Thursday 13 December 2018

O'Neill's late strike earns Limerick place in final

Limerick 1-21 Clare 2-17 (Munster MHC semi-final)

Limerick's Bryan Heavey, right, and Ben Herlihy celebrate after the match. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Limerick's Bryan Heavey, right, and Ben Herlihy celebrate after the match. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Limerick booked their place in the final with a one-point victory over Clare at Cusack Park, Ennis, yesterday.

The young Treaty men relied on a Cathal O'Neill '65', deep into injury-time, to seal the victory.

Clare were in the ascendancy for most of this game, but a storming finish by a confident Limerick pipped them in the end.

The home side opened the game in whirlwind fashion and lead by 0-5 to nil by the 12th minute.

The Shannonsiders got their opening score of the afternoon with a Danny O'Leary point on 13 minutes. It kick-started a revival and seven minutes later the sides were level at five points apiece.

At half time, Clare held a 1-8 to 1-6 advantage, with their goal coming from Mark Rodgers.

Cormac Ryan breaks away for Limerick during the Munster Minor Hurling Championship semi-final. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Cormac Ryan breaks away for Limerick during the Munster Minor Hurling Championship semi-final. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Their opponent's three-pointer was scored by Cormac Ryan. Rodgers was put through by William Halpin, while Limerick's goal was set up by midfielder Patrick Kirby.

The Banner looked to be in control eight minutes after the break when Rodgers grabbed his second goal.

However, Limerick remained resolute and started to pick off some good scores.

The hosts lead by 2-16 to 1-17, but Limerick outscored them by four points to one in injury-time to reach the decider.

Mike Gough in action for Clare. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Mike Gough in action for Clare. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

O'Neill (three) and centre-back Emmett McEvoy split the posts late on.

Clare's reply was a single point by Connor Hegarty.

Limerick will now play Tipperary in the provincial final on July 1.

Scorers - Limerick: C O'Neill 0-7 (2 '65s, 2 f), B Purcell 0-6, C Ryan 1-0, D O'Leary, C Coughlan 0-2 each, P Kirby, B O'Connor, D Hegarty E McEvoy 0-1 each. Clare: K Guyler 0-9 (3f, 1 '65), M Rodgers 2-1, R Mounsey 0-3, C Hegarty 0-2, W Halpin, T Butler 0-1 each.

Limerick - B Heavey; P Harnett, B Herlihy, M Keane; E O'Mahony, E McEvoy, J Nicholas; P Kirby, B O'Connor; D O'Leary, C Ryan, C O'Neill; C Coughlan, B Purcell, C Casey. Subs: D Hegarty for Casey (h/t), B Nix for O'Leary (48), M Martin forCoughlan (70).

Clare - C O'Brien; J Enright, A Mungovan, M Gough; D Healy (Capt), D McMahon, J Griffin; A Moriarty, G O'Grady; W Halpin, R Mounsey, K Guyler; M Rogers, S Meehan, C Hegarty. Subs: T Butler for O'Grady (41), M Martin for Coughlan (70).

Ref - M Maher (Cork).

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, a trip to Old Trafford to watch Man United take on Liverpool in the Premier League, tickets to Ireland's home games in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport