Gillane and Morrissey help Limerick to early season silverware

Limerick forward Gearoid Hegarty in action against Patrick O'Connor during the Munster Hurling League Final. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

LIMERICK’S senior hurlers have won their first trophy with John Kiely at the helm after beating Clare 0-16 to 0-10 at the Gaelic Grounds in the Co-op Superstores Munster Hurling League Final yesterday.

Aaron Gillane and Tom Morrissey starred for Limerick by scoring 12 points between them in a game was dominated by the home side.

Limerick made the stronger start to the game with points from Gillane, Paul Browne and Seamus Flanagan. Cathal Malone responded for Clare with the first of his four points.

It was a tight first-half that saw the teams level on three occasions but also saw both sides misfire in front of goal. Clare hit eight wides in the opening half – Limerick six.

It was Limerick who lead at the break by two points but Clare made a strong start on the game’s resumption, scoring the opening three points. Malone, Niall Deasy and Tony Kelly putting Clare into the lead for the first time.

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It was all Limerick after that as Kiely’s charges hit eight points on the trot in the next 27 minutes. Gillane hit five of them, while Morrissey sent over three.

Bigger challenges are ahead for Limerick, starting with the visit of Laois in the Allianz Hurling League in two weeks time, but it’s no harm to begin the season with a positive performance against a Clare team that they will face again in the first round of the Munster Championship in May.

Scorers Limerick: Aaron Gillane 0-8 (0-6 frees), Tom Morrissey 0-4, Paul Browne, Barry O’Connell, Seamus Flanagan and Gearoid Hegarty 0-1 each

Scorers Clare: Cathal Malone 0-4, Cathal O’Connell 0-2 (0-1 free), Niall Deasy (0-1 free), Tony Kelly, David Reidy (0-1 free) and Podge Collins 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid; Tom Condon, Seamus Hickey, Richie English; Diarmaid Byrnes, Dan Morrissey, William O’Meara; Paul Browne, Cian Lynch; Barry O’Connell, Darragh O’Donovan, Tom Morrissey; Seamus Flanagan, Gearoid Hegarty, Aaron Gillane; Subs: Barry Murphy for O’Connell (57), David Reidy for Hegarty (67), Andrew La Touche Cosgrave for T Morrissey (71).

CLARE: Andrew Fahy; Jack Browne, Conor Cleary, Patrick O’Connor; Diarmuid Ryan, David McInerney, David Fitzgerald; Ryan Taylor, Colm Galvin; Niall Deasy, Tony Kelly, Cathal Malone; Shane O’Donnell, Cathal O’Connell, Podge Collins; Subs: David Reidy for Taylor (47), John Conlon for Deasy (53), Conor McGrath for Collins (59), Jason McCarthy for O’Connell (70), Seadna Morey for Fitzgerald (71).

Referee: Cathal McAllister (Cork)