathal Malone for McGrath (65), Cathal McInerney for Kelly (69).
LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid; Sean Finn, Richie McCarthy, Mike Casey; Dan Morrissey, Declan Hannon, Seamus Hickey; Paul Browne, James Ryan; Shane Dowling, Cian Lynch, David Dempsey; Peter Casey, Kyle Hayes, Graeme Mulcahy
Subs: Barry Nash for Mulcahy (h.t.), Richie English for Mike Casey (40), Tom Morrissey for Peter Casey (53), Aaron Gillane for Dowling (57), Pat Ryan for James Ryan (57).
Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath)
— The GAA (@officialgaa) June 2, 2017
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Limerick SH v Clare NQuaid SFinn RMcCarthy MCasey DMorrissey DHannon SHickey PBrowne JRyan SDowling DDempsey CLynch PCasey KHayes GMulcahy pic.twitter.com/txHgfdFcpK
— Limerick GAA (@LimerickCLG) June 2, 2017
The Clare team to play @LimerickCLG in Sunday's Munster SHC semi-final at Semple Stadium (throw-in 4pm)
— CLUB CLARE (@ClubClareHS) June 2, 2017
SHANNONSIDE RIVALS IN BIG MUNSTER BATTLE
Clare v Limerick in the Munster semi-final is the big hurling attraction next Sunday (Semple Stadium, Thurles, 4.0) as the great rivals clash for a third successive year.
Clare won an All-Ireland qualifier tie last year while Limerick won a Munster quarter-final clash in 2015.
LAST FIVE CHAMPIONSHIP CLASHES
2016: Clare 0-19 Limerick 0-15 (All-Ireland qualifiers)
2015: Limerick 1-19 Clare 2-15 (Munster quarter-final)
2013: Clare 1-22 Limerick 0-18 (All-Ireland semi-final)
2012: Limerick 3-18 Clare 1-20 (All-Ireland qualifiers)
2008: Clare 4-12 Limerick 1-16 (Munster semi-final)
*This will be the 55th championship game between the counties. Limerick won 35 to Clare’s 18, with one draw, from the previous 54.
*Both teams are under new management this year. John Kiely leads Limerick into the championship for the first time while Donal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor take charge of Clare.
*Clare finished fifth in 1A in this year’s Allianz League (two wins, three defeats) before beating Dublin in a relegation play-off.
*Limerick finished third in 1B (three wins, two defeats). They beat Cork in the quarter-final before losing to Galway in the semi-final.
*Clare are seeking their first win in the Munster championship since beating Waterford in the 2013 quarter-final. They lost to Cork in 2014, to Limerick in 2015 and to Waterford last year.
*Limerick lost their opening Munster game against Tipperary last year, having beaten Clare in 2015, Tipperary in 2014 and 2013.
*Tony Kelly scored 0-9, Podge Collins and Shane O’Donnell 0-3 each when Clare beat Limerick by 0-19 to 0-15 in last year’s All-Ireland qualifiers. They led by 0-11 to 0-5 at half-time. Shane Dowling on 0-6 was Limerick’s top scorer.
*The only draw between Clare and Limerick in 54 championship games was in 1970. A Munster quarter tie in Thurles ended on a Limerick 3-9 Clare 2-12 scoreline. Limerick won the replay by 1-10 to 0-4 in Limerick.
*The winners will play Cork or Waterford in the Munster final on July 9.
DID YOU KNOW?
Clare have reached only one Munster final (2008 when they lost to Tipperary) since the start of the new Millennium.
Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Sunday’s 64 page Souvenir Match Programme.