By Tom Clancy at TUS Gaelic Grounds
A goal at the beginning of either half propelled Limerick to a second Munster Minor Hurling Championship success. The bid to get into the top three is off to a perfect start as Robert O’Farrell set up and scored a goal, with Sean Duff notching the opener.
Limerick were worthy winners, but had to withstand a Banner fightback in the second half.
Evan Loftus’ side led by four at half-time with Darren Collopy, Hugh Flanagan and Tadhg Boddy all on target. Clare had scores from Mark O’Brien, Sean Arthur and Fred Hegarty – but could never level this contest.
Limerick went six clear, with their second goal. Kildimo Pallaskenry’s O’Farrell netted a goal on 37 minutes. But Clare dominated the next 10 minutes and came to within one. The home side then called on the bench, with Patrick Kearney firing over two fine points. While Collopy was also on target to bring his total to 0-10.
Limerick held on and withstood a late Clare search for a goal. The Treaty now face a trip to Tipperary in round four, after a bye-week in round three. The side who tops the five after five rounds gains automatic qualification to the Munster final, with the side in second facing the third placed side in a semi-final.
Scorers for Limerick: D Collopy 0-10 (0-9 frees); H Flanagan 0-5; S Duff, R O’Farrell 1-0, P Kearney 0-2; J Cosgrave (free), T Boddy, D Ferland 0-1 each.
Scorers for Clare: M O’Brien 0-8 (0-7 frees), S Arthur, F Hegarty (0-1 free), M Collins 0-3 each; J Mescall 0-2 each; O Fanning, M Power, J Hegarty (free) 0-1 each.
Limerick: Joe Fitzgerald (Kildimo Pallaskenry); John O’Keefe (Na Piarsaigh), Conor Bickford (Ahane), Sean Morrissey © (Dromin Athlaca); Jack Cosgrove (Ahane), Sean Casey (Bruff), Cian Scully (Monaleen); Diarmuid Lyons (Newcastle West), Matthew Fitzgerald (Monaleen); Robert O’Farrell (Kildimo Pallaskenry), Dara Ferland (Monaleen), Tádhg Boddy (Bruff); Hugh Flanagan (Garryspillane), Seán Duff (Mungret St. Paul’s), Darragh Collopy (Murroe Boher).
Subs: Michael Leo (Knockainey) for Lyons (45), Patrick Kearney (Adare) for Duff (47), Darragh Gleeson (Adare) for Cosgrave (56), Oosin Holmes (Murroe Boher) for O’Farrell (59).
Clare: Mark Sheedy (Sixmilebridge); Eoghan Gunning (Broadford), Ronan Keane (Killanena), Eoin Carey (Cratloe); Matthew O’Halloran (Sixmilebridge), Mark O’Connor (Doora Barefield), Jamie Moylan (Cratloe); Oige Fanning (Doora Barefield), Ronan Kilroy (The Banner); Michael Collins (Clonlara), Fred Hegarty (Inagh Kilamona), Sean Arthur (Newmarket on Fergus); Jack Mescall (Inagh-Kilnamona), Mark O’Brien (Cratloe), Michael Power (Newmarket on Fergus).
Subs: James Hegarty (Inagh-Kilnamona) for O’Connor (23), Harry Doherty (Clarecastle) for Kilroy (h-t), Emmet Mulcahy (Tulla) for Fanning (43), Eoin Begley (Clonlara) for Mescall (45), Conor Ralph (Clarecastle) for F. Hegarty (51)
Referee: S Walsh (Waterford)