The Limerick U20 hurlers played out a draw on Wednesday evening in the Munster U-20 Hurling Championship
By James Roulston Mooney
Limerick recovered from a slow start to earn a 1-19 to 1-19 draw against Clare in the second round of the 2023 Munster U-20 Hurling Championship.
Senior All-Ireland winner Adam English netted for the U-20 All-Ireland champions but it was a high wide count that Diarmuid Mullins’ inter-county stars would be left to rue.
Clare scored the equalising point with the last shot of the match after two in the previous two minutes – the final flurry followed a Limerick wide in the 58th minute.
11 wides on the night from those in Treaty green, including nine in the first half, had them playing catch-up in the first 25 minutes
University of Limerick star English got his side in the lead with their first trip deep into Clare territory, with his goal helping his side to confirm their arrival.
Clare were accurate in the opening 30 minutes and this did not change in the second half as they refused to go away.
English’s opposite on the night, Patrick Crotty fired the sliotar into the bottom left corner of the Limerick net at the beginning of the half to set alight what was to be an exciting second half.
Ballybrown’s Josh O’Reilly came to the rescue several times as Clare’s attack continued to find ways through a lightly-manned Limerick defence.
Their goal sparked a run that led to the away side regaining control of the match before Limerick found a way to retake it themselves.
A strong final quarter from Mullins’ provincial and national title holders saw Clare’s defence bend under pressure on numerous occasions and left the home side three minutes from victory with a three-point advantage.
Forward Patrick O’Donovan nabbed 12 points on the night, six from frees, and his large share of the scores helped his side into this position.
However, the visitors had other plans and midfielder Sean Rynne’s equalising point with the last shot of the battle ensured both sides remained unbeaten in their campaigns so far.
Current table toppers Limerick now have some time off to look forward to after playing in the first two rounds of the championship.
They will return to action in round four when they travel to Semple Stadium to take on Tipperary.
Limerick: J O’Reilly (Ballybrown); R Lyons (Monaleen), J Fitzgerald (Na Piarsaigh), E O’Leary (Ahane); D Fitzgerald (Kildimo/Pallaskenry), C Scully (Dromin/Athlacca), E Hurley (Newcastle West, C); J Fitzgerald (Monaleen), A English (Doon); F Fitzgerald (Mungret/St Pauls), P O’Donovan (Effin), J Kirby (Patrickswell); C Hayes (Newcastle West), A Fitzgerald (Templeglantine), S O’Brien (Kilmallock).
Subs: L Lynch (Mungret/St. Paul’s) for Hayes (30); B Duff for A Fitzgerald (Mungret/St. Paul’s) (HT); J Molloy (Knockaderry) for J Fitzgerald (45), L Dennehy (Glenroe) for F. Fitzgerald (48), S O’Neill (Blackrock) for Kirby (58).
Clare: A Shanahan (Tulla); J Collins (Éire Óg Ennis), A Hogan (Feakle, capt), I McNamara (Killanena); O Cahill (Éire Óg Ennis), J Conneally (Clooney-Quin), D Lohan (Wolfe Tones Na Sionna); S Rynne (Inagh-Kilnamona), C Whelan (Whitegate); O O’Donnell (Crusheen), P Crotty (Scariff), N O’Farrell (Broadford); D Kennedy (Sixmilebridge), K Smyth (Killanena), J O’Neill (Clooney-Quin).
Subs: C Cleary (O’Callaghans Mills) for Whelan (HT), O Clune (Feakle) for Cahill (51) K Hartigan (Scariff) for O’Farrell (53), J Doherty (Clarecastle) for Kennedy (56).