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Kilmallock upset the odds to win Limerick SHC title

Na Piarsaigh had gone into the game as heavy favourites.

Paudie and Fiadh O'Brien celebrate after the game.
Paudie and Fiadh O'Brien celebrate after the game.
Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Kilmallock 1-15

Na Piarsaigh 0-14

EOIN RYAN HIT 1-4 as Kilmallock regained the Limerick senior hurling championship at the Gaelic Grounds this afternoon.

Kilmallock, managed by former Clare All-Ireland SHC medallist Ger ‘Sparrow’ O’Loughlin, upset the formbook as they defeated 2011 and 2013 champions Na Piarsaigh by four points.

Kilmallock collected an eleventh title, and third in five seasons, with a gritty display in front of 2,910 spectators on a greasy afternoon.

Kilmallock survived the loss of Liam Walsh shortly before half-time, as the wing-back was sent off for retaliation after he was fouled initially by Kevin Downes.

But Na Piarsaigh lost a man with ten minutes left when sub Kevin Ryan was dismissed for drawing across Ryan, who popped over the resultant free.

Kilmallock, 5-2 outsiders before throw-in, advance to an AIB Munster semi-final clash with Cork kingpins Sarsfields on November 9.

And they will quietly fancy their chances on home soil after overcoming red-hot favourites Na Piarsaigh, who beat them by 12 points in a first round tie back in May.

Eoin Ryan’s third-minute goal set Kilmallock on their way and at half-time, the winners were 1-9 to 0-5 clear, despite losing the services of Walsh.

Captain Graeme Mulcahy was excellent with three points in that opening half, a tally matched by man of the match and wing-back Kevin O’Donnell.

It was a day when Na Piarsaigh’s big guns Downes and Shane Dowling struggled to fire as Kilmallock displayed a far greater intensity and hunger for the fight.

And despite playing against the breeze in the second half, Kilmallock dug in and absorbed whatever Na Piarsaigh threw at them.

Gavin O’Mahony was another to excel for Kilmallock, as the Limerick star typified the workrate that ensured another landmark victory for the pre-match underdogs.

Scorers for Kilmallock: Eoin Ryan 1-4 (0-4f), Graeme Mulcahy 0-4, Kevin O’Donnell & Gavin O’Mahony 0-3 each, Robbie Egan 0-1.
Scorers for Na Piarsaigh: Shane Dowling 0-4 (2f), Ronan Lynch (1 sl, 1 65), Kevin Downes & Adrian Breen 0-2 each, David Breen, Alan Dempsey, David Dempsey & William O’Donoghue 0-1 each.

Kilmallock

1. Barry Hennessy

2. Liam Hurley
3. Mark O’Loughlin
4. Aaron Costello

5. Liam Walsh.
6. Philip O’Loughlin
7. Kevin O’Donnell

8. Bryan O’Sullivan
10. Jake Mulcahy

9. Paudie O’Brien
11. Gavin O’Mahony
12. Robbie Egan

13. Graeme Mulcahy
20. Kieran Kennelly
14. Eoin Ryan

Sub
21. Robbie Hanley for Kennelly (half-time).

Na Piarsaigh

1. Padraig Kennedy

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

5. Cathal King
6. David Breen
7. Ronan Lynch

8. Pat Gleeson
9. Alan Dempsey

10. James O’Brien
11. Kevin Downes
12. Adrian Breen

13. David Dempsey
14. Shane Dowling.
15. William O’Donoghue

Subs
21. Kevin Ryan for O’Brien (19).
24. Peter Casey for Gleeson (45)
20. Mike Foley for Alan Dempsey (55).

Referee: Jason Mullins (Saint Kieran’s)

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About the author:

Jackie Cahill

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