Limerick 3-07 Clare 0-15
A late Cathal O'Neill salvo saw Limerick snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in their Munster U-20 Hurling Championship game with Clare at the TUS Gaelic Grounds.
O’Neill fired in a goal from a free in added time and then a superb point that saw Limerick claim the win.
It was a cruel blow for a Clare side that had outplayed their vaunted opponents for large periods of the contest.
It was Limerick that hit the target after just 13 seconds thanks to a Colin Coughlan point and that was followed up almost immediately by an O’Neill goal.
The Limerick senior eased away from the Clare defence before batting his shot past Clare keeper Cian Broderick.
Clare were aided by a gale in the first half and got on the board after five minutes via a Shane Punch free. The Banner then hit the next four on the bounce with two from Punch and one from Patrick Crotty seeing them a point to the good.
Limerick levelled through O’Neill on the 20 minute mark but Jack Kirwan put Clare ahead again when put the ball over from a goal chance.
Diarmuid Cahill and two more from Punch then had Clare in firm control with Keith Smyth and Punch again seeing them 0-13 to 1-02 ahead at half time.
Smyth and Aidan O’Connor swapped points at the beginning of the second half but another O’Connor score and a Patrick Kirby goal brought Limerick back into the game.
Clare stayed the ascendency thanks to Conner Hegarty and Cian Galvin, however there was a sting in the tale for Limerick in added time.
Shane Punch was given his marching orders for a second yellow card and from the resultant free, O’Neill somehow found a way through several Clare players with a dipping free from 25 metres that levelled the game. The same man then popped up with the winner moments later to snatch a win for Limerick.
Limerick: C Hanley Clarke; C Thomas, F O’Connor, E O’Leary; C Coughlan (0-01), J Quilty (0-01), E Hurley; J Sweeney, E Stokes; A O’Connor (0-02, 0-01f), C O’Neill (2-03, 1-00f), A English; S O’Brien, P Kirby 1-00, D O’Dalaigh.
Subs: P Reale for O’Dalaigh (55), C Scully for Thomas (57).
Clare: C Broderick; I McNamara, A Hogan, J Connelly; J Collins, C Galvin (0-01), C O’Meara (0-01); O Clune, C Hegarty (0-01); S Punch (0-06, 0-05f), P Crotty (0-02), C Murphy, J Guyler, J Kirwan (0-01), D Cahill (0-01).
Subs: K Smyth (0-02) for Guyler (24), C Leen for Collins (38), O O’Donnell for Kirwan (53), K Hartigan for O’Meara (58).
Referee: N Wall (Cork)
Elsewhere in the Munster championship, Tipperary battled back to eventually see off Kerry 3-15 to 0-13.
Ed Connolly, Paddy Creedon and Peter McGarry notched the goals for Brendan Cummins' side at Austin Stack Park.
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