Limerick and Clare to meet in eighth ever Munster Senior Hurling Championship Final with the Treaty dominant in past encounters

If historical Munster finals between the rivals are anything to go by, it’s good news for Limerick as they bid to avenge the recent defeat inflicted by the Banner.

Limerick face Clare in the final of the Munster Senior Hurling Championship on June 11, which will be the eighth provincial final meeting of the neighbours. Just once in the previous seven meetings have the Banner come out on the right side as they aim to stop a first ever five in a row for the Treaty.

Within 24 hours of the fixture being confirmed, the two sides were already at odds, with disputes over where the game should be played. The game has since been fixed to be played at the TUS Gaelic Grounds where they have very recent history.

The age old rivals have met once already in this year’s Munster Championship, as the Banner ended Limerick’s 17 game championship unbeaten streak, winning by just a point on the Ennis Road just over a month ago.

However, if historical Munster finals between the rivals are anything to go by, it’s good news for Limerick as they bid to avenge the recent defeat inflicted by the Banner.

Limerick are going for their fifth Munster title in a row, having seen off Tipperary in 2019, Waterford in 2020, Tipperary again in 2021, and Clare in 2022. Kiely’s men will be hoping to repeat the 2022 victory, but perhaps more comfortably this time around.

Limerick won by three points in Thurles on a score of 1-29 to 0-29, but it was hard earned, with the game going to extra time following an incredible conclusion as Declan Hannon and Tony Kelly exchanged spectacular scores. The teams were level on fourteen occasions over the course of the ninety minutes.

5 June 2022; Limerick captain Declan Hannon lifts the Mick Mackey cup after the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Final match between Limerick and Clare at FBD Semple Stadium in Thurles, Tipperary. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Instead, the Treaty will be hoping for a victory more akin to the 1918 final, when they defeated the Banner by an astonishing 31 points. Limerick scored 11-3 that day, the most they have ever scored against Clare in a Munster final.

Historically, Clare have found it tough against Limerick in Munster finals, winning just one of the seven encounters between the pair. The sides met at the Gaelic Grounds in the 1955 final, and Limerick once again took the cup home, this time with a winning margin of nine points. The ’55 final remains the only Limerick/Clare final to be played outside of Thurles.

The rivals would not meet again in a Munster final until 1974, and the Banner were still unable to find victory. Limerick were once again strong winners, winning by 14 points in Semple Stadium. Seven years later and Thurles was once again the venue as the Treaty defeated the Banner by six points, to claim their fifteenth ever Munster title.

Limerick overcame Clare by a large margin in the ’94 final, running away with a nine point lead but the following year the counties would meet again with Clare coming away victorious. The Banner took the cup home following a 1-17 to 0-11 point win as they went on to win a first Liam MacCarthy cup title in 81 years.

6 July 1997; Clare’s captain Anthony Daly lifts the cup after the GAA Munster Senior Hurling Championship Final match between Clare and Tipperary at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

What is interesting to note is that Limerick have secured a number of their victories on large winning margins. The Treaty have dominated Clare on an aggregate score of 178-115 across their seven Munster final meetings.

However that stems largely from their earlier contests with previous clashes between the pair generally much closer with last year’s a clear indication of that.

Owing to that performance, and their eventual win over the three in a row All-Ireland champions in April, Clare will come into the game with huge optimism. But the nature of Limerick’s win over Cork and the results elsewhere ensuring a rematch with their neighbours is sure to stoke them up in training.

It promises to be a riveting battle when the sides face off in the final of the Munster Senior Hurling Championship in the TUS Gaelic Grounds on June 11.

Every Limerick/Clare Munster Hurling Final

1918 – Limerick 11-3 : 1-02 Clare – Thurles Sportsfield

1955 – Limerick 2-15 : 2-6 Clare – Gaelic Grounds

1974 – Limerick 6-14 : 3-9 Clare – Semple Stadium

1981 – Limerick 3-12 : 2-9 Clare – Semple Stadium

1994 – Limerick 0-25 : 2-10 Clare – Semple Stadium

1995 – Clare 1-17 : 0-11 Limerick – Semple Stadium

2022 – Limerick 1-29 : 0-29 Clare – Semple Stadium

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