Clare looked fresh as they defeated Limerick by 2-24 to 1-13 at the Gaelic Grounds.
The Banner men wrested control of the second quarter to storm
into a 1-12 to 1-8 half-time lead, having trailed by 1-6 to 0-4. With 5,390
looking on, Conor McGrath helped himself to 1-10 for the victors.
took an early lead when the unerring McGrath slotted a 30-metre free but
Limerick's response was instant and effective - a goal from Niall Moran, who
took full advantage of the free space through the heart of the visitors'
James Ryan and Fergal Lynch traded the next two points as the
Treaty County led by double scores, 1-1 to 0-2, seven minutes in. Clare stayed
within two points thanks to another McGrath free but Shane Dowling's excellent
point left the goal between them, 1-4 to 0-4, coming up to the end of the
Limerick added two more points but Davy Fitzgerald's men
kept going and notched an unanswered 1-5 inside the next 15 minutes to lead by
three, 1-9 to 1-6.
Newmarket's Colin McGrath fired Clare's first major in
the 22nd minute, latching onto a super pass from Lynch.
Two frees from
Conor McGrath (bringing his tally to 0-5), either side of a Nicky O'Connell
score pushed the visitors ahead after they had tied things up at 1-6
It was all Clare now and the run of consecutive scores rose to
1-8 as they marched further ahead, 1-12 to 1-6. But a couple of late Shane
Dowling points (bringing his first-half tally to 0-5) had John Allen's men still
in the equation at half time, 1-12 to 1-8.
Conor McGrath landed another
excellent point as the Banner moved six ahead again within three minutes of the
restart. Clare were looking fresh and fit and they led by eight points when Sean
Collins provided their fourth successive score since the
There were nine points between the teams when wing back Conor
Allis finally supplied Limerick's first second-half score at the three-quarters
Conor McGrath bagged a second Clare goal in the 57th minute and
pointed soon after to bring his personal tally to 1-9. The excellent John Conlon
added a late point as the Banner cantered to a 14-point victory.