WATCH | “The five players I had picked were the ones who put their hands up” | Billy Lee on dramatic shoot out victory over Clare

Billy Lee and his Limerick footballers fought Clare over 90 minutes of play, with the result coming down to the first ever Senior Championship penalty shoot-out.

Limerick’s senior championship clash with Clare on Saturday ended in dramatic fashion as an unlikely penalty shootout was to be the conclusion of the game. Limerick came out on top as they defeated the hosts 4-1 in the shootout.

Fortunately for Limerick, Clare missed two of their opening penalties leaving the door open for James Naughton to expertly slot the ball in the back of the net and conclude the game. Iain Corbet, Robbie Bourke and Brian Donovan also scored their penalties for Limerick.

The two sides were level pegging at the end of the regulation minutes with both teams scoring 1-14. Following a further 20 minutes the game was tied once more with the score at 2-16 to 1-19. This set the stage for the dramatic finish.

With such a poor run against Clare in recent years it was a relief and a good omen for Billy Lee’s side and their campaign going forward.

The win in the championship is ultimately what matters the most for Lee and his side as they aim for a strong run in the championship, as attention now turns to a fourth successive Munster semi-final with a last win in that stage coming in 2010.

“It’s tremendous, it’s another championship win is the first thing I would say. The last couple we came against Clare in 17/18 in my tenure, we weren’t able to compete with them. We lost by a point here but they were in control of that game. In ’18 they blew us off the field but the lads have worked really hard in the last couple of years to come on and take on a seasoned team like Clare in division two.

“We mustn’t get away from the fact too that Clare are missing a couple of key players, It’s great it’s gonna give us confidence and further belief as we face into the rest of the year but we wont be getting carried away.”

With the unusual outcome of the game it would have been an incredibly difficult to prepare for either manager.

Facing the first ever penalty shootout in the championships history left a very exciting and nervous atmosphere as the pressure built in Cusack Park.

With the shootout approaching, Lee had his penalty takers in mind with each stepping up to the plate when the time called for it.

“Just two minutes before the extra time finished, I kind of picked out five lads and I spoke to them when we went into the huddle and five players put up their hands. It turns out that the five players I had picked were the ones who put their hands up.

“We put the in order let them go and reloaded at the front just to make sure we had our strongest penalty takers to get a bit of momentum and the lads did the rest”

Watch the full Interview Billy Lee gave with RTE here!

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