By Michael Moynihan, Gaelic Grounds
This Limerick SHC final went to an experienced Na Piarsaigh outfit on a chilly evening in the Gaelic Grounds.
Doon defended the Ennis Road end and began with a bang, Pat Ryan finishing from close range on two minutes to give them a 1-0 to no score lead and energising the 7,526 in attendance.
Na Piarsaigh had four points to establish themselves, but Barry Murphy’s two frees for Doon had the underdogs slightly ahead, 1-2 to 0-4, at the end of the first quarter.
For Doon county man Darragh O’Donovan was getting through a lot of work, while Na Piarsaigh weren't involving their big names to the same extent.
Nevertheless, Alan Dempsey nudged the favourites in front on 22 minutes, only for Dean Coleman to level on the puck-out. Na Piarsaigh showed their experience, however, with the closing three scores of the half, two of them Shane Dowling frees, to lead 0-11 to 1-5 at the break.
Dean Coleman touched home a terrific goal for Doon on the resumption to level matters, but Dowling pointed two frees in response. Then David Dempsey batted a cross from Peter Casey to the net superbly to push Na Piarsaigh 1-13 to 2-5 ahead.
Doon responded through Pat Ryan and Barry Murphy (free) to stay in touch but the city men then hit three in a row before another Murphy free on 45 minutes made it 2-8 to 1-16. When Adrian Breen slammed home Na Piarsaigh’s second goal, however, the game was up. Murphy’s late Doon goal was a consolation.
In the curtain-raiser Dromin-Athlacca picked up the county intermediate title, beating Croom 2-15 to 0-14.
Scorers for Na Piarsaigh: S. Dowling (0-12, 7 frees, 1 65); A. Breen (1-2); D. Dempsey (1-1); A. Dempsey (0-4): P. Casey (0-3).
Scorers for Doon: B. Murphy (1-7, frees); P. Ryan, D. Coleman (1-1 each); D. O’Donovan (0-1).
NA PIARSAIGH: P. Kennedy, J. Boylan, M. Casey, K. Kennedy, R. Lynch, W. O’Donoghue (c), C. King, A. Dempsey, G. Brown, D. Dempsey, S. Dowling, C. Boylan, A. Breen, K. Downes, P. Casey.
Subs: C. Houlihan for A. Dempsey (52); M. Foley for King, K. Ryan for C. Boylan (both 60).
DOON: C. McNamara, B. McPartland, R. English (c), S. Ryan, D. Moloney, M. O’Brien, E. Kiely, J. Ryan J. Hayes, P. Cummins, D. O’Donovan, D. Stapleton, D. Coleman, P. Ryan, B. Murphy.
Subs: M. Ryan for J. Hayes (HT); J. Cummins for P. Cummins (44); J. Ryan for Stapleton (57).
Referee: J. O’Mahony (Kildimo/Pallaskenry).