Clare 1-23 Limerick 0-14
ON an evening when 13 Clare players contributed to their 12 point winning tally, they qualified for a June 3 Munster semi-final meeting with Kerry in Killarney. Another very impressive statistic is the fact that five Clare substitutes contributed 0-6 from play between them, with Conor Finuncane and Gavin Cooney putting over top class scores.
When Kieran Malone goaled, at the second attempt, in the 18th minute, Clare were completely in control, leading 1-6 to 0-1. Limerick looked very poor during that spell but they upped their game for a period, outscoring Clare 0-9 to 0-3 between the goal and half-time. Clare still led by five points, 1-9 to 0-7, at the interval while Limerick kicked two early second half points, with Jamie Lee and Seán McSweeney scoring.
It looked as if the game might turn into somewhat of a contest but Clare re-established control and went on a scoring spree. Apart from the substitutes hitting an array of classy points, Eoin Cleary’s fifth from play was off his right foot, while Cathal O’Connor also landed a superb point.
Clare though should have put away a couple of additional goals with Jamie Malone and Eoin Cleary spurning chances. Clare had four players making their full championship débuts from the off, including goalkeeper, Eamonn Tubridy, who made one excellent save before half-time, while his kick outs were sharp and varied. Counting starters and substitutes, five Éire Óg players featured in what was Clare’s fourth win in four years over Limerick.
For most of the game Clare looked a step above Limerick, who were game but lacked quality outside of their full forward line, who did well when fed with reasonable possession.
A more detailed report, interviews and analysis will be published in Thursday’s print edition of The Clare Champion.
Clare: Eamon Tubridy (Doonbeg); Gordon Kelly (Miltown), Cillian Brennan (Clondegad), Eoghan Collins (Ballyhaunis); Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora), Aaron Fitzgerald (Éire Óg), Pearse Lillis (Cooraclare); Gary Brennan (Clondegad – captain), Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen); Kieran Malone (Miltown), Eoin Cleary (Miltown), Jamie Malone (Corofin); Eimhin Courtney (Éire Óg), Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry Ibrickane), David Tubridy (Doonbeg).
Subs: Conal O’nAinifein (Éire Óg) for Gordon Kelly (41), Gearóid O’Brien (Kilrush) for Keelan Sexton (57), Gavin Cooney (Éire Óg) for David Tubridy (63), Conor Finucane (Lissycasey) for Kieran Malone (65), Martin O’Leary (Kilmihil) for Eimhin Courtney (66), Éinne O’Connor (Éire Óg) for Eoghan Collins (68).
Scorers: Kieran Malone (1-3), Eoin Cleary (0-5), David Tubridy (0-3), Eimhin Courtney, Conor Finucane (0-2 each), Keelan Sexton, Pearse Lillis, Jamie Malone, Cathal O’Connor, Gearóid O’Brien, Conal O’nAinifein, Gavin Cooney, Martin O’Leary (0-1 each).
Limerick: Donal O’Sullivan; Paul Maher, Sean O’Dea, David Connolly; Paul White, Cillian Fahy, Gordan Browne; Darragh Treacy, Mike Fitzgibbon; Danny Neville, Sean McSweeney, Garrett Noonan; Peter Nash, Patrick Begley, Jamie Lee. Subs: Iain Corbett for Peter Nash, b-c (44mins), Josh Ryan for Patrick Begley (48mins), Killian Ryan for Jamie Lee (53mins), Daniel Daly for Gordan Browne (60mins), Davey Lyons for Michael Fitzgibbon (60mins), Padraig Scanlon for Danny Neville (63mins).
Scorers: Sean McSweeney (0-5f), Jamie Lee (0-3,1f), Josh Ryan (0-3, 2f), Danny Neville (0-2), Paul White (0-1).
Referee: Noel Mooney (Cavan).