Extending their unbeaten provincial run to 12 games, Na Piarsaigh cruised into a second successive Munster final with an emphatic win over Clonoulty-Rossmore but lost key men Shane Dowling and Ronan Lynch to injuries.
The contest was well over by half-time when the scoreline read 2-13 to 0-5 in the Limerick champions’ favour and another goal followed in the second half, Peter Casey grabbing his second four minutes in before being benched to rest up four minutes later.
The gulf in class was obvious early on as the movement of Na Piarsaigh’s forwards left their Clonoulty markers flat-footed.
Kevin Downes shot for a third-minute goal only for Declan O’Dwyer to pull of a strong save.
Na Piarsaigh had three points on the board before Clonoulty had their first and by the time the visitors managed a second Na Piarsaigh had six to their name.
Ronan Lynch was excellent with a couple of points from distance in those opening 20 minutes as was Adrian Breen in the amount of opportunities he was making for himself and others.
It was Breen who sent over Na Piarsaigh’s 10th point in the 22nd minute.
At the other end, Paudie White was Clonoulty’s only scorer from play in the first half and Na Piarsaigh opened their goal account in the 24th minute after Breen paved the way for Kevin Downes.
With future fixtures in mind, there was some concern for Na Piarsaigh losing Shane Dowling to a hand injury after he had earned a free, which was overturned because of his anger at the pull on him.
The setback didn’t upset Na Piarsaigh too much, though, as they goaled again in additional time, Cathal King and Downes combining well to assist Casey for a goal after Conor Boylan’s initial shot was parried by O’Dwyer.
P. Casey (2-2); A. Breen (0-6); S. Dowling (0-5, frees); K. Downes (1-1, 0-1 free); R. Lynch (0-3, 1 free); C. Grimes (0-2); D. Dempsey, A. Dempsey, C. Boylan (0-1 each).
T. Hammersley (0-8, 5 frees); P. White (0-2); C. Bourke, C. Hammersley, D. Quirke (sideline) (0-1 each).
P. Kennedy; J. Boylan, M. Casey, K. Kennedy; R. Lynch, W. O’Donoghue (c), C. King; A. Dempsey, G. Brown; S. Dowling, P. Casey, C. Boylan; A. Breen, K. Downes, D. Dempsey.
C. Houlihan for S. Dowling (blood 29); K. Ryan for P. Casey (38); M. Foley for R. Lynch (inj 44); T. Grimes for A. Dempsey (45); P. Gleeson for K. Kennedy (inj 60+3).
D. O’Dwyer; Joey O’Keeffe, C. Quirke, J. Ryan; S. O’Connor, John O’Keeffe (c), E. Heffernan; J. Heffernan, C. Hammersley; P. White, Dillon Quirke, Tom Butler; C. Bourke, T. Hammersley, F. O’Keeffe.
Thomas Butler for F. O’Keeffe (h-t); R. Heffernan for J. Heffernan (38); N. Shanahan for Joey O’Keeffe (inj 53); J. O’Brien for C. King (55); P. Ryan for Tom Butler (55); Donnchadh Quirke for J. Ryan (59).
D. Kirwan (Cork).