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CLARE’S bid to claim their first piece of silverware under Brian Lohan will have to wait for another day.

Limerick 0-27
Clare 0-18
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis

With restrictions on the attendance allowed for sporting events lifted on Friday, 7,992 spectators flocked to Cusack Park for the Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling Cup decider which unusually for the pre-season competition had a bit of hype surrounding it.

Yellows were dished out before a ball was pucked but unfortunately as far as intensity was concerned, that exchange between Jack Browne and Will O’Donoghue was as good as it got, but hopefully marked a sign of things to come for future meetings between the counties.

David Reidy opened the scoring for both counties, no it wasn’t miraculous but rather the fact that both freektakers shared the same name as well as the bulk of the scores from this tie. Indeed, the hosts ran up a 0-03 0-01 advantage with six minutes on the clock but once Limerick got their noses in front, they stayed ahead for the remainder of the clash.

By putting together unanswered braces of 0-06 and 0-05 at separate stages of the opening half, John Kiely’s men flexed their muscles but also laid the foundations for what would be a comfortable victory.

Points from Diarmuid Ryan and Mark Rodgers in quick succession put Clare to within four points of Limerick on twenty nine minutes but by half time, the winners had stretched the margin to eight points.

That gap of four points was as close Clare got to their opponents for the remainder of the tie with a dull second half seeing Limerick continue to keep their account ticking over with both managements keen to see fresh talent.

While Mark Rodgers asked questions of the Limerick defence, the supply of ball to the Scariff danger man was poor. He along with Diarmuid Ryan, Jack Browne and Paul Flanagan played well for Clare.

Richie English was man of the match and deservingly so, Colin Coughlan, Darren O’Connell, Oisin O’Reilly and Paddy O’Loughlin were prominent for the winners.

Clare host Limerick in League and championship this year, the provincial clash is without question the most important and while securing the first piece of silverware on Lohan’s watch would have been nice, this result will count for little when reflecting back on the 2022 season.

There can be some benefit to the seventy minutes of hurling if the Banner are apply some lessons into practice. Plenty of work is needed to perfect Clare’s puckouts, on instances when they went short they struggled to break past the Limerick half-forward line while players in saffron and blue in the middle third had difficulty winning their own ball when Eibhear Quilligan went with the long option.

Most importantly, the pre-season competition has given new players their first outing for the seniors including Robin Mounsey and Patrick Crotty who made their debuts in the final joining the cohort of Mike Gough and Darragh Lohan in getting action for their county at this level.

Scorers Limerick: D Reidy (0-12 11f), D O’Connell (0-03), O O’Reilly (0-03), C Coughlan (0-02), A English (0-02), P Ryan (0-01), G Hegarty (0-01), R English (0-01), B O’Grady (0-01), C O’Neill (0-01).

Scorers Clare: D Reidy (0-09 6f 2’65), C Malone (0-02), M Rodgers (0-02), D Ryan (0-02), R Mounsey (0-02 1’65), P Crotty (0-01).

1: David McCarthy (Glenroe)

2: Barry Nash (South Liberties)
21: Dan Morrissey (Ahane)
4: Richie English (Doon)

5: Colin Coughlan (Ballybrown)
6: Ronan Connolly (Adare)
7: Paddy O’Loughlin (Kilmallock)

9: William O’Donoghue (Na Piarsiagh)
22: Brian O’Grady (Kilteely-Dromkeen)

11: David Reidy (Dromin-Athlacca)
10: Cathal O’Neill (Crecora-Manister)
12: Gearoid Hegarty (St Patricks)

13: Darren O’Connell (Kildimo-Pallaskenry)
14: Pat Ryan (Doon)
15: Oisin O’Reilly (Kilmallock).

19: Adam English (Doon) for Ryan (46)
8: Rory Duff (Mungret St Pauls) for O’Donoghue (53)
17: Conor Boylan (Na Piarsaigh) for Hegarty (53)

1: Eibhear Quilligan (Feakle)

4: Paul Flanagan (Ballyea)
3: Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown)
25: Mike Gough (Smith O’Briens)

5: Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe)
6: Jason McCarthy (Inagh/Kilnamona)
23: Aaron Fitzgerald (Éire Óg)

8: Jack Browne (Ballyea)
9: Paddy Donnellan (Broadford)

10: Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge)
11: David Reidy (Éire Óg)
12: Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge)

21: Domhnall McMahon (Michael Cusack’s)
13: Mark Rodgers (Scariff)
15: Gary Cooney (O’Callaghans Mills)

7: David McInerney (Tulla) for Donnellan (HT)
14: Ryan Taylor (Clooney/Quin) for Golden (HT)
17: Shane Meehan (Banner) for McMahon (43)
19: Darragh Lohan (Wolfe Tones) for Fitzgerald (46)
18: Patrick Crotty (Scariff) for Cooney (51)
20: Robin Mounsey (Ruan) for McCarthy (52)

Referee: Conor Doyle (Tipperary)

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