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Watch: Free-Taking Competition Required As Limerick Overcome Clare

Watch: Free-Taking Competition Required As Limerick Overcome Clare
By Arthur James O'Dea
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What had appeared to be rudimentary enough league quarter-final turned into an absolute epic in the Gaelic Grounds this evening. After more than 100 minutes of play (normal-time, extra-time, extra extra-time), Limerick and Clare had to settle the tie with a free-taking competition.

With the scorelines deadlocked at 4-21 to 0-33 under the lights in Limerick, even the free-taking competition didn't seem to be doing the trick initially. With both sides converting their opening five each, it was taken to sudden death.

With many of the players smiling at the unique nature of the situation, each of the five was required to go again until someone cracked. In the end, it was a Clare man who missed firs, and Colin Ryan had the chance to seal it - which he gladly did.

An absolute epic ending 7-6 in Limerick's favour after the shootout.


After so many false dawns, Limerick hurling looks to be on an upward curve that John Kiely's side are capable of maneuvering comfortably upon.

Last week saw Kiely's men elevate themselves into the upper-tier of the National League for the first time in nearly a decade. So many near misses in previous years were put to rest as they secured an impressive win against the All-Ireland champions Galway, in Salthill no less.

With the first objective of their league campaign achieved, they welcomed Clare to the Gaelic Grounds this afternoon a day later than planned. For Limerick, it demonstrated what they will be up against on a regular basis in next year's league.


Having trailed Clare for most of the game, two crucial late goals from Aaron Gillane and Pat Ryan had appeared to put Limerick in touching distance of a semi final.

Getting his second of the day, the star of Limerick's U-21 All-Ireland-winning side Gillane got his second of the day to drag Limerick back into a tie that was looking to stretch beyond them; his one-hand grip in the hurl showing tremendous ingenuity in a complicated situation.

Clare were scarcely concerned however. Relentless in their acquisition of points, Tony Kelly's work in the middle of the field set the tone for a Clare side that just kept coming.


As Limerick secured their third goal of the afternoon through Pat Ryan, you would be forgiven for thinking the game was up - again.

Yet, it was just another deficit for Clare to reel in; this wonderful Kelly point earlier in the game demonstrating the ease with which Clare could work in patient unison.

Having finished level after normal time, Clare again took control in extra-time; a late, late Diarmaid Byrnes goal required to send the game to another 10-minute round of extra-time.

It would do nothing to separate these two sides, and a free-taking challenge between the two was called upon.

In the end it was Limerick who took the win and progress to the league semi-final.

See Also: GPA Hit Out At 'Little Or No' Concern Given To Players After Fixture Re-Scheduling

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