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Monday 6 February 2023 Dublin: 7°C
Laszlo Geczo/INPHO Cian Sheehan in action against the Clonmel defence.
# Limerick leaders
Newcastlewest stun Clonmel Commercials to book first Munster final spot in 35 years
Newcastlewest are the first Limerick team since Drom-Broadford in 2008 to contest this decider

Newcastlewest 1-16

Clonmel Commercials 1-11

(After extra-time)

NEWCASTLEWEST BECAME THE first Limerick side to reach the Munster senior football final in 14 years with a famous semi-final success over Tipperary’s  Clonmel Commercials.

Defender Ruadhan O’Connor was their hero in normal time as his 68th minute point rescued a draw for the Limerick side who will contest the Munster final for the first time since 1987 when they take on Kerry’s Kerins O’Rahillys on Saturday 11 December.

Commercials, who excelled in their quarter-final dismantling of Cork  champions Nemo Rangers, were left to count the cost of that injury-time period as black cards to Kevin Fahey and Ciaran Cannon saw them begin extra-time with 13 men.

They coped well initially with that disadvantage, only conceding a point, but the 71st minute goal by Emmet Rigter propelled Newcastlewest into the driving seat.

They were ahead 1-14 to 1-10 at the midway mark of extra-time and protected their winning position to have five points to spare at the final whistle.

Limerick seniors Iain Corbett and Cian Sheehan were superb for the winners, Sheehan kicking a few excellent scores in normal time. Up front Eoin Hurley and Diarmaid Kelly helped keep the scoreboard ticking over, weighing in with a combined 0-9 and making valuable scoring contributions.

eoin-hurley-celebrates-at-the-final-whistle Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Eoin Hurley celebrates at the final whistle. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

Clonmel could not scale the heights they reached when overcome Nemo Rangers last time out, despite the boost of Jason Lonergan, man-of-the-match in that game, being available after moving to the USA recently for work.

They began brightly with Lonergan and Sean O’Connor edging them ahead 0-2 to 0-1 before Newcastlewest goalkeeper Mike Quilligan blocking a goalbound effort from Colman Kennedy.

Then Newcastlewest took charge for a decent chunk of time in that opening half, hitting four answered points to push 0-5 to 0-2 clear approaching the interval.

Yet the injury-time period at the end of the first half saw Clonmel gain control as they scored 1-2, Seamus Kennedy setting up points for Jack Kennedy and O’Connor before they found the net courtesy of  O’Connor after a flowing team move.

seamus-kennedy-dejected-after-the-game Laszlo Geczo / INPHO A dejected Seamus Kennedy Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

The second half was tightly contested as the momentum swung between the teams. Cathal Deely’s point looked significant in the 49th minute as it sent Commercials 1-8 to 0-9 clear. Then Newcastlewest countered with points from Brian O’Sullivan, Hurley and Rigter to hit the front approaching full-time.

The drama increased as Michael Quinlivan charged forward to fist an equaliser and Kevin Fahey popped up with a crucial score that looked the match-winner, until O’Connor intervened for Newcastlewest.

emmet-rigter-celebrates-after-the-game-with-manager-jimmy-lee Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Emmet Rigter celebrates for Newcastlewest after the game. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

The Limerick champions seized the chance made available to them, Jimmy Lee’s team dominating the scoring stakes in injury-time and running out deserved winners.

Scorers for Newcastlewest: Eoin Hurley 0-6 (0-3f, 0-1 mark), Emmet Rigter 1-1, Diarmaid Kelly 0-3 (0-1f), Cian Sheehan 0-3, Iain Corbett 0-1, Brian O’Sullivan 0-1, Ruadhan O’Connor 0-1.

Scorers for Clonmel Commercials: Sean O’Connor 1-2, Jason Lonergan 0-3 (0-1f), Jack Kennedy 0-2 (0-2f), Michael Quinlivan 0-2, Cathal Deely 0-1, Kevin Fahey 0-1.

Newcastlewest

Michael Quilligan

Brian O’Sullivan, Darren O’Doherty, Michael O’Keeffe

Iain Corbett (captain), James Kelly, Ruadhan O’Connor

Emmet Rigter, Sean Murphy

Diarmaid Kelly, Cian Sheehan, T O’Donovan

Shane Stack, Mike McMahon, Eoin Hurley

Subs

S Hurley for O’Donovan (inj) (38)

A Neville for J Kelly (48)

T Quilligan for Stack (56)

B Hurley for Murphy (63)

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S Brosnan for Rigter  (80)

B Foley for Sheehan (81)

Clonmel Commercials

Michael O’Reilly

James Morris, Seamus Kennedy, Jamie Peters

Tadhg Condon, Kevin Fahey, Padraic Looram

Michael Quinlivan, Conall Kennedy

Cathal Deely, Ross Peters, Jack Kennedy

Jason Lonergan, Colman Kennedy, Sean O’Connor

Subs

Peter McGarry for Conall Kennedy (43)

Aldo Matassa for Ross Peters (52)

Ciaran Cannon for Jamie Peters (60)

Conor Smith for Deely (60)

Cathal McGeever for Smith  (extra half-time)

Referee: David Murnane (Cork)

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