Clare are through to the All-Ireland hurling final after upsetting the form book and their neighbours Limerick in Sunday’s semi-final at Croke Park.

Davy Fitzgerald’s side will not meet Cork in their first MacCarthy Cup decider since 2002 next month.

They were full value for their 1-22 to 0-18 win over the Munster champions who simply never got out of the blocks at Croke Park.

All-Ireland medal winner Fitzgerald was proud of his troops as they booked another date with the Cork side who beat them in the Munster championship earlier this summer.

Fitzgerald told Irish state broadcaster RTE: “It is a great day for us Clare people.

“I thought the manner in which the boys played was fantastic. We are delighted to be taking part in the biggest event on 8 September.

“Limerick are a fair team, they are going to keep coming back at us. The thing I’m most happy about is every time they did, we had the resolve to go up and score again.

“They brought us back to a lead of just three or four points and the crowd were getting behind them in a big way. They have a fantastic support and they were really getting behind them. But we just dug deep.

“The most important thing is if you get a group of players that will stick to what you want to do, then you have a chance of winning. The players carried it out today.

“They weren’t afraid to take on shots. They weren’t afraid to give short ball at times and then give the long ball. They did it themselves.

“You would have to be very proud of their fighting spirit. I thought that was massive out there today. For us Clare people it is fantastic to be back in this situation.”

With a team packed full of youngsters, Fitzgerald believe the future is bright for Clare hurling.

He added: “We’ve had some dark days over the last number of years to be honest.

“I don’t know what is going to happen on 8 September. All I know is we are going to give it our best. I still think the best of this team will be over the next few years.

“We will probably have a good year, bad year but over the next few years we will be consistent. But the only date in our mind is 8 September now.

“It is a big task and ask for us, especially with the 21s. Fourteen of our panel are on the Under-21s and they are out against next Saturday. You just have to be careful.”

County Clare are through to the All Ireland finalsRTE