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Clare through to Munster final after win over Limerick

Limerick 1-16 Clare 4-12

CLARE powered their way to their first Munster final for 11 years when they outgunned Limerick at Thurles yesterday.

For a team who had not won a championship game for five seasons until their surprise first round success against Waterford, Clare have certainly hit the road running under new boss Mike McNamara.

Limerick manager Richie Bennis will have plenty of questions to ask his defenders who leaked four goals.

Backed by the very strong breeze, Clare fell 0-3 to 0-1 behind after eight minutes with Andrew O'Shaughnessy scoring the trio of Limerick points. But the first major strike by Clare came after 14 minutes. Clare defender Pat Vaughan lofted in the ball and the bounce deceived Brian Murray in the Limerick goal.

Goal number two came after 28 minutes via the outstanding Jonathan Clancy to make it 2-4 to 0-4.

Niall Moran cut the deficit for Limerick but points by Clancy and Mark Flaherty extended Clare's interval lead to 2-7 to 0-6.

A well-taken goal by veteran Ollie Moran four minutes after the resumption lifted the Treatymen and with half an hour remaining only two points separated them.

But two goals in as many minutes, the first by substitute Barry Nugent and the other by Diarmuid McMahon, had Clare in front 4-9 to 1-10.

In the last eight minutes Limerick scored six points compared to three by Clare but by then Mike McNamara's men were in cruise control.

Just at the end Clare's Brendan Bugler was sent off.

Clare: J Clancy, 1-2, B. Nugent, 1-1, P Vaughan and D McMahon, 1-0 each, M Flaherty, 0-3 (3 f), N Gilligan, 0-3 (2f), T. Carmody, 0-2, C Lynch 0-1

Limetick: A O'Shaughnessy, 0-6 (5f), N Moran, 0-5, O Moran, 1-1, D Reale, M O'Brien, D O'Grady, D Ryan, 0-1 each

Clare: P Brennan, F O'Grady, F Lohan, B Bugler; P Vaughan, C Plunkett, P Donnellan; B O'Connell, C Lynch; D McMahon, T. Griffin, J. Clancy; N. Gilligan, T Carmody, M. Flaherty. Subs, D O'Rourke for Griffin, injd, 22 mins, B Nugent for Flaherty, 47mins, G Quinn for Plunkett, 67 mins, F Lynch for McMahon, 70.

Limerick: B Murray, D Reale, S Lucey, M O'Riordan; S Hickey, P O'Dwyer, M Foley; M O'Brien, D O'Grady; M Fitzgerald, O. Moran, N Moran; A O'Shaughnessy, S O'Cnnor, D Sheehan. Subs, D Ryan for Sheehan, 40mins, B. Foley for Fitzgerald, 53, P Tobin for O'Connor, 58mins.

Referee: E Morris, Dublin.

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