Gutsy Na Piarsaigh advance to final

JOY for Na Piarsaigh yesterday as they booked their place in the Limerick SHC final with a rousing win over Patrickswell at the Gaelic Grounds yesterday, shrugging off the loss of David Breen to a red card and ending the game five points ahead.

Na Piarsaigh started county star Kevin Downes, though named as a sub in the match programme, and he got them off to a bright start with two smart points in the first two minutes. However Patrickswell got into their stride and, using the strong wind, kept their lively forward line well supplied.

Those attackers gave the Na Piarsaigh backs plenty to think about with their clever movement and they edged Patrickswell into the lead with points from Mark Carmody, Sean O’Brien and Barry Foley. The men in blue and gold then put daylight between the sides with points from Laurence Considine and a massive effort from a free in his own half by goalkeeper Brian Murray.

Shane Dowling replied for Na Piarsaigh but then Carmody and O’Brien got a point each and Murray struck again.

Patrickswell’s touch and tackling was better at this point but their blocking was par excellence. County man David Breen was able to win possession at centre-forward for Na Piarsaigh but didn’t always use the ball to good effect, while Downes was often too far from goal to pose a real threat.

Dowling had a point from a close-in free but Eoin Foley had the last word of the half for Patrickswell, sending them in at half-time leading by six points, 0-11 to 0-5.

Na Piarsaigh had the breeze in the second half and in a mirror image of the first game between Ahane and Emmets, the team behind at half-time put a three-point scoring run together on the resumption. Dowling (free), Cathal King and Shane O’Neill reduced the arrears to three.

Na Piarsaigh didn’t halt at three, though their cause wasn’t helped when David Breen got a red card for an off-the-ball incident on 40 minutes. However, King pointed from distance soon afterwards and Downes added another to cut the deficit to the minimum.When Kevin Ryan and Dowling (free) put them ahead by one on 50 minutes, the writing was on the wall for their opponents.

Now it was all Na Piarsaigh — James O’Brien was dominating at centre-back and Downes was roaming to such good effect, it seemed Patrickswell were down a man. They began to foul and the unerring Dowling punished them accordingly, pushing Na Piarsaigh three up.

Downes cruised into the game as well with two outstanding points — one from the wing was the score of the game. Na Piarsaigh carried a five-point lead at the final whistle and were well worth their gutsy win.

lA minute’s silence was observed before throw-in in memory of the 9/11 victims.

Scorers for Patrickswell: M Carmody (f), S O’Brien 0-3 each, B Murray (0-2fs), T O’Brien (1f), L Considine 0-2 each, P O’Grady, B Foley, E Foley 0-1 each.

Scorers for Na Piarsaigh: S Dowling 0-8 (6fs, 2 65s), K Downes 0-5, K Ryan 0-3, C King 0-2, S O’Neill, D Breen 0-1 each.

PATRICKSWELL: B Murray; K Lynch, P Mann, J Carrig; T Nolan, J Mann, P O’Reilly; P O’Grady, T O’Brien; S O’Brien, E Foley, B Foley (c); K O’Brien, M Carmody, L Considine.

Subs: P Harty for K O’Brien (50), J Kelleher for Geoghegan (52).

NA PIARSAIGH: P Kennedy; A Hennessy, K Breen, K Bermingham (c); A Dempsey, J O’Brien B Hartnett; C King, P Gleeson; S Dowling, D Breen, K Ryan; A Breen, S O’Neill, K Downes.

Subs: B Shannon for Hennessy (20), D Lynch for Bermingham (60), R Sheehan for A Breen (60).

Referee: M Meade (Ballylanders).

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up