Newspaper review of Limerick’s clash with Clare.
Clare reached a first Munster final since 2008 yesterday at the expense of an experimental Limerick side who could never get a foothold in the game and would not take lead after the fifth minute when Shane O’Donnel struck a goal.
In their analysis of the game, The Examiner, focused on the difference in class between the two sets of forwards. Clare were simply more efficient in their play. Their movement was fluid and the Limerick defence struggled to cope.
Where Limerick lined out with 5 traditional forwards in designated positions with Cian Lynch roaming, the Clare attack roved all around the pitch. This was evident from O’Donnel’s two goals as he drifted in from the corner and latched onto two loose balls.
In his column in the Irish Independent, Ger Loughnane held no punches when taking about the two teams.
“It wasn’t a question of Clare being a better team than Limerick. Rather, it was a question of which team was the least bad on the day.
“This was just awful stuff from both teams.
Loughnane felt that this was one of the worst Limerick sides he has ever seen. Whilst the performance from John Kiely’s men was poor, there are some positives to take from the game. Many of his U21 All-Ireland side got their debut and should only improve. Furthermore, the impressive debuts of Sean Finn and Kyle Hayes will not go unnoticed.
However, Loughnane was more scathing in his review of the Clare side, saying,
“People in Clare have to face the reality that, as a group, this is a limited bunch.” Despite the win, he has little hope for this squad continuing on to say,
“When they won the 2013 All-Ireland, it was the greatest fluke of all time.
Nicky English was more relaxed in his piece but still doubts both sides All-Ireland ambitions. For Clare, the return of Galvin and McGrath are huge bonuses for the Banner but there is a worry that Tony Kelly needs a break after the Club All-Ireland run. Furthermore, the inability to win primary possession will be a worry for the Clare set up.
In his piece for the Irish Times, English focused on the positives for Limerick, again citing Finn and Hayes as standouts, as well as first goalscorer David Dempsey. He feels inexperience may have cost them but they will only improve in that regard. However, as for their chances heading into the summer,
“They have players to come back but they’re hardly All-Ireland contenders”