*Shane Golden. Photograph: Martin Connolly
Clare earned a share of the spoils against Limerick to keep their chances of making the knockout stages of the Allianz National Hurling League alive.
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis
Once again Gerry O’Connor and Donal Moloney’s charges offered up soft frees to their opponents and their indiscipline came back to bite them with Aaron Gillane nailing two late frees to force a draw.
A Gearoid Hegarty goal in the opening half cut short a Banner period of dominance, a breakdown in communication between David McInerney and Rory Hayes gifted the St Patricks attacker possession and he duly grabbed the opportunity placed into his lap.
Goals from Shane Golden and Peter Duggan in the second half coupled with a Donal Tuohy penalty save had the hosts leading approaching the final moments. However soft frees coughed up to John Kiely’s side were converted by Gillane to leave it all square at the final whistle.
Although they got their hands on Liam McCarthy last year, the heavy Munster Championship defeat suffered to Clare in Cusack Park in the summer has left scars for Limerick. It was evident the minute Paud O’Dwyer threw the sliotar in as hurleys were broken and rows commenced that they wanted to send out a message, failing to win negated the volume and clarity of that message.
Cian Lynch, Peter Casey, Aaron Gillane and Paddy O’Loughlin were best for the Treaty County. Their delivery of ball to the inside line was excellent and in sharp contrast to Clare for whom no member of their full forward line picked off a score.
Regardless of if Clare make the quarter-finals or the relegation decider they have a lot of work to do. Defence continues to be a red flag area and if management fail to make necessary changes, Clare will not get past a competitive Munster championship. Up front, there was no scoring threat and it was here that Limerick’s physicality was most evident.
Scorers Clare: Peter Duggan (1-06 6f), Shane Golden (1-01), Diarmuid Ryan (0-02), Tony Kelly (0-01), Gary Cooney (0-01).
Scorers Limerick: Aaron Gillane (0-08 8f), Gearoid Hegarty (1-00), Peter Casey (0-03), Kyle Hayes (0-01), Colin Ryan (0-01 1’65), Paddy O’Loughlin (0-01).
1. Donal Tuohy (Crusheen)
2. Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones)
3. David McInerney (Tulla)
4. Jack Browne (Ballyea)
7. David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona)
6. Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown)
5.. Patrick O’Connor (Tubber)
8. Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge)
9. Colm Galvin (Clonlara)
10. Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin)
11. Tony Kelly (Ballyea)
12. Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe)
15. Podge Collins (Cratloe)
24. Niall Deasy (Ballyea)
13. Ian Galvin (Clonlara)
19. Gary Cooney (O’Callaghan’s Mills) for I Galvin (35)
26. Oisin O’Brien (Clonara) for McInerney (HT)
5. Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge) for O’Connor (51)
18. Aidan McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona) for Deasy (55)
14. Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones) for Ryan (65)
1. Nickie Quaid (Effin)
4. Richie English (Doon)
3. Sean Finn (Bruff)
2. Tom Condon (Knockaderry)
5. Paddy O’Loughlin (Kilmallock)
6. Declan Hannon Capt. (Adare)
7. Dan Morrissey (Ahane)
8. Cian Lynch (Patrickswell)
9. Colin Ryan (Pallasgreen)
10. Gearoid Hegarty (St. Patricks)
11. Kyle Hayes (Kildimo- Pallaskenry)
12. Tom Morrissey (Ahane)
13. Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell)
14. Seamus Flanagan (Feohanagh)
15. Peter Casey (Na Piarsaigh)
26. William O’Meara (Askeaton ) for Finn (6) Inj
25. Darragh O’Donovan (Doon) for Ryan (49)
21. Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock) for Flanagan (58)
18. David Dempsey (Na Piarsaigh) for Hegarty (62)
19. Shane Dowling (Na Piarsaigh) for Morrissey (65)
Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow)