Clare comprehensively crushed neighbours and Munster Champions Limerick in today’s second All Ireland hurling semi-final and now have an opportunity of gaining revenge against
Cork when the teams clash on the second Sunday in September in the first all-Munster clash in a final since 1997.
Today Limerick were but a pale shadow of the team who defeated the Rebel County in the Munster Final looking nervous right from the off with far too many defensive errors.
In that first 35 minutes there cause was not helped by the usually reliable Declan Hannon’s free taking being way off target. Their were plenty of heroes for the Banner County men today, none more so than Colm Ryan whilst Padraic Collins, Colm Galvin and Tony Kelly also excelled for Davy Fitzgerald’s charges.
Limerick Manager John Allen and his fellow selectors spent several minutes on the pitch at half time trying to plot Clare’s downfall in the second half but though they showed some improvement immediately after the break it was not enough. Darach Honan got the only goal of the game, albeit perhaps a fortunate one, following Collins’ long ball, after only 12 minutes and from thereon in Limerick were struggling to keep in contention.
They really needed an early second half goal but to be honest that did not seem likely to happen today, despite three early points after the break.
Delighted Clare supremo Davy Fitzgerald told RTE’s ‘The Sunday Game’ : “I’m absolutely thrilled. For a county like ours it’s a fantastic achievement and I’m very proud of the lads. They were unreal”
“One thing going out that was worrying me was how they would adapt to the atmosphere, there was a big Limerick crowd out there.
“I think early on Limerick missed a lot of their chances and we were trying to make them force their shots. Limerick have great character and they kept coming back at us and hats off to them they are great Munster champions.
“We had a job to do today and thanks be to God we got over the line. They are a joy to work with and anything is possible when you work with a team who follow your instructions to the last . We’re over the moon as a panel and as a management to be in the All-Ireland final. Just thrilled.”
And team’s chances of defeating Cork in the All Ireland Final on the second Sunday in September?
“We have to improve a lot to beat Cork. We won’t be able to give the shooting chances we gave today but that’s for another day,To tell you the truth I’m not going to even think about it right now. I’m going to enjoy this moment.” ” he added