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Clare 1-26 Limerick 2-18
Published 07/07/2016 | 02:30
Clare secured their first Munster intermediate title in five years following a strong finish to their titanic struggle with hosts Limerick in the Gaelic Grounds last night.
It had to take extra-time to finally separate the sides as despite being reduced to 14 men in normal and additional time, the Banner County outscored their neighbours by 0-10 to 0-5 to garner only their second ever provincial intermediate crown.
In a see-saw opening half, Clare twice led by four points, only to be reeled in as Oisin Donnellan's goal on ten minutes was cancelled out by Aaron Gillane, who had earlier been denied by 'keeper Daniel Vaughan.
The visitors refused to panic and points from Ryan Taylor (2) and Davy Conroy appeared to provide a comfortable half-time cushion. However, they would be stunned in additional time as Pat Ryan's opportunistic goal was followed by Ronan Lynch's fourth point to ensure a 2-6 to 1-9 interval stalemate.
The new half was much more subdued, particularly when Clare's Dara Walsh was dismissed for two yellows in quick succession.
Limerick failed to build upon their numerical advantage as the sides were on level terms five times to force extra-time at 1-16 to 2-13. However, once Clare restored their full complement, there was only going to be one winner as subs Shane Gleeson (5) and Ben O'Gorman (2) inspired them to advance to the All-Ireland decider against Kilkenny or Wexford.
Scorers - Clare: S Gleeson 0-7 (4f), S McGrath 0-5 (4f), O Donnellan 1-1, D Conroy 0-3; R Taylor, M O'Neill, B O'Gorman 0-2 each, K Hehir, J McCarthy, D Russell, R Hayes 0-1 each.
Limerick: R Lynch 0-6 (2f), A Gillane 1-2 (2f), W Griffin 0-3 (2f, 1'65), P Ryan 1-0; B Murphy 0-2; K O'Brien, A La Touche Cosgrave, D Dempsey, L Lyons, M Carmody 0-1 each.
Clare - D Vaughan; R Hayes, E Quirke, C Cooney; D Walsh, A McGuane, J McCarthy; D Conroy, K Hehir; O Donnellan, S McGrath, D Corry; C Crehan, R Taylor, M O'Neill. Subs: S Gleeson for Corry (h-t), B O'Gorman for Donnellan (43), D Russell for Taylor (52), M Lynch for McGrath (58), M O'Shea for Crehan (68), E Enright for Hehir (74), S Taylor for Lynch (79).
Limerick - E McNamara; M Casey, B Lynch, S Flanagan; C Ryan, L Lyons, M Carmody; W O'Donoghue, A La Touche Cosgrave; D Dempsey, R Lynch, P Ryan; A Gillane, K O'Brien, P Casey. Subs: O O'Reilly for O'Brien (43), B Murphy for Ryan (54), W Griffin for Gillane (60), M Fitzgibbon for R. Lynch (63), Ryan for O'Donoghue (70), D Fanning for Casey (70).
Ref - J Larkin (Cork)