Limerick tore up the Munster Minor Football Championship phase one script when stunning neighbours Clare into submission with a four-goal haul in Hennessy Memorial Park, Miltown Malbay on Thursday evening.
With Tipperary and Clare leading comfortably for the majority, it seemed as if both would advance to the phase one decider with a game to spare until a late brace of Limerick goals shredded that narrative.
Indeed, all four of Limerick’s goals were timely interventions as Gearóid Barry had inspired a settling five-point opening quarter burst for the Banner, only to see it wiped out when Tommy Glynn was the quickest to react to a rebound off the upright to finish the net at 0-6 to 1-2.
The same happened right on the stroke of half-time when Andrew Lyons undid Clare’s rebuilding work to lower the interval arrears to two at 0-10 to 2-2.
While the sides were level a minute into the new half, Clare appeared to have finally weathered the Limerick storm entering the final quarter when points from Barry (two), Shane O’Connell and captain Daire Culligan powered their side 0-14 to 2-4 clear.
However, a determined Limerick never relented and after Adam Murphy scrambled home a 52nd-minute equalising goal, the visitors doubled their bounty from the kick-out through chief marksman Lyons to sink an incredulous Clare by 4-6 to 0-15.
Tipperary had a much more facile victory when goals from Michael Connellan, Emmet Bonnar and Liam Freaney saw them preserve their perfect start and end Waterford’s hopes by 3-18 to 1-3 in FBD Semple Stadium.
With Tipperary and Limerick now in the driving seat for the phase one final, a Clare victory over the Premier County in next Thursday’s final round is now a perquisite to alter the new-look screenplay.