WATCH: Limerick edge Clare in shootout of epic league quarter final

Hurling fans of both counties leaving the Gaelic Ground on the Ennis Road this evening certainly got full value for the admission.

In what was a first for hurling, the game was decided on a free shootout that went all the way to sudden death after 100 minutes of superb excitement count not separate the sides.

Limerick’s Colin Ryan, Tom Morrissey, David Reidy, Aaron Gillane and Diarmaid Byrnes stepped forward for Limerick while Peter Duggan, Niall Deasy, David Reidy, Ian Galvin and Jamie Shanahan were nominated for Clare.

All 10 nominated free takers scored, meaning the tie progressed to sudden death. Peter Duggan and Aaron Gillane pointed before Niall Deasy pushed his effort wide leaving the door open for Colin Ryan to dispatch his effort over the bar and put Limerick through to the semi final.

It wasn’t the first the Pallasgreen man came to the fore during the game as his sideline cut in injury time forced the first period of extra time as the lead exchanged hands several times in the dying minutes of the seventy.

The Banner started really well and led by 0-11 to 0-2 after just 22 minutes. Colm Galvin, Tony Kelly, David Reidy and Conor McGrath all on the mark.

Limerick played some good hurling it the opening stages but were not converting as many of their chances as John Kiely would have liked with some wasteful shooting into a tricky wind. Indeed Limerick went 16 minutes without a score before Aaron Gillane struck a goal. He added two frees and it was 1-4 to 0-11.

Paul Browne and Gearoid Hegarty added Limerick points but Clare were 0-14 to 1-8 ahead at half time and were full value for their lead. At the mid-point of the second half Clare were still ahead, 0-17 to 0-11 with two Tony Kelly points keeping them in the driving seat.

Limerick responded with two Colin Ryan points which were followed up a by another Gillane goal to send Limerick into a 2-13 to 0-18 lead for the first time in the match.

Despite their early inefficiency, Limerick doggedly clawed their way back into the game and were level in the 52nd minute of what was becoming an enthralling encounter courtesy of two Colin Ryan points and a second Gilane goal.

Clare hit the front again through a Duggan point while Limerick responded with a Pat Ryan goal to go 3-15 to 0-21 ahead. Duggan was immense throughout and rattled off four points in a row to put Clare ahead by one point before Ryan’s sideline cut levelled proceedings.

The visitors looked to have the better of the extra time period with points from Kelly and Duggan having them 3 points ahead going into injury time. A late free from just outside the 21 presented Diarmaid Byrnes with an opportunity to claw Limerick back from the brink once more. Byrnes dispatched the ball to the back of the Clare net and two periods of five minute extra time would be required.

The last instalment of extra time was still not able to separate the sides as John Conlon edged Clare in front before a late Gillane free forced the shootout. This epic encounter finished Limerick 4-21 Clare 0-33.

Limerick Scorers: Aaron Gillane 1-11 (0-11f), Diarmaid Byrnes 1-1 (1-1f), Pat Ryan 1-0, Colin Ryan 0-3 (0-1 sideline cut), Gearoid Hegarty 0-2, Cian Lynch, Tom Morrissey, Paul Browne, Seamus Flanagan 0-1 each.

Clare Scorers: Peter Duggan 0-19 (0-15f, 0-2 ‘65), Tony Kelly 0-6, David Reidy and John Conlon 0-2 each, Conor McGrath, David Fitzgerald, Shane O’Donnell, Colm Galvin 0-1 each.

Limerick

1. Nickie Quaid (Effin), 2. Sean Finn (Bruff), 3. Seamus Hickey (Murroe-Boher), 4. Richie English (Doon), 5. Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell), 6. Declan Hannon (Adare) 7. Dan Morrissey (Ahane), 8. Paul Browne (Bruff), 9. Cian Lynch (Patrickswell), 11. Kyle Hayes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry), 10. Gearoid Hegarty (St Patricks), 12. Tom Morrissey (Ahane), 13. Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell), 14. Seamus Flanagan (Feohanagh), 15. Barry Murphy (Doon)

Subs

24. Colin Ryan for Paul Browne (49 mins)
20. Pat Ryan for Barry Murphy (54 mins)
21. David Reidy for Kyle Hayes (62 mins)
18. Richie McCarthy for Seamus Hickey (78 mins)
22. Barry O’Connell for Gearoid Hegarty (85 mins)
25. Oisin O’Reilly for Seamus Flanagan (86 mins)

Clare

1. Donal Tuohy (Crusheen), 2. Patrick O’Connor (Tubber), 3. Conor Cleary (Miltown Malbay), 4. Jack Browne (Ballyea), 5. Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge), 6. David McInerney (Tulla), 7. David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona), 18. Colm Galvin (Clonlara), 9. Tony Kelly (Ballyea), 10. Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge), 11. John Conlon (Clonlara), 12. David Reidy (Eire Og), 13. Conor McGrath (Cratloe), 14. Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin), 15. Shane O’Donnell (Eire Og)

Subs

10. Ian Galvin for Colm Galvin (51 mins)
19. Cathal McInerney for Conor McGrath (56 mins)
22. Jamie Shanahan for Seadna Morey (60 mins)
25. Jason McCarthy for David Reidy (63 mins)
21. Podge Collins for Cathal Malone (68 mins)
26. Mikey O’Neill for Cathal McInerney (e-t)
23. Ryan Taylor for Ian Galvin (89mins)
17. Michael O’Malley for Tony Kelly (95mins)
24. Niall Deasy for Podge Collins (98)

Referee: Alan Kelly (Galway)

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