THE Limerick minor footballers bowed out of the Munster championship this Wednesday night after a 2-17 to 3-7 defeat to Clare in Newcastle West.
After their heavy defeat to Cork in the opening round, Limerick’s minor footballers were hoping for better luck when they hosted Clare in their Munster championship back door qualifier. Sadly it was not to be as the Banner, who’d shipped an equally emphatic defeat to Kerry on the same night, resurrected their prospects with a seven-point victory.
Limerick started against the wind and looked competitive for the opening ten minutes as Mikey Morrissey replied to Keelan Sexton’s opener. But the dam burst when Aiden Davisdon restored Clare’s lead immediately after Gary McCarthy’s fisted effort was saved by Killian Normoyle and Liam Madigan, Maccen Byrne, Conal O’Hanafin, Evan Courtney twice, Cian O’Dea, Courtney again and Madigan again rained in the scores from every angle over a crumbling Limerick defence.
After Morrissey broke the sequence with a free, Clare won the resulting kickout, Courtney broke down the right and Madigan finished his pass to the net. Sexton, Niall McCarthy and Davidson then added another three scores to widen the gap to 1-13 to 0-2 at the break.
It got worse within seconds of the restart when Davidson was left on his own to rifle home the Banners’ second goal. Madigan immediately tacked on a point and Sexton a free before Clare eased off the gas in the knowledge that the job was done. Morrissey and Richard Hayes took opportunities from frees and sub Brian Hurley from play to sprout the green shoots of a Limerick comeback which bloomed when Tommy Childs’ long free floated to the corner of the net.
Sexton replied with a free but Hayes returned the favour before Normoyle had saved Shane Stack’s penalty as Conor Magner was black-carded for his tackle on Childs. The Saint Senan’s centre-forward then flicked a goal when he snuck between goalkeeper and defender. After another Sexton free, Seán Murphy ghosted up from defence during injury time to claim the goal of the night and Morrissey then tacked on a point. But by that stage, it no longer mattered as the boat had already sailed.
SCORERS: CLARE: Keelan Sexton 0-5 (3 frees), Liam Madigan 1-3, Aiden Davidson 1-2, Evan Courtney 0-3, Conal O’Hanafin, Maccen Byrne, Cian O’Dea, Niall McCarthy 0-1 each; LIMERICK: Richard Hayes 1-2 (0-2 frees), Mikey Morrissey 0-4 (2 frees), Tommy Childs (free), Seán Murphy 1-0 each, Brian Hurley 0-1.
CLARE: Killian Normoyle; Liam Tierney, Pierce Lillis, Conor Downes; Cian O’Dea, Brian Cahill, Colm Pyne; Conal O’Hanafin, James Woods; Maccen Byrne, Keelan Sexton, Niall McCarthy; Aiden Davidson, Evan Courtney, Liam Madigan. SUBS: Conor Magner for Conal O’Hanafin (40 mins), Conor Finnucane for Aiden Davidson (51 mins), Eoin Hanrahan for Conor Magner (black card 52 mins), Brian O’Connor for Niall McCarthy (55 mins),
LIMERICK: Andy Brudair; Seán Murphy, Mark Reidy, Fiachra O’Grady; Seán Ivess, Cormac Flanagan, Killian Ryan; Tommy Childs, Dara Noonan; Mikey Morrissey, Richard Hayes, Kieran Daly; Shane Stack, Conor Bourke, Gary McCarthy. SUBS: Stephen Brosnan for Fiachra O’Grady (20m), David Mackin for Conor Bourke (half-time), Brian Hurley for Gary McCarthy (half-time), Brendan Stack for Cormac Flanagan (43mins),
REFEREE: Alan Kissane (Waterford).