*Limerick’s Will O’Donoghue and Cathal Malone of Clare. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

CLARE’S SENIOR HURLERS have been defeated in the Munster final by Limerick for the second year in a row.

Limerick 1-23
Clare 1-22
Venue: TUS Gaelic Grounds, Limerick

On the flipside, Limerick have won the provincial crown for the fifth year in a row, their first time ever completing such a historic feat.

Although Limerick were the better team for the majority of the contest, the tie ended in controversial circumstances to ensure Clare’s wait for a provincial title at this grade stretching back to 1998 goes on.

A mini pitch invasion before the final whistle gave Clare one last chance of an equaliser, the puckout from Eibhear Quilligan aimed towards the intended target of Aron Shanagher, rucks formed, the break fell to Adam Hogan, he appeared to be fouled, referee Liam Gordon paused and signalled for full-time rather than a free prompting Clare selector Ken Ralph to make a beeline for the Galway official to air his views.

Much speculation before the game on whether Conor Cleary would take his place at full-back. A dislocated shoulder kept the Miltown Malbay man out of the tie.

Once again when handed the tough decision of replacing a nailed on started, management opted to go with a player who had not started all year. Cian Nolan was given the tricky task of trying to curb Aaron Gillane, similar to when Páidí Fitzpatrick was given the call at the eleventh hour to get the nod for the injured John Conlon during Clare’s All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Kilkenny last year.

Last year may have been a case of choosing the wrong player on this juncture, it was the ocean of space that Clare failed to condense which allowed Gillane acres of room to firstly run onto possession before then battling with the Killaloe man. Nolan will know he gave the Patrickswell attacker the chance to gather the ball first on too many occasions but he was let down by the failures of management and his teammates to get to grips with the vast space between the half-back line and full-forward line. It is arguably more frustrating given that John Conlon acted as a sweeper for large spells. The decision in switching Nolan after he picked up a yellow card also took too long for management to make.

Far from the epic of last year’s provincial decider, this final played in muggy humid conditions appeared to have drained the energy and life out of both teams. Neither side reached close to their optimum level of performance on a day when they were only level on three occasions.

On a day when Clare had three different freetakers, their final tally of thirteen wides served an insurmountable hurdle, particularly there was three wides in a row at a time when Clare trailed by a single point, had any of these efforts split the posts it may well have forced extra time.

Limerick through Tom Morrissey and Aaron Gillane got off the mark but Clare swiftly replied through two Aidan McCarthy frees.

Shane O’Donnell finished a well-worked move on nine minutes to give the Banner the lead for the first time. Cathal Malone won a turnover on his own 45m line, popped to Ryan Taylor who carried forward and popped to O’Donnell who provided the finish.

Taylor got himself on the mark moments later before Aaron Gillane and Tony Kelly swapped scores.

With twenty one minutes on the clock, Gearoid Hegarty got Limerick back on level terms but Clare carved out a two point advantage with Malone and Mark Rodgers scoring.

Rodgers raided for a green flag on thirty minutes when he reacted rapidly as a Tony Kelly shot hit the crossbar, he pounced on the breaking ball, snatched it and planted it in the net to give Clare a three point lead.

They should have been more than three points ahead at the interval though with a missed goal opportunity and two bad wides following the goal.

Conditions were beginning to take their toll on both teams on the restart. Within five minutes, Limerick had clawed back to a point, by the forty first minute they were level and when they were leading by a single point on forty three minutes after Aaron Gillane rounded Nolan before sticking the sliotar past Eibhear Quilligan.

Tony Kelly replied with a free before Limerick hit back with five points in a row over the course of eight minutes.

To their credit, Clare managed to pull the deficit back to a single point but crucially lacked the composure required to strike the decisive blow and despite the noise that will linger around the incorrect decision not to award Hogan a free in the last attack, there was a multitude of chances before that which should have been converted.

Alongside their Tipperary display, it was among Clare’s most disappointing championship showings this year but all is not lost. If there is a response, which there surely has to be and management can apply necessary learnings then there is nothing to suggest that Clare will not get the chance to take on Limerick again.

Before that, there’s a lot of hurdles to manoeuvre, the first being either Dublin or Carlow in two weeks time.

Cathal Malone, Ryan Taylor and Shane O’Donnell stood out for Clare on a day when collectively they didn’t hit the heights they are capable of.

Limerick’s workrate was that bit higher and small margins like this often decide a game. Their midfield duo of Darragh O’Donovan and William O’Donoghue though tested got through an amount of work while David Reidy finished with 0-04, Aaron Gillane continued to be a headache with Declan Hannon and Barry Nash also stepping up to ensure Hannon would lift the Mick Mackay Cup once again.

Scorers Limerick: A Gillane (1-11 9f), D Reidy (0-04), T Morrissey (0-02), C O’Neill (0-02), D O’Donovan (0-01), G Hegarty (0-01), A English (0-01), K Hayes (0-01)

Scorers Clare: T Kelly (0-06 2f), M Rodgers (1-02), A McCarthy (0-04 3f), D Fitzgerald (0-02), I Galvin (0-02), S O’Donnell (0-02), R Taylor (0-01), D Ryan (0-01), C Malone (0-01), A Shanagher (0-01)

Limerick:

1. Nicky Quaid (Effin)

2. Mike Casey (Na Piarsaigh)
3. Dan Morrissey (Ahane)
4. Barry Nash (South Liberties)

5. Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell)
6. Declan Hannon (Adare) Captain
7. Kyle Hayes (Kildimo/Pallaskenry)

8. Darragh O’Donovan (Doon)
9. William O’Donoghue (Na Piar saigh)

10. Gearoid Hegarty (St. Patrick’s)
26. David Reidy (Dromin/Athlacca)
12. Tom Morrissey (Ahane)

13. Aaron Gillane (Patrickswel l)
14. Seamus Flanagan (Feoghanagh/Castlemahon)
24. Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock)

Substitutes:
15. Peter Casey (Na Piarsaigh) for Mulcahy (46)
20. Colin Coughlan (Ballybrown) for Hannon (54)
22. Richie English (Doon) for Casey (57)
11. Cathal O’Neill (Crecora/Manister) for Morrissey (57)
21. Adam English (Doon) for O’Donovan (61)

Clare
1: Eibhear Quilligan (Feakle)

2: Adam Hogan (Feakle)
17: Cian Nolan (Smith O’Briens)
4: Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones)

5: Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe)
6: John Conlon (Clonlara)
7: David McInerney (Tulla)

13: Ryan Taylor (Clooney/Quin)
9: Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge)

8: David Fitzgerald (Inagh/Kilnamona)
14: Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg)
12: Aidan McCarthy (Inagh/Kilnamona)

15: Mark Rodgers (Scariff)
11: Tony Kelly (Ballyea)
10: Peter Duggan (Clooney/Quin)

Subs:
19: Shane Meehan (Banner) for McCarthy (44)
26: Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge) for Nolan (49)
20: Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones) for Duggan (57)
18: Ian Galvin (Clonlara) for Meehan (64)
23: Paul Flanagan (Ballyea) for Hayes (67)

Referee: Liam Gordon (Galway)

 

Related News

scariff gaa aerial (1)
Scariff set for blood donation
ballycar-railway-line-train-28-04-20-1
Ennis to Limerick rail service to resume
donna mcgettigan 1
'Whip-round' for Sinn Féin councillor in Shannon Town Centre criticised
burren 1-2
Geopark Academy puts focus on unique Burren landscape
Latest News
limerick greyhound stadium
Limerick all set for final of Con & Annie Kirby Memorial
rhubarb-custard-tart-bcdf82e
A Taste of Homestead Cottage's Roasted rhubarb & custard tart
ballycar-railway-line-train-28-04-20-1
Ennis to Limerick rail service to resume
maternity-reflexology
What is Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage?
clare v cork 04-02-24 mark rodgers 3
'This is our big game' - Rodgers relishing visit of Limerick to Cusack Park
Premium
o'connell square billboard ennis 17-04-24 3
Council in talks with owner of private billboard to promote positive Ennis message
clare v wicklow 26-02-24 mark fitzgerald 2
Fitzgerald & Clare aware but not fully fixated on Dungarvan difficulties of the past
clare v cork 09-04-23 cillian brennan 1
Brennan basking in opportunity to be back in the mix for championship following injury ordeal
gerry reidy páraic mcmahon ger kennedy marie mcmahon 1
The Electoral Chair: A sitting councillor may fall in North Clare & Fine Gael factions
clare v waterford minor 04-04-24 12
Final flourish powers Clare minors to successive wins

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Scroll to Top