Clare 0-13 Limerick 3-18

Seamus Flanagan scored 1-02 as Limerick impressed in their Munster quarter-final victory over 14-man Clare at Cusack Park in Ennis.

Limerick were 0-10 to 0-08 in front at half-time but they dominated much of the first half and should have led by more at the break.

Clare defender Conor O’Halloran was shown a straight red card just after the resumption and their challenge slowly faltered as a result.

Goals from Flanagan, Conor Boylan and substitute Mark O’Dwyer signalled the end for John Carmody’s side. 

Limerick began well and senior star Flanagan was a big presence in the full-forward line. Kyle Hayes was dominant in the half-back line too, and they built from there.

The visitors scored three points in a row, with Boylan the first to find his range inside the opening minute. Points from Barry Murphy and Brian Ryan followed and Clare looked in real trouble.

Michael Corry replied with a badly needed effort in the sixth minute, but that was cancelled out by Ryan and Darren O’Connell. And Flanagan got his deserved point in the 14th minute.

The Feohanagh clubman moved out to the half-forward line where he began to supply some brilliant passes inside, and Limerick continued to win all the personal battles apart from some inspired play from Clare captain Jason McCarthy.

Aidan McCarthy’s point in the 15th minute was a timely reprieve and Clare trailed by 0-7 to 0-3 when Gary Cooney scored shortly after.

The teams went point for point but Clare didn’t go away, and despite some erratic shooting they were still right in the game as it approached half-time.

However Ryan was in fine form and scored his fourth point from play while Murphy’s second opened up a 0-10 to 0-4 lead in the 25th minute.

Limerick looked to be in control but Clare rallied before the interval, and points from Padraic O’Loughlin, Gary Cooney and Aidan McCarthy (two frees) meant they only trailed by 0-10 to 0-8.

Despite O’Halloran’s sending off, two minutes after half-time for a collision with O’Connell, Clare were resolute and they weren’t killed off until Flanagan began the goal onslaught late on.

Ryan went on to score six points from play for Limerick, but that was matched by the wonderful free-taking exploits of Clare’s McCarthy. Clare only trailed by 0-14 to 0-11 when McCarthy scored in the 44th minute, but moments late disaster struck.

Flanagan scored his goal in the 45th minute when he blasted low to the bottom left corner of Killian Nugent’s net, while Boylan added a second seven minutes later, and O’Dwyer’s goal came six minutes from full-time.

Clare: Killian Nugent; Bradley Higgins, Ross Hayes, Conor O’Halloran; Diarmuid Ryan, Jason McCarthy, Pauric McNamara; Michael Corry (0-01), Kieran Galvin; Steven Conway (0-01), Gary Cooney (0-02), Aidan McCarthy (0-06, 0-06f); Joe Carmody, Colin Guilfoyle, Billy Connors.

Subs used: Padraic O’Loughlin (0-02) for Carmody (21), Sean O’Loughlin (0-01) for Conway (30), Liam O’Connor (Newmarket on Fergus) for Corry (half-time), Cathal Darcy (Kilmaley) for Galvin (39), Michael O’Shea (Smith O’Briens) for Connors (51).

Limerick: Jamie Power; Brian McPartland, Josh Adams, John Flynn; Daniel Minehan, Kyle Hayes, Thomas Grimes; Paddy O’Loughlin (0-01), Mike Mackey; Brian Ryan (0-06), Barry Murphy (0-05, 0-04f), Conor Boylan (1-02); Darren O’Connell (0-01), Seamus Flanagan (1-02), Oisin O’Reilly.

Subs used: Paudi Ahern for O’Connell (44), Willie O’Meara for Minehan (50), Mark O’Dwyer (1-01) for O’Reilly (54), Micheál Houlihan for Ryan (57), Brian Timmins for McPartland (57).