Páraic McMahon reports from Cusack Park, Ennis
A NINE-POINT was recorded by the reigning All-Ireland, Munster and National League champions Limerick against home side Clare in front of an attendance of 7,992 in Ennis for today’s Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling Cup final.
Survivors from Limerick’s All-Ireland winning fifteen included Barry Nash, Gearoid Hegarty, William O’Donoghue. Clare opted for experience but also took the chance to blood new talent with Patrick Crotty and Robin Mounsey making their first senior appearances from the bench.
Hopes for a tense, tight affair were heightened when tensions ratcheted up at the throw-in with referee Conor Doyle brandishing yellow cards to Will O’Donoghue and Jack Browne before the sliotar was in play.
This soon dissipated with Limerick proving much too strong for their Shannonside neighbours. Effectively it was game over by half-time with John Kiely’s side holding an eight point advantage. Foundations for the win were built when they put together rallies of six and five points without reply at different stages.
Victorious Limerick captain Barry Nash.
Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO
By the first water break, just three points separated the sides but that was as good as it got for Brian Lohan’s Clare with the gap widening as the tie progressed. Limerick’s ease at crafting sequences of play moving with aplomb from their last line of defence to attack allowing them to create several scoring opportunities from near and afar.
Primarily it was the battle of David Reidys, the Dromin-Athlacca freetaker versus his Ennis namesake. They accounted for 0-12 and 0-09 of their side’s final tally and were active from placed balls particularly in the opening half.
For Clare to have had any chance of clawing their way back, they needed a major but failed to put together any meaningful opportunity to ensure Limerick took him the silverware in the pre-season competition.
In what was the first of three meetings between the counties at Cusack Park this year, Limerick gave an indication that their ranking as the country’s top team is fully justified and on course to remain. Richie English, Colin Coughlan and Oisin O’Reilly stood out for the winners while Clare were best served by Mark Rodgers, Paul Flanagan and the hard-working Jack Browne.
Limerick boss John Kiely.
Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO
Scorers for Limerick: David Reidy 0-12 (0-11f), Darren O’Connell, Oisin O’Reilly 0-3 each, Colin Coughlan, Adam English 0-2 each, Pat Ryan, Gearoid Hegarty, Richie English, Brian O’Grady, C O’Neill 0-1 each.
Scorers for Clare: David Reidy 0-9 (0-6f, 0-2 ’65), Cathal Malone, Mark Rodgers, Diarmuid Ryan, Robin Mounsey (0-1’65) 0-2 each, Patrick Crotty 0-1.
1: David McCarthy (Glenroe)
2: Barry Nash (South Liberties), 21: Dan Morrissey (Ahane), 4: Richie English (Doon)
5: Colin Coughlan (Ballybrown), 6: Ronan Connolly (Adare), 7: Paddy O’Loughlin (Kilmallock)
9: William O’Donoghue (Na Piarsiagh), 22: Brian O’Grady (Kilteely-Dromkeen)
11: David Reidy (Dromin-Athlacca), 10: Cathal O’Neill (Crecora-Manister), 12: Gearoid Hegarty (St Patricks)
13: Darren O’Connell (Kildimo-Pallaskenry), 14: Pat Ryan (Doon), 15: Oisin O’Reilly (Kilmallock).
19: Adam English (Doon) for Ryan (46)
8: Rory Duff (Mungret St Pauls) for O’Donoghue (53)
17: Conor Boylan (Na Piarsaigh) for Hegarty (53)
1. Eibhear Quilligan (Feakle)
4. Paul Flanagan (Ballyea), 3: Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown), 25: Mike Gough (Smith O’Briens)
5: Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe), 6: Jason McCarthy (Inagh/Kilnamona), 23: Aaron Fitzgerald (Éire Óg)
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8: Jack Browne (Ballyea), 9: Paddy Donnellan (Broadford)
10: Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge), 11: David Reidy (Éire Óg), 12: Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge)
21: Domhnall McMahon (Michael Cusack’s), 13: Mark Rodgers (Scariff), 15: Gary Cooney (O’Callaghans Mills)
7: David McInerney (Tulla) for Donnellan (HT)
14: Ryan Taylor (Clooney/Quin) for Golden (HT)
17: Shane Meehan (Banner) for McMahon (43)
19: Darragh Lohan (Wolfe Tones) for Fitzgerald (46)
18: Patrick Crotty (Scariff) for Cooney (51)
20: Robin Mounsey (Ruan) for McCarthy (52)
Referee: Conor Doyle (Tipperary)
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