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The Clare free-takers, including a disappointed Niall Deasy, look on as opposition Limerick win a free taking shoot-out during their NHL quarter final at the Gaelic Grounds. Photograph by John Kelly.

Clare go down after sudden death freetaking shootout

Limerick 4-21 Clare 0-33

(after two periods of extra time)

Limerick won 7 to 6 in a sudden death free taking contest

Clare’s involvement in the 2018 Allianz hurling league ended in dramatic fashion at the Gaelic grounds in Limerick this evening.

History was made when a league quarter final was decided for the first time by a free taking shoot out which went to sudden death. It’s a piece of history that Clare would prefer not to have been part of but its the format that is in place this season as the authorities seek to get competitions completed in a shorter time frame.

This latest clash of arch rivals and Shannonside neighbours Clare and Limerick ebbed and flowed over one hundred minutes at the end of which the sides were still level. This was the eleventh time that the sides were level in this tie, the first having come twenty three minutes into the second half.

Both sides will look back on this tie and point to occasions when they could have picked off a score or conceded one which could have led to a result in normal time.

Clare had the aid of the wind in the opening half and they made the better start racing three points clear after just two minutes. They went on to lead by eight, 0-10 to 0-1 after twenty two minutes and looked to be well in control.

A minute later Limerick struck a vital blow when Aaron Guillane kicked the ball to the roof of the net and a further minute elapsed before the shannonsiders were awarded their first free of the evening, a decision which drew cheer from the attendance.

By half time Clare’s lead had been cut back to three points and with wind advantage to come, Limerick looked to be in a strong position.

Goals proved crucial in this tie and when Guillane got through for his and Limerick’s second at the turn of the final quarter, the home side were in front for the first time. The teams exchnged points three times in the next four minutes before the Clare rearguard was breached again, substitute Pat Ryan finding the net after Clare captain Pat O’Connor slipped as he challenged for possession.

Clare’s response to this was impressive and they hit four unanswered points to lead by one entering ‘injury time’. In the second of three minutes of ‘added time’ Colin Ryan, another impressive substitute for Limerick, converted a line ball to tie up the contest at 0-25 to 3-16.

At the end of the first period of ten minutes Clare led by the minimum and they had stretched this to three as the second period went into ‘added time’. Everything pointed to a Clare victory but Limerick refused to concede and when they won a 22m free, wing back Diarmuid Byrnes drilled the ball low to the net to tie up the game yet again (0-30 to 4-18).

This led to two further periods of five minutes each and in the fifth of these the teams each added two points.

John Conlon pointed Clare into the lead in the third minute of the second period and this point still separated the teams as the game entered one minute of added time. Then a foul on Cian Lynch resulted in a free which Aaron Guillane converted leading to the free taking contest.

Each side converted their five which led to sudden death. Duggan and Guillane were on target in the sudden death before Niall Deasy’s effort drifted wide of the target and this left Colin Ryan with the opportunity to win the tie for Limerick which he did to the delight of the home following

Clare; Donal Tuohy (Crusheen); Patrick O’Connor (Tubber) Conor Cleary (Miltown St. Josephs), Jack Browne (Ballyea); Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge), David McInerney (Tulla), David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona) 0-1; Colm Galvin (Clonlara) 0-1, Tony Kelly (Ballyea) 0-6; Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge), John Conlon (Clonlara) 0-2, David Reidy (Éire Óg) 0-2; Conor McGrath (Cratloe) 0-1, Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin) 0-19, 15 frees, 2 ’65’s, Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg) 0-1

Subs: Ian Galvin (Clonlara) for Galvin; Cathal McInerney(Cratloe) for McGrath; Jamie Shanahan (Sixmilebridge) for Morey; Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona) for Reidy; Podge Collins (Cratloe) for Malone; Michael O’Neill (Kilmaley) for McInerney for extra time; ; Ryan Taylor (Clooney-Quin) for I. Galvin; Michael O’Malley (Kilmaley) for Kelly; Niall Deasy (Ballyea) for Collins.

Limerick; Nickie Quaid; Sean Finn, Seamus Hickey, Ritchie English; Diarmuid Byrnes (1-1), Declan Hannon, Dan Morrissey; Paul Browne (0-1), Cian Lynch (0-1); Gearoid Hegarty (0-2), Kyle Hayes, Tom Morrissey (0-1); Aaron Guilane (2-11, 0-11 frees), Seamus Flanagan (0-1), Barry Murphy;

Subs; Colin Ryan (0-3) for Browne; Pat Ryan (1-0) for Murphy; David Reidy for Hayes; Ritchie McCarthy for Hickey (inj), Barry O’Connell for Hegarty, Oisin O’Reilly for Flanagan.

Referee; Alan Kelly, Galway

By Seamus Hayes


About Seamus Hayes

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