Limerick and Clare play out thrilling draw in Munster U20 championship:

By John Keogh Limerick Leader Sport

LIMERICK and Clare played out an enthralling draw in their O’Neills U20 Munster Hurling Championship clash at the TUS Gaelic Grounds this evening.

The Banner scored the last three points to earn a 1-19 to 1-19 draw. Patrick O’Donovan had 12 points for Limerick but Clare’s strong finish earned them a point.

Clare made a fast start through two Keith Smyth scores and a third from David Kennedy had the Banner off to a great start after seven minutes.

An excellent Patrick O’Donovan got Limerick on the board and a fine effort from play by Adam Fitzgerald put Limerick just one point down.

A third from Smyth and a well-taken strike by Sean Rynne soon had Clare back in the ascendancy, however, as Limerick struggled to get a foothold in the game.

Fintan Fitzgerald and Ethan Hurley then brought Limerick to within one but Smyth hit the target again to see Clare 0-7 to 0-4 up after 22 minutes.

However, Joe Fitzgerald, O’Donovan and Hurley scores on the bounce levelled the contest for the first time. Adam English’s goal then put daylight between the teams on 27 minutes.

The same man then added a superb score, before an O’Donovan free put Limerick five to the good. However, points from Patrick Crotty and Oisin O’Donnell got Clare back to within a goal at the break – 1-9 to 0-9.

Limerick kept that advantage until the eighth minute of the second half when Patrick Crotty levelled the contest with a low shot into the Limerick net.

Clare then began to take a bit of control with points from Crotty and Colm Cleary putting them 1-14 to 1-12 ahead with 44 minutes played.

Limerick kept three points in front with O’Donovan constantly keeping the scoreboard ticking over but two Colm Cleary and two Sean Rynne points saw the game finish all square.

Scorers for Limerick: Patrick O’Donovan 0-12 (6 frees, ’65,) Adam English 1-1, Ethan Hurley 0-2, Adam Fitzgerald, Fintan Fitzgerald, Joe Fitzgerald and Shane O’Brien 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clare: Keith Smyth 0-7 (4 frees, ’65), Patrick Crotty 1-3, Sean Rynne 0-3, Colm Cleary and Jack O’Neill 0-2 each, David Kennedy and Oisin O’Donnell 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: Josh O’Reilly (Ballybrown); Ronan Lyons (Monaleen), John Fitzgerald (Na Piarsaigh), Evan O’Leary (Ahane); David Fitzgerald (Kildimo-Pallaskenry), Cian Scully (Dromin-Athlacca), Ethan Hurley (Newcastle West); Joe Fitzgerald (Monaleen), Adam English (Doon); Fintan Fitzgerald (Mungret St Pauls), Patrick O’Donovan (Effin), John Kirby (Patrickswell); Con Hayes (Newcastle West), Adam Fitzgerald (Templeglantine), Shane O’Brien (Kilmallock).

Subs: Liam Lynch (Mungret St Pauls) for Hayes (30 mins), Barry Duff (Mungret St Pauls) for A Fitzgerald (h-t), Liam Dennehy (Glenroe) for F Fitzgerald (48 mins), Sean O’Neill (Blackrock) for Kirby (58 mins).

CLARE: Aaron Shanahan (Tulla); Jarlath Collins (Eire Og Ennis), Adam Hogan (Feakle), Ian McNamara (Killanena); Oran Cahill (Eire Og Ennis), John Conneally (Clooney-Quin), Daithi Lohan (Wolfe Tones); Sean Rynne (Inagh-Kilnamona), Conor Whelan (Whitegate); Oisin O’Donnell (Crusheen), Patrick Crotty (Scariff), Niall O’Farrell (Broadford); David Kennedy (Sixmilebridge), Keith Smyth (Killanena), Jack O’Neill (Clooney-Quin).

Subs: Colm Cleary (O’Callaghan’s Mills) for Whelan (h-t), Oisin Clune (Feakle) for Cahill (51 mins), Keelan Hartigan (Scariff for O’Farrell (53 mins), James Doherty (Clarecastle) for Kennedy (56 mins).

REFEREE: Nicky Barry (Waterford)