Limerick v Clare | Last Five Championship Clashes 2020-’23

With pride at stake when the old rivals meet on April 21, we look back at their five most recent championship encounters.

Limerick meet Clare in Round 1 of the Munster Hurling Championship on April 21, in what promises to be another thrilling encounter between the pair. In championship play, the two sides last met in the 2023 Munster final, when the Banner were pipped to the title by the minimum, Limerick exacting revenge having been beaten by Brian Lohan’s men earlier that year.

The result confirmed Limerick as five-in-a-row Munster hurling champions, and John Kiely’s side have defeated Clare in the last two finals.

Clare won their first trophy under Lohan in recent weeks, defeating Kilkenny in Thurles to secure the 2024 Allianz League title. The Cats had dumped Limerick out in the semi-final, who will be raring to go now in Munster.

With pride at stake when the old rivals meet on April 21, we look back at their five most recent championship encounters.

Limerick 0-36 : 1-23 Clare (Munster Hurling Championship)

25 October 2020 in Semple Stadium

Limerick kicked off the defence of their Munster championship behind closed doors with a comprehensive victory over Clare in Semple Stadium.

Seventeen points from Tony Kelly did little to deter the Limerick juggernaut as Gearoid Hegarty kicked off his HOTY campaign with five from play.

It was tit for tat at the beginning with both sides trading scores and each assuming the lead at various stages. 

Tom Morrissey put Limerick three points up before the Banner men struck three more back leaving the score level at half time with 0-15 apiece.

Limerick hit the ground running on the restart and shot over six on the bounce to pull clear.

Clare responded with a Ryan Taylor goal after 46 minutes and with twenty to play, there was only two between the sides.

But from here Limerick put on the afterburners to storm to victory.

Limerick 1-21 : 0-24 Clare (Munster Hurling Championship)

May 15th 2022 in Ennis

Limerick maintained their unbeaten record in the Munster Senior Hurling Championship after a 1-21 to 0-24 draw with Clare that booked both sides place in the provincial final.

The two teams traded scores throughout the game with Kyle Hayes finding the back of the net on the fifteen minute mark.

Tony Kelly, hit the last of his 16 points just ten minutes into the second half but the teams were still level when Gearoid Hegarty was controversially sent off with ten to play.

But with a man down, Diarmuid Byrnes came to the teams rescue with his ninth point to draw the sides level for the 14th time in the game with time in the red.

Limerick 1-29 : 0-29 Clare (AET) (Munster Hurling Championship Final)

6 May 2022 in Semple Stadium

In their first Munster final meeting since 1995, Limerick needed extra-time to see off a spirited Banner side and claim their fourth successive provincial crown.

Tony Kelly ensured the additional twenty minutes with an incredible sideline in the dying embers but Limerick’s might proved too strong in extra-time.

Clare roared into the contest with the first three points of the game. Limerick battled back to level at 0-4 apiece with the sides going score for score therein.

The teams were level 14 times throughout the contest with Gearoid Hegarty restoring parity in there 27th minute, finishing an incredible goal.

It remained level to the half at 1-11 to 0-14. They would go blow for blow in the second half with Declan Hannon’s 72nd minute effort from inside his own half looking like the difference. Kelly replied immediately after with the teams level for the fourth successive half.

But Limerick had the first three scores of extra-time with William O’Donoghue then sealing the result with a point from the sideline in the final minute of the 90 to joyous scenes in Thurles.

Limerick 2-20 : 1-24 Clare (Munster Hurling Championship)

29 April 2023 in the TUS Gaelic Grounds

The sides met in April 2023 in the TUS Gaelic Grounds, as Clare managed to beat Limerick by just one point, and end their 17 game championship unbeaten streak.

Tony Kelly set the tone for a thrilling clash when he fired over a fantastic point from the sideline in the opening minute. Kelly scored a monster point from his own half just four minutes later as the Banner raced into an early lead, shocking the Treaty with their intensity early on.

Limerick fought back to bring the game within touching distance, and they took control when Seamus Flanagan goaled just before the half hour mark. John Kiely’s men held a one point lead going into the half time break, on a scoreline of 1-10 to 0-12.

Peter Duggan fired in a brilliant goal less than five minutes into the second half, shaking off multiple Limerick men, before finishing past Nickie Quaid.

Flanagan found the net for his second of the day with just a minute of injury time to play, but his goal would not be enough, as substitute Aron Shanagher scored two crucial added time scores to help Clare secure a one point win in the latest instalment of this age old rivalry.

Limerick 1-23 : 1-22 Clare (Munster Hurling Championship Final)

11 June 2023 in the TUS Gaelic Grounds

Limerick won their fifth successive Mick Mackey cup last June, as they defeated Clare by the finest of margins in the TUS Gaelic Grounds.

The game had a tentative opening, with both sides not giving anything up easy, while Tom Morrissey opened the scoring from wide in the second minute. Clare managed to take control of the early stages of the game, and half-back Diarmuid Ryan fired over a remarkable score from the sideline on the fifteen minute mark, giving his side a three point advantage.

Aaron Gillane was a constant threat in the opening half hour, as the Patrickswell man toyed with the Clare defence, going on to score 1-11, picking up the Man of the Match award. There was a lot of space inside for Gillane to work with, and the quality of ball he was receiving from out the field was magnificent.

Regardless of Gillane’s threat, the Banner were still in the game, and with the score level at 0-10 each, Mark Rodgers reacted quickest to a ball coming off the post to fire past Nickie Quaid. The goal meant Limerick headed into the interval three points adrift of their rivals.

Less than ten minutes into the second half, Brian Lohan’s side felt the full power of Gillane, as the Limerick man found the back of the net with a fine strike off his left. This is where the tide really turned, John Kiely’s side now held a one point lead, and would go on to extend it.

Morrissey and Gillane would be joined by substitutes Adam English and Cathal O’Neill in popping up with crucial scores to grow the Treaty lead. As regulation time came to a close, Kiely’s men lead by a point, and David Reidy extended the lead to two with a fine strike from a tight angle.

To the dismay of the Clare fans, referee Liam Gordon opted to blow the final whistle when it looked past though Tony Kelly may have been fouled, and Limerick had their fifth successive Munster title.

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