Goals in either half proved decisive as Limerick recovered from a twenty one point defeat on Sunday to overcome Clare by two points.
Venue: O’Garney Park, Sixmilebridge
Although they led for the majority of the contest, Clare let it slip when it mattered most as Gerry O’Connor and Donal Moloney suffered their first defeat as Joint Managers of the senior side in their second game.
They raced into an early three point lead with John Conlon, David Fitzgerald and Shane Golden all hitting the target inside the opening four minutes. Aaron Cunningham added another not long after while Gearoid Hegarty got John Kiely’s men off the mark on the seventh minute.
Diarmaid Byrnes who captained the visitors was the player of the game and he got his first score on the tenth minute on a dry Wednesday night.
A brace from John Conlon at the beginning of the second quarter saw the Banner extend their lead to four points.
With half-time fast approaching, the sides were back on level terms as Graeme Mulcahy pulled on the sliotar which flew past Donal Tuohy in the Clare goal. David Reidy hit over a free to give the hosts a one point advantage at the break.
However Limerick outscored their counterparts 8-5 to slowly but surely swing the game in their favour. Critically Clare never looked like getting a goal whereas when the chances presented themselves Graeme Mulcahy and later Barry Nash executed their shots to the back of the net.
In a second half that ebbed and flowed, the men in saffron and blue never pushed on and allowed Limerick to linger and found themselves on the losing team as a result. The winners hit a total of thirteen wides while Clare had five shots that went left or right of the posts in the seventy minutes.
While Clare would have liked to come out on top, they will be fully aware that their upcoming championship meeting with their neighbours in June is the game to win.
1. Nickie Quiad (Effin)
2 Stephen Cahill (Tournafulla)
3. Richie McCarthy (Blackrock)
4. Mike Casey (Na Piarsaigh)
5. Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell) (Captain), (0-05 3f)
6. Declan Hannon (Adare)
7. Gavin O’Mahony (Kilmallock)
8. John Fitzgibbon (Adare) (0-02)
9. James Ryan (Garryspillane)
10. Gearoid Hegarty (St Patrick’s) (0-01)
11. Cian Lynch (Patrickswell) (0-02)
12. Andrew La Touche Cosgrave (Monaleen)
13. Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock) (1-00)
14. Barry Nash (South Liberties) (1-00)
15. Sean Tobin (Murroe/Boher) (0-03 3f)
Subs: Kyle Hayes (Kildimo/Pallaskenry) for Hegarty (30, inj), David Dempsey (Na Piarsaigh) for Tobin (50), Tom Morrissey (Ahane) (0-01) for La Touche Cosgrave (50), Paul Browne (Bruff) (0-01) for Ryan (52), Seamus Hickey (Murroe/Boher) for Fitzgibbon (63, inj).
1. Donal Tuohy (Crusheen)
2. Shane McNamara (Clooney-Quin)
3. Cian Dillon (Crusheen) Capt.
4. Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge)
5. David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona) (0-01)
6. Colm Galvin (Clonlara)
7. Jamie Shanahan (Sixmilebridge)
8. David Reidy (Éire Óg Inis) (0-05 3f)
9. Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge) (0-02)
10. John Conlon (Clonlara) (0-04)
11. Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge) (0-01)
12. Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin)
13. Cathal O’Connell (Clonlara) (0-01)
14. Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones na Sionna)
15. Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones na Sionna) (0-03)
Subs: Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona) (0-01) for Shanagher (HT), Ben O’Gorman (Wolfe Tones) (0-01) for Fitzgerald (61), Kevin Hehir (Inagh-Kilnamona) for Reidy (67), Bobby Duggan (Clarecastle) for P. Duggan (69)
Referee: Cathal McAllister (Cork)
All photos by Gary Collins