Declan Rooney reports from the Gaelic Grounds
AARON GILLANE TORE Clare asunder with a brilliant 14-point haul as Limerick qualified to face either Waterford or Cork in the Munster U-21 final.
Gillane struck eight points before the break and another six in the second-half as the home side stepped up their quest for an eighth Munster title at the Gaelic Grounds.
Peter Casey fired a sixth minute goal for Limerick, which put his side 1-5 to 0-2 ahead, and although Billy Connors replied with a great finish for clare, Gillane fired four points in as many minutes to help Limerick to a nine-point interval lead.
Clare had corner back Conor O’Halloran sent off in the last minute for a second yellow when he pulled down Barry Nash but Clare were well beaten at that stage.
Limerick were well on their way to a second Munster U-21 final appearance in three years when they led by 1-15 to 1-5 after a blistering opening half.
Clare supporters hoping for a boost after the senior final loss knew they were in trouble when they trailed by 1-7 to 0-2 after just ten minutes.
Peter Casey got in for the goal after six minutes as Limerick laid down an early marker and never let their grip go.
Billy Connor gave Clare hope with a goal but Limerick response was superb and Aaron Gillane reeled off four points in a row.
They would have been even further ahead by the break but Casey, Gillane and captain Tom Morrissey all missed good goal chances in the opening half.
Clare started the second-half brightly and hit five of the first six points to cut Limerick’s lead to five points, but with Colin Ryan inspiration at midfield – he hit three great points in the second period – Limerick settled themselves and ran out easy winners.
Scorers for Limerick: A Gillane 0-14 (5f, 1’65), C Ryan 0-3, P Casey 1-0, T Morriseey 0-2, B Nash 0-2, R Hanley 0-2, T Grimes 0-1, B Murphy 0-1, R Lynch 0-1 (1f), C Lynch 0-1, P Ahern 0-1.
Scorers for Clare: I Galvin 0-5 (4f), B Connors 1-0, C Corbett 0-2, D Fitzgerald 0-2, M O’Malley 0-1, A Shanagher 0-1, M O’Shea 0-1, R Hayes 0-1, B Cahill 0-1, P O’Loughlin 0-1
1 Eoghan McNamara (Doon)
2 Seán Finn (Bruff)
3 Darragh Fanning (Pallasgreen)
4 Dan Joy (Kilmallock)
5 Ronan Lynch (Na Piarsaigh)
6 Kyle Hayes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry)
7 Thomas Grimes (Na Piarsaigh)
8 Colin Ryan (Pallasgreen)
9 Robbie Hanley (Kilmallock)
10 Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell)
11 Barry Murphy (Doon)
12 Cian Lynch (Patrickswell)
13 Peter Casey (Na Piarsaigh)
14 Tom Morrissey (Ahane (Captain)
15 Barry Nash (South Liberties)
19 Conor Boylan (Na Piarsaigh) for Murphy (40 mins),
20 Andrew La Touche Cosgrave (Monaleen) for Grimes (42)
23 Conor McSweeney (South Liberties) for Finn (51)
18 Paudie Ahern (Killeedy) for Morrissey (53)
24 Oisin O’Reilly (Kilmallock) for Casey (56)
1 Killian Nugent (O’Callaghan’s Mills)
4 Conor O’Halloran (Éire Óg)
3 Dara Walsh (Éire Óg)
2 Ciaran Cooney (O’Callaghan’s Mills)
5 Con Smyth (Feakle)
10 Ben O’Gorman (Wolfe Tones Na Sionna)
7 Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones Na Sionna)
8 Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona)
9 Michael O’Malley (Kilmaley)
6 David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona)
13 Colin Corbett (Tulla)
12 Brian Cahill (Kilmaley)
11 Ian Galvin (Clonlara)
14 Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones Na Sionna)
15 Billy Connors (Cratloe)
17 Michael Moloney (Éire Óg) for Smyth (18 mins)
18 Michael O’Shea (Smith O’Briens) for Corbett (40)
19 Padraig O’Loughlin (Clonlara) for Hayes (42)
20 Cathal Noonan (Killanena) for Cahill (56)
21 Jack Cunningham (Wolfe Tones) for B O’Gorman (59)
Referee: Cathal McAllister (Cork).
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