A Munster Senor Hurling Final rematch with holders Cork is Clare's reward for a powerful finish to their group campaign as they bypassed neighbours Limerick in impressive fashion in Cusack Park this afternoon.
In what was essentially a winner-takes-all showdown, Clare secured their third successive group victory with a degree of confidence as they led from start to finish in a convincing display.
Peter Duggan's placed balls (11 in total) allied to impressive scoring performances from Tony Kelly (5) and John Conlon (4) were central to the Banner's biggest provincial victory to date as they revelled in the space of home soil following the dismissal of a player from each side nearing the end of the opening period.
Duggan ensured that the hosts kept their noses in front to lead by 0-9 to 0-7 by the 28th minute, with a Jamie Shanahan point coinciding with red cards for Limerick substitute Tom Condon and Clare's David Reidy for apparent off-the-ball strikes as Clare took a 0-13 to 0-09 advantage into the break.
Limerick required a shot-in-the-arm but despite having the aid of the conditions for the second period, their gruelling three match schedule in as many weeks appeared to catch up with them as the half developed as they were simply unable to eat into the Banner margin.
Tony Kelly proved increasingly elusive while Jamie Shanahan was the perfect choice as the spare man at the back to keep Clare on the frontfoot before finally wearing down the Limerick resistance, led primarily by Tom Morrissey.
Indeed, Morrissey's third point at 0-19 to 0-15 by the 56th minute proved to be Limerick's final score as instead, Clare drove on with the final seven points, fittingly inflicted by chief marksmen Duggan (3), Kelly (2) and Conlon to set up a provincial decider with the Rebels in a fortnight's time.
Clare: Donal Tuohy; Jack Browne, Patrick O'Connor, David McInerney; Seadna Morey, Conor Cleary, Jamie Shanahan (0-01); Colm Galvin (0-01), Cathal Malone; Peter Duggan (0-13, 0-10f, 0-01'65), Tony Kelly (0-05, 0-01'65), David Reidy; Podge Collins, John Conlon (0-04), Shane O'Donnell
Subs: David Fitzgerald (0-02) for Morey (14, inj), Jason McCarthy for Malone (54), Ian Galvin for Fitzgerald (61), Conor McGrath for O'Donnell (65), Mikey O'Neill for Collins (70)
Limerick: Nickie Quaid; Sean Finn, Mike Casey, Richie English; Diarmaid Byrnes (0-01), Declan Hannon, Dan Morrissey (0-01); Darragh O’Donovan (0-01, 0-01s/l), Cian Lynch (0-01); Gearoid Hegarty (0-01), Kyle Hayes (0-01), Tom Morrissey (0-03); Seamus Flanagan (0-01), Shane Dowling (0-04, 0-04f), Graeme Mulcahy
Subs: Tom Condon for Finn (13, inj), Richie McCarthy for Mulcahy (HT), Aaron Gillane (0-01) for Flanagan (49), David Dempsey for Hegarty (56), Barry Nash for English (64)
Referee: James Owens (Wexford).