Na Piarsaigh captain Will O’Donoghue revealed Saturday night that he and his teammates were hurt by talk that they had lost their hunger.
Speaking after his side’s 27-point win over Doon, O’Donoghue said: “Yeah, it did (hurt). It absolutely did.
“People were very quick to throw it around and push it in our faces so I think a lot of those people got their answer tonight.”
How do they maintain that hunger?
“We got a hosing last year,” said O’Donoghue.
“We weren't the county champions this year so we just wanted to show what we were made of and put some respect on our group. That was all it was about.
“That's what we came to do tonight, put a bit of respect back in our team, put a bit of respect back in our circle, and go to work hard.
“We've won a lot and the reason we've won that is down to hard work. It’s got nothing to do with talent.”
An early-season defeat to Kilmallock also drove them, he added: “There was a lot of talk after we lost to Kilmallock from the local press and national press, that we'd lost our hunger, which is the most ridiculous thing I'd ever read.
“Everyone was mad to push that at us, at Kieran (Bermingham) in a TG4 interview, at Shane (Dowling) in a TG4 interview, to question our hunger. So I hope everyone knows we're alive and kicking.”
O’Donoghue paid tribute to their county final opponents: “Doon are a very dangerous team.
“I'm sure if you watch it (game) back there's probably a lot of turning points that it could have been a whole lot closer than it ended up being. They were without two players and have a very young squad, so I've no doubt over the next how many years we're all playing senior hurling, there'll be a lot of ding dong battles.
“I don't think the scoreline reflects how even the two teams are.”
Na Piarsaigh were relentless to the end but O’Donoghue said that wasn’t being disrespectful of their opponents.
“I don't want that to come across that we were goading Doon or anything like that.
“It certainly wasn't to be disrespectful or anything, it was simply that we were in a position last year where we had the screw turned on us.
“It was just a fear of that. We were just so driven to achieve more.”
O’Donoghue said he had “really enjoyed” the club season: “To be honest I'm devastated it's over. We've been going on a really good run there.
“When you're performing like that, week in, week out for three weeks, you want that to last. That's the feeling you're chasing, that winning feeling.
“Obviously we're going back into a great setup with Limerick. You just switch your focus to that. But it's been a fantastic year.”