Limerick through to Co-Op Superstores Munster SHL Final
Co-Op Superstores Munster Senior Hurling League
LIMERICK 1-27 CLARE 1-19
By Declan Rooney in Sixmilebridge
David Reidy’s goal 13 minutes from time wrapped up victory for Limerick and set up a Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling League final against Cork next weekend.
In front of 3,312 at a packed Sixmilebridge, Limerick dominated for long stretches, but with Niall Deasy keeping Clare in touch from placed balls, it wasn’t until the closing stages that Limerick made sure of victory.
Reidy struck 1-12 for John Kiely’s side, while Adrian Breen and Tom Morrissey combined for eight points from play in an impressive outing, while Aron Shanagher’s late goal only softened Limerick’s winning margin.
After winning the toss and electing to play into the strong wind Limerick would have been thrilled with their opening quarter, but they slackened off in the approach to half time. By the 16th minute the Munster champions were 0-9 to 0-1 ahead, while only four points separated the sides at the interval as Deasy’s frees kept Clare in touch.
Clare were outclassed in that first 20 minutes as Limerick’s half-back line of Barry Nash, Dan Morrissey and Paddy O’Loughlin totally shut out their opponents. With accurate passing out from the back, the Limerick inside duo of Adrian Breen and Darren O’Connell caused havoc with a good supply of ball.
Breen got Limerick up and running after less than a minute, and although Deasy levelled Limerick hit eight unanswered points as Clare’s wide tally mounted and the standard of their general play was poor at best.
A couple of Reidy frees worked Limerick into a lead, but there was some excellent points from open play too with Breen, Tom Morrissey and O’Connell in particular finishing off great moves for points.
It took a great score from halfway from wing back Stephen O’Halloran to light Clare’s fuse in the 18th minute, and after Aron Shanagher also found the target, two excellent points in the space of 30 seconds from Diarmuid Ryan meant Clare did well to only trail by 0-13 to 0-9.
Tony Kelly was a late call up to the starting side for his first action of the season, but he had a quiet introduction to the game, although his side started the second half well thanks to points from Deasy and Michael O’Neill.
But Breen was on form from placed balls and he hit two of his side’s first three points of the half, the other coming from Tom Morrissey’s excellent effort from the left.
Colin Guilfoyle struck back for Clare, but either side of Breen frees Morrissey gave Limerick a 0-9 to 0-14 lead after 52 minutes, and after Graeme Mulcahy’s break Reidy’s ground stroke found the bet to clinch the win for Limerick.
Shanagher flicked Kelly’s delivery to the net three minutes from the end, but Limerick were never in danger of losing out.
Meanwhile, Liam Cahill picked up his first win as Waterford hurling manager but their 4-23 to 1-10 victory over Kerry in the Co-Op Superstore Munster Hurling League wasn’t enough for them to make it to next weekend’s final.
A four-point defeat to Cork in their first game meant they were out of contention, but the Déise men pulled clear in the second half at Austin Stacks Park in Tralee.
Waterford were only 0-11 to 1-5 clear at half time, with a penalty one minutes from the interval keeping Kerry in touch, but straight from the restart Calum Lyons’s goal settled Waterford again
Stephen Bennett hit a second goal for Waterford 11 minutes after the break, while Darragh Lyons made sure of the win with their third a minute later.
Scorers for Limerick: David Reidy 1-12 (9f, 1’65), Adrian Breen 0-4, Tom Morrissey 0-4, Ronan Connolly 0-2, Josh Considine 0-2, Darragh O’Donovan 0-1, Darren O’Connell 0-1, Robbie Hanley 0-1.
Scorers for Clare: Niall Deasy 0-11 (8f, 2’65), Aron Shanagher 1-1, Diarmuid Ryan 0-2, Stephen O’Halloran 0-1, Michael O’Neill 0-1, Tony Kelly 0-1, Colin Guilfoyle 0-1, Liam Corry 0-1
LIMERICK: Barry Hennessy; Tom Condon, Mike Casey, Aaron Costello; Barry Nash, Dan Morrissey, Paddy O’Loughlin; Ronan Connolly, Robbie Hanley; Darragh O’Donovan, Tom Morrissey, Conor Boylan; Adrian Breen, David Reidy, Darren O’Connell. Subs: Josh Considine for Hanley (53), David Dempsey for Boylan (55), Graeme Mulcahy for O’Connell (55), Brian O’Grady for Condon (61), Brian Ryan for Reidy (65).
CLARE: Eibhear Quilligan; Paidi Fitzpatrick, Conor Cleary, Aidan McCarthy; Michael O’Malley, Jack Browne, Stephen O’Halloran; Tony Kelly, Shane Golden (c); Aron Shanagher, Ryan Taylor, Diarmuid Ryan; Michael O’Neill, Niall Deasy, Colin Guilfoyle. Subs: Domhnall McMahon for Ryan (43), Stiofan McMahon for O’Neill (43), Gary Cooney for Taylor (54), Liam Corry for O’Malley (58).
Referee: Kevin Joran (Tipperary).