Limerick strike 1-27 in front of home fans to power past Clare in league clash

15,521 were in attendance for tonight’s meeting of Limerick and Clare.

Limerick 1-27

Clare 2-18

THIS TIME THERE was no slip in Limerick’s second-half standards, an early lead established and protected to escape with the pair of hurling league points on offer.

gearoid-hegarty-with-aaron-fitzgerald Gearoid Hegarty with Aaron Fitzgerald. Evan Treacy / INPHO Evan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

They amassed 0-16 tonight at the Gaelic Grounds in the first half, just like they had done a week previously in Páirc Ui Chaoimh, but where Cork overhauled them to win last Saturday night, this time Limerick maintained scoreboard control in front of their home support.

Man-of-the-match Micheal Houlihan bagged 0-12, substitute Donnacha Ó Dálaigh notched a late goal and in truth Limerick’s dominance was more pronounced than the six-point winning margin would suggest.

Aidan McCarthy shot 0-13, Clare’s best performer throughout, and David Reidy weighed in with 1-2 off the bench, but the late Banner charge could not disguise their shortcomings for much of this match.

The pair served up a pair of dazzling contests that illuminated last summer’s championship, a gripping round-robin draw in Ennis and a Munster final phenomenon that went Limerick’s way by three points.

Those encounters demonstrated the well-matched nature of this pair but their opening 2023 meeting brought together teams with changed complexions. In that environment it was the home team who looked more cohesive and seasoned at the start. Limerick had surged ahead 0-7 to 0-2 by the 8th minute and were 0-16 to 1-7 clear at the break, matching the first-half total they had posted in defeat to Cork last week.

adam-hogan-with-shane-obrien Shane O'Brien goes up against Clare's Rory Hayes. Evan Treacy / INPHO Evan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

Clare’s situation looked critical at times early on. They were grateful to McCarthy’s reliability from frees, he banged over six of their seven first-half points, All-Star David Fitzgerald’s effort from the right wing in the 20th minute was their solitary score from play.

Two minutes before that came the boost that Clare needed and that the match needed as it searched for an igniting spark. Peter Duggan rose to delightfully touch a delivery into the path of the inrushing Ian Galvin. He drilled in a shot that Nickie Quaid got his hurley to but it did not change the outcome – a Clare goal.

john-kiely Limerick manager John Kiely. Evan Treacy / INPHO Evan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

It did not interrupt the flow of Limerick authority. Their lead may have been cut to two at one juncture but they were six clear at the break and by the 56th minute had pushed that gap out to 14 points. It was reflective of a third quarter where Limerick kept the foot to the floor to power clear. Houlihan, who enjoyed a sparkling opening, punished Clare fouls with his free-taking, Kyle Hayes galloped forward for scores, Peter Casey buzzed with menace in attack and Tom Morrissey came off the bench to whip over two points.

There was little to stir the crowd at this stage, the result settled, but after an anaemic display Clare gathered themselves for a late blast of scores. From the 56th minute they outscored Limerick 1-9 to 1-1, Reidy tidily finishing a goal and McCarthy clipping over some fine points.

But it was a night for the champions and the loudest cheer was provoked by their only goal which occurred in the 65th minute – Houlihan with an exquisite flick, English with a lung-bursting run and Ó Dalaigh finishing clinically to the net.

Scorers for Limerick: Micheal Houlihan 0-12 (0-8f), Kyle Hayes 0-3, Peter Casey 0-3, Donnacha Ó Dálaigh 1-0, Shane O’Brien 0-2, Adam English 0-2, Tom Morrissey 0-2, Gearoid Hegarty 0-2, Cian Lynch 0-1.

Scorers for Clare: Aidan McCarthy 0-13 (0-9f), David Reidy 1-2, Ian Galvin 1-0, David Fitzgerald 0-1, Diarmuid Ryan 0-1, Seadna Morey 0-1.


1. Nickie Quaid (Effin)

4. Fergal O Connor (Effin), 3. Richie English (Doon), 2. Sean Finn (Bruff)

17. Ciaran Barry (Ahane), 6. Dan Morrissey (Ahane), 7. Kyle Hayes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry)

8. Darragh O’Donovan (Doon), 9. David Reidy (Dromin-Athlacca)

12. Micheal Houlihan (Kilmallock), 11. Cian Lynch (Patrickswell – captain), 10. Gearoid Hegarty (St Patrick’s)

13. Shane O’Brien (Kilmallock), 14. Seamus Flanagan (Feohanagh-Castlemahon), 15. Peter Casey (Na Piarsaigh)


  • 20. Adam English (Doon) for Reidy (inj) (8)
  • 19. Aaron Costello (Kilmallock) for O’Connor (inj) (31)
  • 24. Donnacha Ó Dálaigh (Monaleen) for O’Brien (52)
  • 21. Tom Morrissey (Ahane) for Hegarty (53)
  • 22. Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock) for Lynch (61)
  • 26. Jimmy Quilty (Blackrock) for Hayes (67)


1. Eibhear Quilligan (Feakle)

2. Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones), 3. Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown-Malbay), 4. Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge)

5. Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe), 6. David McInerney (Tulla), 7. Aaron Fitzgerald (Éire Óg Ennis)

8. Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge), 9. Paddy Donnellan (Broadford)

10. David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona), 11. David Conroy (St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield), 15. Aidan McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona)

13. Mark Rodgers (Scarriff), 14. Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin), 12. Ian Galvin (Clonlara)


  • 22. Robyn Mounsey (Ruan) for Donnellan (31)
  • 26. Cian Galvin (Clarecastle) for Aaron Fitzgerald (51)
  • 20. Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones) for Galvin (51)
  • 23. David Reidy (Éire Óg Ennis) for Rodgers (56)
  • 18. Conor Leen (Corofin) for David Fitzgerald (59)

Referee: James Owens (Wexford)

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