Goals fire Limerick to thrilling Munster SHC win

Donnacha Ó Dalaigh celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship match between Clare and Limerick at Cusack Park. Photo: John Sheridan.

THREE of the most rapid-fire goals in the prized history of the Munster Senior Hurling Championship propelled Limerick to an often unlikely opening-round 3-15 to 1-18 win over Clare at a heaving Cusack Park, Ennis (attendance 20,055).

At one stage, Limerick were nine points in arrears.

Around the hour mark, John Kiely’s side looked as likely to emerge winners as all of us who had wished to be the holder of the Є9 million winning ticket sold in Limerick from the previous evening’s National Lottery Draw, but somehow the All-Ireland kingpins came up trumps with a trio of goals to register a first championship victory at the venue since 1990.

The goals came through Aaron Gillane (2) and debutant Donnacha Ó Dalaigh.

A stunning return of 3-6 to just 0-3 propelled Limerick to this brilliant success.

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“We kept our composure even if things weren’t going our way, we kept doing what we always do, creating the chances, trusting ourselves, maybe that’s what our experience is, and it carried us through,” was the clinical reaction of Kiely.

Limerick: Nickie Quaid; Mike Casey, Dan Morrissey, Barry Nash; Diarmaid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Kyle Hayes (0-01); William O’Donoghue, Cian Lynch (0-01); Gearoid Hegarty (0-03), Tom Morrissey, Cathal O’Neill (0-02); Seamus Flanagan, Aaron Gillane (2-05)), David Reidy (0-02)

Substitutes used: Seán Finn, Donnacha Ó Dalaigh (1-01), Conor Boylan, Adam English, Aidan O’Connor.