Clare survive late charge to see off Limerick and set up clash with Kerry
Clare 1-13 Limerick 1-12
CLARE just about maintained their superiority over neighbours Limerick with a third success Munster Senior Football Championship victory at Cusack Park.
The home side survived a late, late charge in the dying minutes of added time by Limerick when substitute Josh Ryan crashed home a goal and a point just when the game looked like ebbing out in Clare's favour.
The Banner now advance to a semi-final clash with recently crowned Allianz League champions Kerry while new-look Limerick head for the road on the qualifiers circuit.
Colm Collins has overseen the Banner victories over Limerick in 2015 and '16, but he will know his side will have to raise their game against the Kingdom.
A five point lead at 1-8 to 0-6 by the interval was fair reward for Clare's efforts in the first half, and it could have been more if Limerick keeper Donal O'Sullivan had not got down to save with his feet from a Keelan Sexton shot.
The key moment in that opening 35 minutes was Eoin Cleary's goal in the ninth minute. Veteran David Tubridy rose high to flick the ball into space for Cleary to lash it into the net.
Eoin Cleary opened the second half scoring within 25 seconds of the re-start with a well taken point to edge Clare to 1-9.
Limerick got back on the scoreboard with a Danny Neville point in the 51st minute but inside two minutes later, David Tubridy cancelled that out with Clare's tenth point of the day.
At that stage it looked a clear cut run to the finish until Limerick staged that late recovery, but they just fell short.
Clare: J. Hayes; D Ryan, K Harnett, M McMahon; P Lillis (0-1), G Kelly, J Hayes; G Brennan, C O'Connor; J Malone, S Collins (0-1) S Brennan ; E Cleary (1-4, 2f), D Tubridy, (0-4, 2f); K Sexton (0-3, 1f); Subs: L Markham for C O'Connor (60); B Creamer for S Collins (65); S Malone for D Tubridy (69);
Limerick: D O'Sullivan; D Daly, J McCarthy, S O'Dea (0-1) P White, I Corbett (0-1), B Fanning; D Tracey (0-1), D Ward; P Nash, J Naughton (0-1), G Noonan; S O'Carroll (0-4), D Neville (0-2), G Collins (0-2, 1f)
Subs: J Ryan (1-1) for D Ward (47); S McSweeney for P Nash (52); J Lee for J Naughton (57); T McCarthy for D Daly (60); P Scanlon for G Collins (63); P Quinn for S O'Carroll (68)
Ref: C Reilly (Meath)