LIMERICK were beaten in the final of the Peter McNulty U-21 Football Tournament this Sunday evening.
In the Gaelic Grounds it finished Clare 1-12, Limerick 0-12.
Declan Brouder’s side reached the final of the pre-season competition with victories over Clare in the first round before defeating Tipperary, Kildare and Laois to reach Sunday’s decider but were second best for long periods of this game.
The Banner had the better of the opening exchanges but the game was level at 0-2 apiece after 10 minutes with AJ O’Connor and Hugh Bourke getting Limerick’s scores.
Clare should have had an early goal, however, Cathal Downes’ effort was spectacularly saved by the diving Ray Noonan.
Scores from Conor Finucane and Eimhin Courtney had Clare in control, leading 0-6 to 0-2 after 20 minutes.
Further scores from the two corner forwards ensured the visitors enjoyed a 0-8 to 0-4 lead approaching the interval. However, the free-taking of Hugh Bourke kept Limerick in the game and ensured that only the minimum separated the sides at the short whistle.
From there Clare pushed on and a late Joe McCann goal sealed the win, despite a late Limerick rally.
A late Mikey Morrissey effort with the goal at his mercy was Limerick’s last chance to force extra time but he blazed over the bar as Clare saw out the victory.
SCORERS: Limerick: Hugh Bourke 0-6 (6 frees); AJ O’Connor 0-3, Padraig de Brun, Brian Fanning, Mikey Morrissey 0-1 each. Clare: Conor Finucane 0-9 (1 free), Eimhin Courtney 0-3; Joe McCann 1-0
LIMERICK: Ray Noonan; David Connolly, Michael Donovan, Edward Sheehy; Jim Liston, Cormac Flanagan, Robert Childs; Michael Whelan, Eoin Ryan; Shaun Murphy, Hugh Bourke, Padraig de Brun; Mark Connolly, AJ O’Connor, Killian Ryan. Subs: Daniel Enright for Cormac Flanagan (18, black card); Kieran Daly for Padraig de Brun (31, black card); Brian Donovan for Eoin Ryan (37); Brian Fanning for Michael Whelan (43); Mikey Morrissey for Mark Connolly (45); Steven Brosnan for Killian Ryan (55).
CLARE: Killian Roche; Ryan Griffin, Darren Nagle, Colm Pyne; Conall O’hAinifein, Rory McMahon, Cillian Brennan; Daragh Bohannon, Cian O’Dea; Alan Sweeney, Keelan Sexton, David Egan; Eomhin, Cathal Downes, Conor Finucane. Subs: Jonah Culligan for Colm Paye (28); Aidan Davidson for Cathal Downes (41); Sean O’Donohue for Daragh Bohannon (50); Joe McCann for Eimhin Courtney (50); David Foran for David Egan (58).
REFEREE: Donnacha O’Callaghan (Feohanagh).