James Crombie/INPHO The Na Piarsaigh team before Sunday's final.
# Eyes on the Prize
Nash: Na Piarsaigh playing like a team 'hoping to end up in Croke Park'
The Limerick side haven’t prevailed in Munster since 2017.

ANTHONY NASH SAYS Na Piarsaigh are playing like a team “that are hoping to end up in Croke Park” following their Limerick SHC final success last weekend. 

The city club has won seven county titles since their first in 2011, in addition to four Munster crowns and an All-Ireland success in 2016.

However, Na Piarsaigh haven’t tasted victory on the provincial stage in five years.

Nash’s South Liberties went down in the semi-final to the newly crowned county champions, and the former Cork goalkeeper says they’re on a collision course with Waterford kingpins Ballygunner in Munster.

The ‘Gunner face Kilruane MacDonaghs in the Munster club quarter-finals, with the winners taking on Na Piarsaigh in the semi-finals. 

Nash has been impressed with Na Piarsaigh’s form this season as they’ve been posted by the return of brothers Mike and Peter Casey from injury. 

“The Kilmallock game I thought would have been a bit closer,” said Nash on the latest episode of The42′s GAA Weekly podcast.

“I know they got the goals near the end but I still felt there was a slight gap there between (them and) Na Piarsaigh.

“I thought Na Piarsaigh were streets ahead of everyone in Limerick this year,” he continued. 

“Not writing off Kilruane, but everyone is probably looking at Ballygunner and Na Piarsaigh (in Munster). Celebrations were muted. In a way they go, ‘Right, that’s step one of the journey done.’

“You have certain teams all over the country that, even if they don’t admit it, they’re thinking of Croke Park. Ballygunner are one, Na Piarsaigh are another, in Leinster there’s Ballyhale Shamrocks.

“Anything less is a disappointing year. If Ballygunner or Na Piarsaigh lose in Munster, that’s a disappointing year. It’s the same for St Thomas’ in Galway too.”

Nash was highly impressed with Na Piarsaigh’s dismissal of Kilmallock in last Sunday’s county final.

“The thing for me that I have to compliment Na Piarsaigh in more than anything else is the way they wear teams down physically. Kilmallock were in the game and all of a sudden then they just hit thump, and mixing in their ability to hurl is very high.

“They probably had 10 or 11 lads involved with Limerick at one stage or another over the last decade. To be fair to them they are an exceptional team. 

“It’s not that I’m writing off anyone but everyone outside of it will look at Ballygunner and Na Piarsaigh as the titanic battle that people are expecting them to see.”

To listen to the full episode and enjoy the benefits of membership, click here. 

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