Munster MHC: Banner book final spot
June 26, 2010
Full forward Niall Arthur's eight-point haul from frees proved decisive as Clare booked their place in the ESB Munster MHC final at Limerick's expense in the Gaelic Grounds last night.
Clare were full value for their win with Limerick's second goal coming in the final minute from a free by Shane Dowling. Apart from Arthur's contribution, David O'Halloran and Paudge Collins also impressed up front while Paul Flanagan and Kevin Lynch were the pick of the visitors' backs.
The Banner got off to a flying start with points by Jamie Shanahan, Daire Keane and two frees by Arthur inside the first five minutes. John Fitzgibbon replied with a brace of points for the home side, but Clare put themselves firmly in the driving seat when David O'Halloran netted in the 10th minute and by the 17th minute, they led by 1-7 to 0-2.
However, Limerick rallied in the second quarter and points from midfielder Sean Kelly, Dowling, Fitzgibbon and Declan Hannon left them trailing by just three at the break, 0-8 to 1-8.
Limerick levelled within three minutes of the restart when Michael Ryan booted the ball to the Clare net, but the concession of too many frees proved costly for the home side, who were punished every time by the deadly accurate Arthur.
Clare will face the winners of tonight's second semi-final between Cork and Waterford in the decider on July 11.
Clare - R Taaffe; P Flanagan, N Purcell, S Morey; E Boyce, K Lynch, S O'Halloran; C Galvin, T Kelly 0-2; C Malone, P Collins 0-3, J Shanahan 0-2; D O'Halloran 1-1, N Arthur 0-8, D Keane 0-1. Subs - A Mulready for Malone (37), H Vaughan for Purcell (48).
Limerick - O Webb-O'Rourke; B Murphy, A Dempsey, B Hannigan; M Connolly, K O'Donnell, C O'Riordan; D Hannon 0-5, S Kelly 0-1; M Fitzgibbon, T Ryan, D Morrissey; J Fitzgibbon 0-3, S Dowling 1-3, M Ryan 1-0. Subs - D Murphy for O'Riordan (18), J Mulch for Kelly (ht), B O'Connor for Mulcahy (44), R Ryan for T Ryan (50), J Ahern for M Fitzgibbon (51)
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