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James Crombie/INPHO Clare’s Shane Brennan and Shane Hickey with John Riordan of Limerick.
# Raise the Banner
First blood for Clare as Banner set up Munster semi-final clash with Cork
Before tomorrow’s Munster hurling showdown, it was the turn of Clare and Limerick’s footballers tonight.

Clare 0-15

Limerick 0-13

CLARE MAINTAINED THEIR their championship hold over neighbours Limerick with a narrow victory in Cusack Park, Ennis this evening.

In front of a healthy attendance of 4,520, the Banner had to withstand a determined fightback from the Shannonsiders before finally clinching their place in the last four for the fourth successive season.

With the wind at their backs, Clare dominated the opening half, led by inspirational captain Gary Brennan who began with a trademark point directly from the throw-in. While Limerick cancelled it out through corner-back Robert Browne before hitting the front themselves thanks to an Ian Ryan free in the sixth minute, it would be their last score for 20 minutes as the hosts took over.

It would take five wides to fine tune their radar before Clare finally moved through the gears thanks to five unanswered points, with debutant Eoin Cleary and Podge Collins among the scorers at 0-6 to 0-2 by the 22nd minute.

And while Limerick goalkeeper Brian Scanlan kept his side in touch with two placed balls, Brennan’s increasing influence saw him take his tally to four as Clare retired 0-9 to 0-4 in front.

With the conditions favouring the visitors for the second period, inevitably they ate into that deficit, with Ian Ryan and Peter Nash leading the charge as they eventually toppled Clare’s lead to the minimum by the midway point of the half.

However, with the home side introducing the fresh legs of Rory Donnelly (0-2) and former All-Ireland Senior Hurling winners Cathal McInerney (0-2) and Davy O’Halloran, Clare did just enough amidst a host of goal scares to prevail and ensure a Munster SFC semi-final place against Cork in three weeks’ time.

Scorers for Clare: Gary Brennan 0-4; Eoin Cleary, Rory Donnelly, Cathal McInerney (1f) 0-2 each; Padraic Collins, Shane Brennan, Cathal O’Connor (’45), Jamie Malone, Sean Collins 0-1 each

Scorers for Limerick: Ian Ryan (2f) 0-4; Brian Scanlan (1f, 2’45) 0-3; Peter Nash 0-2; Robert Browne, Stephen Cahill, Iain Corbett, Cian Sheehan 0-1 each


1. Joe Hayes (Lissycasey)

2. Shane Hickey (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
3. Kevin Harnett (Meelick)
4. Martin McMahon (Kilmurry Ibrickane)

5. Ciaran Russell (Éire Óg)
6. Gordon Kelly (St Joseph’s Miltown)
7. Dean Ryan (Éire Óg)

8. Gary Brennan (Clondegad) (Captain)
9. Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen)

10. Sean Collins (Cratloe)
11. Jamie Malone (Corofin)
12. Shane Brennan (Clondegad)

13. Eoin Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown)
14. Padraic Collins (Cratloe)
15. Pat Burke (Kilmacud Crokes, Dublin)

Steven Collins (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield) for Hickey (Half-Time)
Rory Donnelly (Cooraclare) for S. Brennan (40 mins, inj)
Davy O’Halloran (Éire Óg) for Malone (47 mins, Black Card)
Cathal McInerney (Cratloe) for Cleary (57 mins)
Chris Dunning (Wolfe Tones) for Steven Collins (65 mins, inj)
Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry Ibrickane) for Burke (69 mins)

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1. Brian Scanlan (Gerald Griffin’s)

2. Johnny McCarthy (St Kieran’s)
3. Sean O’Dea (Kilteely/Dromkeen)
4. Robert Browne (Fr. Casey’s)

5. Iain Corbett (Newcastlewest)
6. Cillian Fahy (Dromcollogher/Broadford)
7. Stephen Cahill (Mountcollins)

8. Thomas Lee (Ballylanders)
9. Gearoid Hegarty (St Patrick’s)

10. John Riordan (Fr. Casey’s)
11. Ra Ranahan (Ballysteen)
12. Seanie Buckley (Dromcollogher/Broadford)

13. Peter Nash (Kildimo/Pallaskenry)
14. Darragh Treacy (St. Kieran’s)
15. Ian Ryan (St Senan’s)

Danny Neville (Ballysteen) for Lee (35 mins)
Cian Sheehan (Newcastlewest) for Riordan (Half-Time)
Kevin Moore (Glin) for Ranahan (55 mins)
Garrett Noonan (Dromcollogher/Broadford) for Browne (62 mins)

Referee: Derek O’Mahoney (Tipperary)

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