Bord Gáis Munster U-21 Hurling Semi-Final
LIMERICK 1-28 CLARE1-15
By Declan Rooney at the Gaelic Grounds
Aaron Gillane produced a stunning display of scoring to guide Limerick into the Munster U-21 Hurling Championship Final after a decisive win at the Gaelic Grounds.
They will now meet either Waterford or Cork — they meet in the other semi-final at Walsh Park on Thursday evening — in the Final and Limerick will be hopeful of collecting their second U-21 provincial title in three years after this impressive performance.
Clare fans who were hoping for a boost following the senior final loss to Cork on Sunday were to suffer further disappointment with Limerick opening up a 1-14 to 0-5 interval lead.
Gillane led the charge in the opening half and they would have been even further ahead by the break had they managed to convert all their goal chances.
But they were well on their well to the final when they opening up a 1-7 to 0-2 lead with just ten minutes gone in a contest played in ideal conditions at the Gaelic Grounds.
The goal came from Peter Casey after six minutes and with Gillane in top form they built up a big lead.
Clare were give hope when Billy Connor scored a goal but four points in a row from Gillane saw Limerick pull away.
Their interval lead would have been greater but Casey, captain Tom Morrissey, and Gillane were unable to make the most of some goal chances.
But they still deservedly led by 1-14 to 1-5 at the interval, leaving Clare with a lot to do.
Morrissey extended Limerick’s after the restart but a good Clare rally yielded five points with Ian Galvin leading the way.
That gave Clare, who started with four players who featured against Cork in Sunday’s senior final, real hope as they halved the gap to five points with 20 minutes still left.
However, it was Limerick who assumed control again with Colin Ryan outstanding around the middle of the field and the Pallasgreen clubman crowned a superb display with three excellent points.
That was enough to kill off the game as a contest as Limerick advanced to a final showdown with either Waterford or Cork in what should be a superb decider.
Scorers for Limerick: A Gillane 0-14 (5f, 1’65), C Ryan 0-3, P Casey 1-0, T Morriseey 0-2, B Nash 0-2, R Hanley 0-2, T Grimes 0-1, B Murphy 0-1, R Lynch 0-1 (1f), C Lynch 0-1, P Ahern 0-1.
Scorers for Clare: I Galvin 0-5 (4f), B Connors 1-0, C Corbett 0-2, D Fitzgerald 0-2, M O’Malley 0-1, A Shanagher 0-1, M O’Shea 0-1, R Hayes 0-1, B Cahill 0-1, P O’Loughlin 0-1
LIMERICK: Eoghan McNamara; Sean Finn, Darragh Fanning, Dan Joy; Ronan Lynch, Kyle Hayes, Thomas Grimes; Colin Ryan, Robbie Hanley; Aaron Gillane, Barry Murphy, Cian Lynch; Peter Casey, Tom Morrissey, Barry Nash.
Subs: Conor Boylan for Murphy (40 mins), Andrew La Touche Cosgrave for Grimes (42 mins), Conor McSweeney for Finn (51 mins), Paudie Ahern for Morrissey (53 mins), Oisin O’Reilly for Casey (56 mins).
CLARE: Killian Nugent; Conor O’Halloran, Dara Walsh, Ciaran Cooney; Con Smyth, Ben O’Gorman, Rory Hayes; Jason McCarthy, Michael O’Malley; David Fitzgerald, Colin Corbett, Brian Cahilll; Ian Galvin, Aron Shanagher, Billy Connors. Subs: Michael Moloney for Smyth (18 mins), Michael O’Shea (0-01) for Corbett (40 mins), Padraig O’Loughlin for Hayes (42 mins), Cathal Noonan for Cahill (56 mins), Jack Cunningham for B O’Gorman (59 mins).
Ref: C McAllister (Cork)