Appetites have certainly been whetted for a Munster final rematch between Clare and Limerick after the neighbours shared the spoils in a cauldron-like Cusack Park.
Level on 14 occasions, a draw was the fairest outcome of a compelling wrestle for supremacy in front of a capacity crowd of 18,129 that saw the lead change hands ten times before Diarmaid Byrnes preserved both sides' unbeaten starts with an injury-time free.
Diarmaid Byrnes levels the game in injury-time and a frantic finishes follow.— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) May 15, 2022
The match ends in a draw and the teams will meet in the Munster final again
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Indeed, Byrnes' unerring accuracy was only surpassed by an outstanding display from Clare talisman Tony Kelly who racked up 16 points including five from play to torment the back-to-back All-Ireland champions.
A hat-trick of Kelly points without reply edged the hosts 0-06 to 0-05 in front by the 14th minute, only to concede a goal from the resulting puck-out as Conor Boylan raced through before offloading to Kyle Hayes to find the net from close range.
Kyle Hayes finds the net for Limerick.— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) May 15, 2022
Very close game in this Munster encounter with Clare stepping up today
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Clare’s response was impressive as they answered with the next four points, two from Kelly, while David Fitzgerald and Diarmuid Ryan also chipped in with inspirational scores to soar 0-10 to 1-05 clear.
David Reidy and Byrnes duly regained full parity by the 23rd minute and with never more than a puck of the ball between the sides at any stage, a half-time stalemate were perhaps inevitable at 0-15 to 1-12.
By the 44th minute, Kelly had taken his handsome tally to 16 after raiding for Clare’s first four points at 0-19 to 1-14. However, Byrnes, Gearoid Hegarty and Reidy kept the home side at bay as the neighbours went blow for blow throughout the second period.
Gearóid Hegarty receives a second yellow card for following through with his hurl.— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) May 15, 2022
Did you agree with the decision? Final moments now.
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A second yellow card for Hegarty in the 64th minute did raise the already maximised tension levels.
However, after substitute Shane Meehan and Ryan Taylor had nudged Clare in front for the first time since the turn of the final quarter, it was perhaps fitting that it was Byrnes that levelled up the tie for 14th and final time at the death to cement the ultimate Shannonside derby showdown for Munster silverware on 5 June.
Clare: E Quilligan; R Hayes, C Cleary, P Flanagan; D Ryan (0-02), J Conlon, D McInerney (0-01); C Malone, J McCarthy; D Fitzgerald (0-02), S O’Donnell, R Taylor (0-02); T Kelly (0-16, 10f, 1 ’65), P Duggan, R Mounsey.
Subs: S Meehan (0-01) for McCarthy (HT), D Reidy for Mounsey (46), A Shanagher for Duggan (72).
Limerick: N Quaid; S Finn, M Casey, B Nash; D Byrnes (0-09, 7f, 1 ’65), D Hannon, D Morrissey; W O’Donoghue, R Hanley; G Hegarty (0-04), D Reidy (0-04, 4f), T Morrissey (0-01); C Boylan, K Hayes (1-00), S Flanagan (0-01).
Subs: G Mulcahy for Boylan (53), D O’Donovan (0-01) for Hanley (56), O O’Reilly (0-01) for Flanagan (56).
Referee: Colm Lyons (Cork)