*Sean Rynne hit the all-important equaliser for Clare. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Bemoaning their lack of injury-time luck in 2022, Clare certainly tested their newfound fortune to its optimum when firing the last three points to snatch their second successive draw of the Munster Under 20 Championship in TUS Gaelic Grounds on Wednesday evening.

Clare 1-19
Limerick 1-19
Venue: TUS Gaelic Grounds, Limerick

Having fired a last gasp equaliser against Tipperary in their opening bout on Saturday, Terence Fahy’s side again got out of jail, this time in more dramatic circumstances as a character-filled Clare hit the last three points in additional time to salvage a share of the spoils.

Floored by an Adam English goal in the 26th minute, Clare trailed by five before the break but bounded back off the ropes in style at the start of the second period. Undeterred by two missed goal chances, Patrick Crotty emphatically fired to the left corner of the net to finally regain full par-ity at 1-11 apiece in the 36th minute.

With the bit between their teeth, a further brace from Crotty along with one from substitute Colm Cleary actually catapulted the Banner two clear entering the final quarter. However, with fatigue incrementally leading to indiscipline, that momentum dissipated once Patrick O’Donovan unerr-ingly converted four successive placed balls.

It meant that by injury-time, Clare trailed by three and required a major shot-in-the-arm. It came from Sean Rynne who began the rally before Cleary doubled his haul to slash the arrears to just one entering the final minute of additional time.

With time up, Sean Rynne produced a moment of magic to dispossess and drive down the right wing before arrowing over a worthy leveller much to the approval of the Clare support from the Mackey Stand.

David Fitzgerald feels the brunt of Niall O’Farrell’s hurley as Daithí Lohan tries to retrieve possession. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

The Banner can breath a huge sigh of relief, having come from behind in both their derby outings so far but while there is huge scope for improvement in a lot of areas, there’s no denying the grit and perseverance of this side.

Again frees proved to be an issue especially when contrasted with the superb Patrick O’Donovan who nailed seven placed balls along with grabbing five points from play in a brilliant second half display.

Clare’s persistent short puck-outs, when overturned or caught for over-carrying are real ham-merblows but as a work in progress, the fact that Clare are still unbeaten with two matches to play can only be viewed as encouraging.

Clare had curtailed Limerick’s chief threats superbly in that first half, with Adam Hogan having some inspirational moments to spoil Shane O’Brien while Sean Rynne excellently kept tabs on Limerick other senior panelist Adam English at midfield.

However, English’s switch to the inside line saw him field at the edge of the square before billow-ing the net while the Banner should have also kept closer tabs on the rampant Patrick O’Donovan.

John Conneally did well on English in Clare’s last line while Crotty, Oisin O’Donnell, Jack O’Neill, and substitute Cleary all stormed to the fore in the second period.

Clare actually scored the first three points through Keith Smyth (2) and David Kennedy and man-aged to keep their noses in front until the 24th minute.

1-5 without reply for the home side saw the Munster minor equivalent winners (2020) hit the front for the first time at 1-9 to 0-7 by the 28th minute.

Patrick Crotty and Oisin O’Donnell lessened the half-time damage at 1-9 to 0-9 but the same pair were both denied goals on the resumption. Clare finally invited with Crotty’s 36th minute goal but again they would falter coming down the final straight as Limerick and more pointedly O’Donovan outscored their neighbours by 0-6 to 0-1 to soar 1-19 to 1-16 clear by the hour mark.

In a reverse of last year’s smash-and grab injury-time turnaround, this time it was Clare that res-cued a point ahead of a two week break before they travel to bottom side Waterford.

Scorers for Clare: Keith Smyth (0-7, 4f, 1’65); Patrick Crotty (1-3); Sean Rynne (0-3); Jack O’Neill, Colm Cleary (0-2 each); David Kennedy, Oisin O’Donnell (0-1 each)

Scorers for Limerick: Patrick O’Donovan (0-12, 6f, 1’65); Adam English (1-1); Ethan Hurley (0-2 each); Adam Fitzgerald, Fintan Fitzgerald, Joseph Fitzgerald, Shane O’Brien (0-1 each)

Clare
1: Aaron Shanahan (Tulla)

6: John Conneally (Clooney/Quin)
3: Adam Hogan (Feakle)
4: Ian McNamara (Killanena)

2: Jarlath Collins (Éire Óg)
5: Oran Cahill (Éire Óg)
7: Daithi Lohan (Wolfe Tones)

8: Sean Rynne (Inagh/Kilnamona)
15: Jack O’Neill (Clooney/Quin)

10: Oisin O’Donnell (Crusheen)
11: Patrick Crotty (Scariff)
12: Niall O’Farrell (Broadford)

9: Conor Whelan (Whitegate)
14: Keith Smyth (Killanena)
13: David Kennedy (Sixmilebridge)

Subs
18: Colm Cleary (O’Callaghan’s Mills) for Whelan (HT)
24: Oisin Clune (Feakle) for Cahill (51),
23: Keelan Hartigan (Scariff) for O’Farrell (53),
22: James Doherty (Clarecastle) for Kennedy (56)

Limerick:
1: Josh O’Reilly (Ballybrown)

2: Ronan Lyons (Monaleen)
3: John Fitzgerald (Na Piarsaigh)
4: Evan O’Leary (Ahane)

5: David Fitzgerald (Kildimo/Pallaskenry)
6: Cian Scully (Dromin/Athlacca)
7: Ethan Hurley (Newcastle West)

8: Joseph Fitzgerald (Monaleen)
9: Adam English (Doon)

10: Fintan Fitzgerald (Mungret St Paul’s)
11: Patrick O’Donovan (Effin)
12: John Kirby (Patrickswell)

14: Adam Fitzgerald (Templeglantine)
15: Shane O’Brien Kilmallock)
13: Con Hayes (Newcastle West)

Subs:
21: Liam Lynch (Mungret St Paul’s) for Hayes (30)
17: Barry Duff (Mungret St Paul’s) for A. Fitzgerald (HT)
23: Jack Molloy (Knockaderry) for John Fitzgerald (45)
19: Liam Dennehy (Glenroe) for F. Fitzgerald (48)
22: Sean O’Neill (Blackrock) for Kirby (58)

Referee: Nicky Barry (Waterford)

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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.

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