Clare stumbled across the line with two late David Tubridy scores as they almost threw away a nine-point lead at the Gaelic Grounds. Ian Ryan looked to have been the hero for Limerick with eight second-half points but Clare showed great character to recover from a desperate second-half and reach the provincial decider.
Looking for their first Munster final spot in 12 years Clare blasted into the Limerick challenge in the opening 10 minutes, looking more like the team with a championship win already to their name.
Micheal McDermott's side kicked five points before Limerick hit the target after 15 minutes. In the 23rd minute centre-back Gordan Kelly ran onto a pin-point pass from Shane McGrath, carried from the 45m line and blasted past Brian Scanlon from the edge of the large rectangle for a great Clare goal and a 1-9 to 0-3 lead at the break.
Limerick came roaring back in the second-half, inspired by Ryan, and when they edged ahead on 66 minutes Clare looked to have squandered a golden opportunity. Tubridy had other ideas however and the Banner advance to a rare Munster final appearance.
Scorers -- Clare: D Tubridy 0-5 (1 '45', 1f), R Donnelly 0-3, G Kelly 1-0, S McGrath 0-2, G Brennan 0-1, A Clohessy 0-1, G Quinlan 0-1. Limerick: I Ryan 0-10 (5f), G Collins 0-2, S O'Carroll 0-1, S Kelly 0-1, E O'Connor 0-1.
Limerick: S Scanlon; L O'Dwyer, J Riordan, P Browne; S Lavin, J McCarthy, P Ranahan; T Lee, P Kinnerk; I Corbett, S Kelly, S Buckley; G Collins, S O'Carroll, I Ryan. Subs: J O'Meara for Kinnerk (27), E O'Connor for Kelly (53), J Cooke for Corbett (56), J Donovan for O'Carroll (62), G O'Connell for Buckley (70).
Clare: J Hayes; K Hartnett, S McNelis, L Healy; M McMahon, G Kelly, J Hayes; G Brennan, G Quinlan; S McGrath, E Coughlan, A Clohessy; M O'Shea, D Tubridy, R Donnelly. Subs: S Brennan for Quinlan (58), N Browne for Coughlan (62), D Russell for McGrath (65), B Hartnett for McNelis (66).
Referee: D Fahy (Longford)
Sunday Indo Sport