It took extra time to decide a winner in the Munster Intermediate Hurling Championship Final but Clare eventually prevailed by five points to secure their second title.
Venue: Gaelic Grounds
Within four minutes of the throw-in Clare had three points on the board as they tore straight out of the blocks. Limerick edged it back to a one point game on nine minutes only for Feakle’s Oisin Donnellan to rattle the net for the opening goal of the game.
Despite netting the goal the Banner didn’t push on sufficiently and the hosts gripped their way back with goals from Aaron Gillane and Pat Ryan to leave the sides level at the half-time whistle. Donal Moloney’s charges were guilty of nine first half wides with Limerick hitting eight.
The tit tat nature of the game continued in the third quarter as the sides constantly traded scores and Clare were reduced to fourteen men with the dismissal of Dara Walsh after he received two yellow cards in the space of two minutes.
With five minutes left the Banner were ahead by two points, Leo O’Connor’s Limerick wouldn’t go down easy and scored three points on the trot via Lorcan Lyons, Gillane and Mark Carmody to take the lead with time running out. However Rory Hayes would point to force the tie to extra time.
Again the game ebbed and flowed in the first period of extra time. Clare did take control and built a gap of four points at the break with vital scores from David Conroy, Ben O’Gorman and Shane Gleeson.
They managed to hold on to their precious lead as the game continued outscoring Limerick 4-3 in the second half of extra time and lost another player to a red card, this time it was Broadford’s Shane Taylor.
For manager Donal Moloney it is the sixth provincial title he has won in charge of a Clare team on the back of his days as Joint Manager of the minor and U21 sides with Gerry O’Connor.
Clare: Daniel Vaughan (Tulla); Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones na Sionna) (0-01), Eoin Quirke (Whitegate), Ciaran Cooney (O’Callaghans Mills); Jason McCarthy (Inagh/Kilnamona) (0-01), Aidan McGuane (Kilmaley), Dara Walsh (Éire Óg); David Conroy (St Josephs Doora/Barefield) (0-03), Kevin Hehir (Inagh/Kilnamona) (0-01); Oisin Donnellan (Feakle) (1-01), Shane McGrath (Feakle) (0-05), Darragh Corry (Tulla), Michael O’Neill (Kilmaley) (0-02), Ryan Taylor (Clooney/Quin) (0-02), Colin Crehan (O’Callaghans Mills). Subs: Shane Gleeson (Cratloe) (0-07) for Corry (HT), Ben O’Gorman (Wolfe Tones) (0-02) for Donnellan (42), Danny Russell (Éire Óg) (0-01) for Taylor (51), Mark Lynch (Tulla) for McGrath (58), Eoin Enright (Kilmaley) for Hehir (75), Shane Taylor (Broadford) for Lynch (78), Michael O’Shea (Smith O’Briens) for Crehan (79).
Limerick: Eoghan McNamara (Doon); Mike Casey (Na Piarsaigh), Barry Lynch (Feohanagh), Sean Flanagan (Feohanagh); Mark Carmody (Patrickswell), Ronan Lynch (Na Piarsaigh), Colin Ryan (Pallasgreen); Pat Ryan (Doon), Lorcan Lyons (Monaleen); David Dempsey (Na Piarsaigh), Will O’Donoghue (Na Piarsaigh), Andrew La Touche Cosgrave (Monaleen); Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell), Kevin O’Brien (Patrickswell), Peter Casey (Na Piarsaigh). Subs: Oisin O’Reilly (Kilmallock) for Kevin O’Brien (43), Barry Murphy (Doon) for Pat Ryan (54), Willie Griffin (Adare) for Aaron Gillane (60), Mike Fitzgibbon (Feohanagh) for Ronan Lynch (63), Pat Ryan (Doon) for Will O’Donoghue (70), Darragh Fanning (Pallasgreen) for Peter Casey (70).
Referee: Joe Larkin (Cork).