Hurling & Camogie

Limerick power past Waterford to set up repeat Munster decider against Clare

Waterford’s defeat coupled with Tipperary’s loss to the Banner means that a relieved Cork go through in third place.

26 May 2024; Jamie Barron of Waterford in action against from left, Cathal O'Neill, Will O'Donoghue and Kyle Hayes of Limerick during the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Round 5 match between Limerick and Waterford at TUS Gaelic Grounds in Limerick Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Jamie Barron of Waterford in action against (from left) Cathal O’Neill, Will O’Donoghue and Kyle Hayes of Limerick during yesterday’s match in Limerick Picture: Sportsfile (Sam Barnes / SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
Munster SHC round five
Limerick 0-30 2-14 Waterford
Tipperary 0-24 1-24 Clare

LIMERICK extended their All-Ireland drive for five with a 10-point defeat of Waterford, in the process teeing up a third consecutive Munster final against Clare.

The Banner held out for a three-point win over already-eliminated Tipperary, 1-24 to 0-24, to secure their progress alongside Cork, who nailed down third place.

Waterford join Tipp in bowing out as Shane Bennett goals in either half weren’t enough to hang onto Limerick’s coattails in front of 31,487 fans at TUS Gaelic Grounds.

Bennett’s opener from a mishit free by his brother Stephen in the 16th minute completed a 1-3 streak to shoot his side 1-4 to 0-4 ahead.

Limerick rattled off the next four points in response, including the first of three points from first-half substitute and championship debutant Shane O’Brien.

Three each from Kyle Hayes and Tom Morrissey helped to pad out the half-time lead to five, 0-14 to 1-6.

Bennett’s 46th-minute second goal was followed by quickfire points to bring Waterford back within two, 0-19 to 2-11, but they couldn’t get any closer.

Limerick put the foot down from there as they finished with nine of the final 10 points, despite a wides tally which rose to 19, with substitutes Conor Boylan and Adam English registering.

Shane O'Donnell receives his award at the Gaelic Writers' Association Awards ceremony. (Sportsfile)
Clare forward takes on his man. (Sportsfile)

At FBD Semple Stadium, Diarmuid Ryan’s goal and an exhibition of set-up play by Shane O’Donnell was enough to secure Clare’s progress.

Already-eliminated Tipperary showed plenty of spirit as Jake Morris shot 0-11, five from play. But Banner full-forward O’Donnell scored two points, instigated the goal, was fouled for six scoreable frees (five of which were converted), and directly assisted three more scores.

Tipp’s newcomers showed their fight early on in front of a 19,418 crowd. A four-point burst gave them a 0-5 to 0-2 lead, with Barry Heffernan, Seán Kenneally, and Morris all finding the target.

Morris’s third from play pushed them four ahead and he would soon take over the free-taking after Gearóid O’Connor was called ashore before half-time.

But Clare began to pick them apart to retake the lead with six of the next seven points, including Aidan McCarthy scores from either sideline.

They had a pair of goal chances in that purple patch but O’Donnell fired wide and Peter Duggan had an effort blocked by Ronan Maher. Mark Rodgers tidied up the break for a point.

An overlapping Diarmuid Ryan score and a David Fitzgerald point after O’Donnell robbed Paddy Cadell looked set to send Clare in ahead but Morris tied it up with a stoppage-time brace. 0-11 apiece at the break.

Once Clare got to grips with Tipp’s long puck-outs and O’Donnell grew in influence, they raced clear.

They blitzed the next 1-5 without reply. O’Donnell completed the set of all six forwards scoring before he was directly involved in another 1-3. From a Tipp puck-out, Cathal Malone found O’Donnell and the sliotar passed through Fitzgerald to Diarmuid Ryan to find the net.

O’Donnell laid on a point for Darragh Lohan and was fouled for back-to-back McCarthy frees, including one where he hit the post before play was called back. That made it 1-17 to 0-12.

One of the loudest cheers of the day followed for Tony Kelly’s introduction and he immediately hooked Bryan O’Mara before opening his account from another O’Donnell assist.

If Clare thought they were home and hosed, Tipp had other ideas. They rallied with six of the next seven points, with three from the impeccable Morris as O’Mara, Noel McGrath, and Eoghan Connolly also chipped in.

That made it 1-20 to 0-20 with eight minutes to play. But that man O’Donnell found the response. He caught a long delivery for a point before being fouled again for a Rodgers tap-over free.

Tipp kept bringing it back to a one-score game but couldn’t get any closer.