Donnellan delivers on cue for Clare

Wed, Feb 8, 2012, 00:00

WATERFORD CRYSTAL CUP QUARTER-FINAL: Clare 2-13 Limerick 1-15THIS WAS another mouth -watering rehearsal for when these two sides meet in their opening National League game in a few weeks as Clare snatched victory last night.

An absorbing contest went down to the wire and it was a great strike by midfielder Bryan Donnellan in added time which gave the Banner their semi-final spot.

But Limerick’s new manager John Allen will bemoan two glorious missed chances seconds before Donnellans winner and Graham Mulcahy will wonder how he missed from straight in front of the uprights to snatch the win for Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds.

The game at one stage seemed like a shoot-out between Limerick’s Declan Hannon and Padraig Hickey for Clare with Hannon scoring 0-8 and Hickey 0-6.

The sides were level four times in a bright first half which ended with Clare in front, 2-6 to 0-10.

Clare made the better start and Tony Carmody followed his second-minute point by grabbing a goal two minutes later.

Limerick settled and Mikey Ryan had their first point after five minutes. Declan Hannon sparked a revival for them with four points without reply, two splendid efforts from either side plus a free and a 65. Hannon nudged Limerick in front after 15 minutes.

The teams were level again after 25 minutes before the unmarked Ross Horan found a big gap in the Limerick defence to fire home his side’s second goal.

Donal O’Grady and Hannon hit the first two second-half points for Limerick and it was all square again with the game looking destined for extra time again. But Donnellan’s crucial late strike sealed victory for Clare.

CLARE: D Fahy; S Morey, C Dillon, M Early; C O’Doherty, J McInerney (0-1), S O’Halloran; C Galvin (0-1), B Donnellan (0-2); D Russell, J Conlon (0-2), J Clancy; T Carmody (1-1), R Horan (1-0), P Hickey (0-6 (five frees, one 65). Subs: P Duggan for Russell (38), D Cunningham for Hickey (61), P Donnellan for O’Doherty (64), F Lynch for Horan (68).

LIMERICK: A Murphy; S Walsh, T Condon, S O’Neill; B O’Sullivan, G O’Mahony, D Moloney (0-1); J Ryan, T Ryan; D Hannon 0-8 (three frees, two 65s), N Maher (0-2), G Mulcahy 0-1; M Carmody 0-1, N Moran, M Ryan 0-2. Subs: B Geary (1-0) for Moran (22 mins), M Carr for O’Sullivan (ht), D O’Grady for T Ryan (ht), E Gleeson for Geary (54), K Loftus for Maher (67).

Referee: D Kirwan (Cork).

In the semi-finals, Clare will now meet Waterford next Sunday in Walsh Park (throw-in 2pm), while Tipperary will host Cork next Sunday in Templemore (throw-in 1pm).

Next Up . . .