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Limerick champions come from nine points down to book Munster semi-final spot

Na Piarsaigh overcame Sixmilebridge at O’Garney Park.

Sixmilebridge's Seadhna Morey and Shane Dowling of Na Piarsaigh challenge for possession.
Sixmilebridge's Seadhna Morey and Shane Dowling of Na Piarsaigh challenge for possession.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Na Piarsaigh (Limerick) 3-11

Sixmilebridge (Clare) 1-15

NA PIARSAIGH’S BID for a third Munster Club SHC title in five years took a significant leap forward this afternoon after they recovered from a nine-point half-time deficit to prevail against hosts Sixmilebridge in today’s quarter-final at O’Garney Park.

Having overcome Clare opposition in their last two Munster deciders, including a 24-point pummelling of today’s opponents two years ago, Na Piarsaigh would show superb character to repeat the dose in an 11-point second-half turnaround.

A strong wind would dictate matters throughout, with home side Sixmilebridge eventually snatching the whip hand in the second quarter after conceding an early goal to Adrian Breen. Level at 0-4 to 1-1 by the 15th minute, the Banner representatives would outscore their neighbours by 1-8 to 0-2 for the remainder of the half to ease to a 1-12 to 1-03 interval lead.

Munster debutant Cathal Malone got the vital goal for the hosts in the 20th minute, a score which would provide the perfect boost as seven different scorers picked off points on their way to a healthy nine-point cushion, despite the best efforts of David Dempsey.

Shane Golden and Mike Casey Sixmilebridge's Shane Golden is pursued by Mike Casey of Na Piarsaigh. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

However, it was a totally different story on the restart as Na Piarsaigh used the wind advantage to shower long balls into their full-forward line, a tactic that would reap immediate rewards with two goals inside the opening ten minutes of the second-half.

Kevin Downes was central to both, first seizing on a defensive error to fire to an empty net before catching a puck-out to set up Peter Casey for the second and slash the arrears to just three at 1-14 to 3-05.

Gathering momentum, they would finally gain parity by the 51st minute with a Ronan Lynch free from his own half, while late points from Adrian Breen and Shane Dowling saw them hit the front for the first time since the tenth minute.

True to form, Sixmilebridge refused to yield and almost stole victory with the last puck of the game, only for a Niall Gilligan 25-metre free to rebound off the crossbar as a relieved Na Piarsiagh held on for a place in the last four in Munster against their Tipperary equivalents.

Will O'Donoghue and Peter Casey celebrate Na Piarsaigh's Will O'Donoghue and Peter Casey celebrate after the game. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Scorers for Sixmilebridge: Niall Gilligan 0-7 (5f); Cathal Malone 1-1; Brian Corry, Alex Morey 0-2 each; Conor Deasy, Brian Carey, Shane Golden 0-1 each

Scorers for Na Piarsaigh: Shane Dowling 0-5 (3f, 1 ’65); Adrian Breen 1-2; Kevin Downes 1-1; Peter Casey 1-0; David Dempsey, Kevin Ryan, Ronan Lynch (f) 0-1 each

Sixmilebridge

1. Derek Fahy

2. Barry Fitzpatrick
3. Aidan Quilligan
4. Seadna Morey

5. Noel Purcell
6. Caimin Morey
7. Paidi Fitzpatrick

8. Jamie Shanahan
11. Conor Deasy

10. Cathal Malone
14. Niall Gilligan
9. Brian Carey

15. Brian Corry
12. Shane Golden
13. Alex Morey

Subs:

28. Alan Mulready for Corry (21 mins, inj)
27. Danny Morey for A. Morey (47 mins)
17. Pa Sheehan for Deasy (47 mins)
18. Kevin Lynch for Malone (50 mins, inj)
20. Tadgh Keogh for Purcell (56 mins)

Na Piarsaigh

1. Podge Kennedy

2. Mike Casey
3. Kieran Breen
4. Kieran Kennedy

7. Cathal King
6. Ronan Lynch
5. Mike Foley

8. Alan Dempsey
9. Will O’Donoghue

15. Kevin Ryan
10. David Dempsey
12. Adrian Breen

14. Shane Dowling
11. Kevin Downes
13. Peter Casey

Subs:

Pat Gleeson for Ryan (57 mins)

Referee: Cathal Egan (Cork)

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About the author:

Eoin Brennan

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