Tony Kelly sends Munster final to extra time with ultimate clutch moment but it was not enough to beat Limerick 1 year ago

Tony Kelly sends Munster final to extra time with ultimate clutch moment but it was not enough to beat Limerick

What a sport, what a match and what a moment.

It felt like there was nothing on this earth that could actually separate Clare and Limerick in Sunday's Munster championship final, as they drew in normal time for the third time this season.

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Two juggernauts continuously clashing, with neither looking to take a backward step, and as extra time began it was just a matter of who would blink first.

Clare got off to a good start in the cauldron that is Semple Stadium, as the fans erupted with every score, particularly for Tony Kelly's effort, in which he turned over the Limerick defence and swung the sliotar over beautifully from a tight angle.

Gearoid Hegarty quickly stole the spotlight with an unbelievable goal that was almost Paul Gascoigne-like, as he flicked the ball over his opponent and connected with it on the way down to send it home.

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After that it was just end to end, which is a phrase that commentators often use, but I mean it as literally as I possibly can here; the two teams were level on points an amazing 15 times in normal time.

Clare looked like their race was ran though, with injury time ticking into the final seconds as they trailed by a single point.

However, a sideline gave them some hope to stall Limerick's celebrations, and who else would stand up to take it, but that man Tony Kelly.

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When you talk about clutch scores, real 'cometh the hour cometh the man' moments, you will have to look hard to find one better than this, as the number 11 sailed the sliotar over the bar, leaving Thurles was bouncing.

The centre half forward hit an incredible 13 points - seven of which were from play - and just put in the sort of performance that can only be driven by a man possessed.

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The players even had enough energy for some argy bargy in the tunnel, but when they came out at extra time, the reigning champions took a lead that they never surrendered again.

Finding a way to win is just engrained into them, no matter what sort of quality the opposition brings, they just seem to be able to raise their game with every challenge that they meet.

In the end, they were the deserving winners of a Munster championship that will live long in the memory of sports fans.

As Marty Morrissey put it, "Steven Spielberg couldn't have written this script."

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