Second-half blitz raises Banner
Clare 3-13 Limerick 0-12
A superb second-half performance earned Clare a place in the Munster final for the first time in 23 years at the Gaelic Grounds last night.
Better still for the winners is that they also earn a place in the All-Ireland quarter finals.
The first half was a thrilling affair and Limerick, backed by the breeze, led by two points, 0-10 to 1-5, at the end of 30 minutes which had a lightning start. Clare had the opening two points from the outstanding Diarmuid Ryan and Gearoid Cahill but Sean Ryan and Karl Moloney made it 0-2 each inside four minutes.
Clare then struck for the first of their goals when Paudie Kelly crashed the ball to the net. They were level four times in that splendid half with Limerick getting nine of their ten points from play.
Whatever was said in the Clare dressing room at half-time worked wonders as within a minute Gavin Cooney had a goal followed by points from Kelly ('45) and Cooney to transfer a two-point deficit into two in front which was quickly extended to five before Ross O'Brien had the first of only two second-half points for Limerick.
Ross O'Doherty had Clare's third goal five minutes from the end to spark great celebrations for the Banner side.
Scorers - Limerick: R O'Brien 0-6 (2f), S Ryan 0-2, K Moloney, N Callinan, A Costelloe, B Coleman 0-1 each.
Clare: G Cooney 1-6 (1f), P Kelly 1-2 (1 '45), R O'Doherty 1-0, D Ryan, G Cahill 0-2 each, D Coughlan 0-1.
Limerick - C Walsh; M Quinlan, E Burke, C Ferris; P Power, J Fitzgerald, J Cummins; K Moloney, L Kennedy; B Coleman, N Callinan, R O'Brien; A Costelloe, Colm Moran, S Ryan. Subs: D Burke for Callinan (46), Calvin Moran for Ryan (inj 52), P Collins for Costelloe (56), A Shier for O'Brien (60).
Clare - M Lillis; J Sheedy, J O'Sullivan, J Miniter; D Ryan, F Donnellan, K Whyte; C McMahon, D Griffin; P Kelly, S Rouine, D Coughlan; G Cooney, C O'Donoghue, G Cahill. Subs: C Dillon for McMahon (h-t), R O'Doherty for O'Donoghue (40), R Considine for Cahill (55), A O'Brien for Griffin (58), B Clancy for Coughlan (59).
Ref - D Murnane (Cork)