Defending champions Kerry reached their 10th Munster football final in 12 years despite struggling for long periods to shake Clare at Cusack Park.
The Kingdom needed six points from Paul Geaney and another four from Bryan Sheehan to set up the provincial final against rivals Cork in two weeks time.
Clare led by 1-8 to 1-7 at half-time despite pulling three points clear early on after a goal from corner-back Paul Murphy in the ninth minute. But Clare, who had Shane Hickey black carded in the fifth minute – recovered well and points from Shane Brennan and Shane McGrath were followed by a super goal by McGrath, which gave them the upper-hand at the break.
But after the restart Kerry improved slightly, and it was enough to see them gradually pull clear from the Banner men as points from Stephen O’Brien, Paul Geaney and Sheehan put them two clear by the 43rd minute.
Substitute Rory Donnelly stopped the rot for Clare with a good score five minutes after his introduction, but Sheehan, Declan O’Sullivan and substitute Barry John Keane all showed their class in the final quarter as Kerry opened out their largest lead of the game.
Clare continued to battle though and late points from Eoin Cleary and David Tubridy closed the final margin to four points, but Kerry were never troubled.
Scorers for Kerry: P Geaney 0-6; B Sheehan 0-4 (0-1f); P Murphy 1-0; S O’Brien 0-2; Declan O’Sullivan 0-2 (0-1f); A Maher 0-1; M Geaney 0-1; BJ Keane 0-1.
Scorers for Clare: S McGrath 1-2; D Tubridy 0-4 (0-2f); E Coughlan (0-2); S Brennan 0-1; M O’Leary 0-1; S Collins 0-1; R Donnelly 0-1; E Cleary 0-1.
Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO
Kerry: Brian Kelly; Paul Murphy, Marc O Se, Shane Enright; Peter Crowley, Killian Young, Fionn Fitzgerald; Anthony Maher, David Moran; Darran O’Sullivan, Bryan Sheehan, Michael Geaney; Stephen O’Brien, Declan O’Sullivan, Paul Geaney.
Subs: Aidan O’Mahony for Moran (23), Barry John Keane for Darren O’Sullivan (27-28 blood), Donnchadh Walsh for Darren O’Sullivan (h-t), Jonathan Lyne for M Geaney (54), Barry John Keane for O’Brien (63), Ciaran Donaghy for P Geaney (67), P Kilkenny for Fitzgerald (67).
Clare: Joe Hayes; Martin McMahon, Kevin Harnett, Dean Ryan; Ciaran Russell, Gordon Kelly, Shane Hickey; Gary Brennan, Shane McGrath; Sean Collins, Podge Collins, Shane Brennan; Martin O’Leary, David Turbidy, Enda Coughlan.
Subs: Jamie Malone for Hickey (6 BC), Rory Donnelly for O’Leary (45), Shane McNelis for Hartnett (53), Cathal O’Connor for S Brennan (60), Eoin Cleary for Coughlan (69).
Referee: D Gough (Meath).