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Limerick and Clare battle to Cusack Park stalemate

The All-Ireland champions remain without a win in this year’s National Hurling League.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Clare 0-18

Limerick 0-18

Páraic McMahon reports from Cusack Park, Ennis

LIMERICK REMAIN WITHOUT a win in this year’s National Hurling League while Clare now have three points to their credit, having overcome Offaly last weekend.

It wasn’t until the forty-ninth minute that the sides were level when Tony Kelly equalised, from here until Patrick Murphy sounded the final whistle they were tied on a total of three occasions.

David Fitzgerald’s disallowed on twenty minutes was a big talking point among spectators. The Inagh/Kilnamona hit the back of Nickie Quaid’s net following a Shane Meehan pass but the UL Fitzgibbon Cup winner was deemed by the Carlow match official to have been in the square, had this goal stood the hosts would have been on level terms.

Pointed frees from Aaron Gillane and Diarmaid Byrnes put the Shannonsiders ahead with three minutes played and they managed from here to keep their opponents at arm’s length for the majority of the opening half. Tony Kelly got Clare off the mark with the game five minutes old, Limerick had stretched the advantage to 0-07 0-03 at the first quarter.

Meehan and Kelly both added scores sandwiched between the disallowed goal before Adam English pointed an excellent effort from the sideline. Despite adding three of the next seven scores, Limerick maintained a two-point gap at half-time.

paul-flannagan-shakes-hands-after-the-game-with-graeme-mulcahy Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Within the first ten minutes of the second half, Clare had reduced the deficit to a single point, they also spurned a goal chance from Robin Mounsey but were the better of the two teams for the second half.

Missed chances were becoming more plentiful, Limerick finishing with eleven wides while Clare had fifteen, ultimately this was a major reason why the game concluded in a draw.

With 10,016 supporters in Cusack Park, they found an extra decibel following Kelly’s equaliser, the majority of those in attendance fully aware the game was there for the taking. David Fitzgerald and Jason McCarthy helped to keep the Banner in front but the concession of frees saw them punished on the scoreboard.

Tony Kelly shoved Clare back in front with seventy minutes gone in proceedings, six minutes of additional time was signalled, two Clare wides and one from Limerick followed but crucially David Reidy slotted over a free to ensure there was nothing between the teams at full-time.

Most definitely this encounter will whet the appetite for what is to come between Clare and Limerick in their May 15th showdown at Cusack Park. Clare though wides were plentiful produced one of their better displays of the year with a stirring fight, manager Brian Lohan even received a yellow card for venting his frustration.

Limerick’s Aaron Gillane was sent off for two bookable offences late on. Clare’s Jack Browne was also shown a second yellow shortly after. 

aaron-gillane-comes-up-against-eibhear-quilligan-after-clashing-with-conor-cleary Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The Inagh/Kilnamona pair of David Fitzgerald and Jason McCarthy were impressive along with cornerback Paul Flanagan.

Few people would have predicted that Limerick would have no win out of their first four games in the Allianz National Hurling League. They led at half-time, largely due to taking their chances, an approach which waned as the tie wore on.

The panic button won’t be pushed just yet with their movement of the ball and workrate typical of the side that have dominated hurling in recent seasons but their display was not one to expect from a side containing twelve All Star winners. Barry Nash, William O’Donoghue, Diarmaid Byrnes and Colin Coughlan were among their standout performers.

Scorers Clare: T Kelly (0-11 8f), D Fitzgerald (0-02), C Malone (0-01), S Meehan (0-01), R Taylor (0-01), R Mounsey (0-01 1’SC), J McCarthy (0-01)

Scorers Limerick: A Gillane (0-07 6f), D Byrnes (0-05 3f), T Morrissey (0-02), G Hegarty (0-01), A English (0-01), C O’Neill (0-01), D Reidy (0-01 1f).


1: Eibhear Quilligan (Feakle)

2: Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones) 3: Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown) 4: Paul Flanagan (Ballyea)

5: David McInerney (Tulla) 6: John Conlon (Clonlara) 7: Jack Browne (Ballyea)

8: Shane Golden (Sixmilebridge) 9: Paddy Donnellan (Broadford)

10: Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge) 11: Tony Kelly (Ballyea) 21: Robin Mounsey (Ruan)

13: Shane Meehan (Banner) 14: Ryan Taylor (Clooney/Quin) 15: Jason McCarthy (Inagh/Kilnamona)


12: Patrick Crotty (Scariff) for Mounsey (51)

20: Peter Duggan (Clooney/Quin) for Golden (54)

24: Gary Cooney (O’Callaghans Mills) for Meehan (59)


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9: Paddy Donnellan (Broadford) for McCarthy (65)


1: Nickie Quaid (Effin)

2: Barry Nash (South Liberties) 3: Dan Morrissey (Ahane) 4: Richie English (Doon)

5: Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell) 6: Declan Hannon (Adare) 7: Colin Coughlan (Ballybrowne)

8: William O’Donoghue (Na Piarsaigh) 9: Darragh O’Donovan (Doon)

10: Gearoid Hegarty (St Patricks) 11: Cian Lynch (Patrickswell) 12: Tom Morrissey (Ahane)

13: Cathal O’Neill (Crecora Manister) 14: Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell) 15: Adam English (Doon)


19: Ronan Connolly (Adare) for Hannon (29, inj)

24: Brian O’Grady (Kilteely-Dromkeen) for O’Donovan (53)

22: Graeme Mulcahy for Hegarty (55)

26: Pat Ryan (Doon) for English (61)

25: David Reidy (0-01, 0-01f) (Dromin-Athlacca) for T. Morrissey (65)

 Referee: Patrick Murphy (Carlow)

About the author:

Paraic McMahon

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