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Tony Kelly scored 0-4 from play. Photograph by John Kelly.

Clare win but there is room for improvement

Clare 0-19 Limerick 0-15

Clare booked a place in the All-Ireland senior hurling quarter final when they overcame Limerick at Semple stadium in Thurles but there were a number of anxious monents before their place in the last six was confirmed.

A strong second quarter proved decisive as they came from being three points in arrears to open a six point lead by half time.

However, Limerick had the aid of the wind in the second half and the piled on the pressure and they had the margin back to three points three times in the last ten minutes. However, they could not get through for the goal they needed to have a chance of causing an upset.

The exchanges in the opening quarter suggested that Limerick were going to make matters very difficult for their great rivals and neighbours Clare as they raced 0-4 to 0-1 clear after twelve minutes depite the fact that they were playing against the breeze.

They were still three clear at the end of the first quarter after the teams had exchanged points but from here to half time there was only one team in this contest.

Clare took control and hit nine unanswered points to lead by six, 0-11 to 0-5, when the half time whistle sounded. Three points from dual star Podge Collins in the space of five minutes together with scores from Shane O’Donnell, David McInerney and Tony Kelly from a free on his own ’65 saw Clare go from being three points down to being three ahead in the space of nine minutes.

The Clare defence dominated throughout with Cian Dillon particularly prominent. Up front Tony Kelly finished with 0-9, seven coming from placed balls including one from a penalty three minutes from the end of normal time. Manager David Fitzgerald confirmed that he instructed Kelly to go for a point and he expressed surprise that referee James Owens played five minutes of ‘injury time’

Clare will play either Tipperary or Galway in the quarter final on July 24.

Earlier Wexford created a major shock when scoring a 0-23 to 1-17 win over Cork and while the results was a shock there was no doubting the merit of Wexfordf’s win as they dominated exchanges throughout.

In the opening game on the programme the Cork footballers accounted for Limerick on a scoreline of 2-12 to 0-10 in round 2 of the qualifiers.

Scorers; Clare—Tony Kelly (0-9) Podge Collins and Shane O’Donnell (0-3) each; Aron Shanagher, John Conlon, David McInerney, Jack Browne (0-1) each

Limerick; Shane Dowling (0-6), Diarmuid Byrnes (0-3), James Ryan (0-2) Darragh O’Donovan, Kevin Downes, Gearoid Hegarty Paul Browne (0-1) each

Clare; Andrew Fahy (Whitegate); Oisín O’Brien (Clonlara), Pat O’Connor (Tubber), Cian Dillon (Crusheen); Jack Browne (Ballyea), Conor Cleary (Miltown St. Josephs), Brendan Bugler (Whitegate); David McInerney (Tulla), David Reidy (Éire Óg); Colm Galvin (Clonlara), Podge Collins (Cratloe), Tony Kelly (Ballyea); John Conlon (Clonlara) Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg), Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones).

Subs; Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones) for Conlon; David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona) for Bugler;

Limerick; Nickie Quaid; Tom Condon, Ritchie McCarthy, Ritchie English; Diarmuid Byrnes, Gavin O’Mahony, Paudie O’Brien; Paul Browne, Darragh O’Donovan; Declan Hannon, James Ryan, Cian Lynch; Kevin Downes, Shane Dowling, Graeme Mulcahy;

Subs; Tom Morrissey for O’Donovan; Gearoid Hegarty for Hannon; Seamus Hickey for P. O’Brien; Barry Nash for Mulcahy, Alan Dempsey for English.

Referee; James Owens,Wexford

By Seamus Hayes

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