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Na Piarsaigh atone for 2019 final loss to send 14-man Patrickswell out in Limerick

They’ll face Doon in the decider.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Na Piarsaigh 1-25
Patrickswell 0-17

NA PIARSAIGH LOST last year’s county final and their opening game in this year’s championship but the dominant team of the last decade in Limerick hurling generally have the knack of winning when it matters most.

It is that trait which surfaced as they knocked out reigning champions Patrickswell at the semi-final stage tonight and why they can prepare themselves for the decider next weekend.

A ninth final appearance in 12 seasons beckons for Na Piarsaigh, they will aim to claim their sixth crown since 2011 and replicate their victory over Doon two years ago.

This clash shifted firmly in their direction when Patrickswell lost defender Seanie O’Brien to a second yellow card before the break. Na Piarsaigh had been hurling with purpose and style before then, 0-14 to 0-9 clear at the break, and they exploited the extra man advantage as the second half wore on, chipping in with the last seven points of the game.

Patrickswell fought ferociously hard to hold onto their title with their standout names providing the expected leadership. But despite the heroics at times of Aaron Gillane, Cian Lynch and Diarmaid Byrnes, Na Piarsaigh’s class and extra energy told in the finale.

William Henn hit the opening point of the game and finished with nine to his credit. The team managed by Kieran Bermingham and coached by Tipperary’s Declan Fanning had 11 different players who contributed in the scoring department. That array of players helped them go ahead by three inside eight minutes, five at the break and eventually have 11 to spare.

Patrickswell had their moments as well. In a game where both teams thundered into each other early on in a furious contest, it was Patrickswell who would have been pleased to be 0-8 to 0-7 adrift at the first water break.

Even when things looked ominous after the interval when O’Brien had seen red, they set about eating into Na Piarsaigh’s advantage. Cian Lynch demonstrated his obvious class by clipping over a pair of points, Diarmaid Byrnes converted a free from distance.

They were trailing 0-14 to 0-12 but looked the more buoyant team. Then Na Piarsaigh hit them for that critical goal from Dempsey and it always looked a highly difficult task from there. Patrickswell ran out of steam ultimately and struggled to find support for their talisman up front in Gillane.

Na Piarsaigh kept pushing until the finish for their part, a string of points sending them into the final in style.

Scorers for Na Piarsaigh: William Henn 0-9 (0-6f), David Dempsey 1-1, Ronan Lynch 0-3 (0-2 ’65, 0-1f), Kevin Downes, William O’Donoghue, Thomas Grimes, Peter Casey 0-2 each, Conor Boylan, Adam McNamara, Adrian Breen, Jerome Boylan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Patrickswell: Aaron Gillane 0-9 (0-7f), Cian Lynch, Diarmaid Byrnes (0-2f) 0-3 each, John Flynn, Kevin O’Brien 0-1 each.

Na Piarsaigh

1. Padraig Kennedy

3. Mike Casey
4. Cathal King

7. Alan Dempsey

2. Jerome Boylan
6. Ronan Lynch
20. Kieran Kennedy

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8. Thomas Grimes
9. William O’Donoghue (captain)

13. Peter Casey
14. Conor Boylan
11. Kevin Downes

15. William Henn
10. Adrian Breen
12. David Dempsey

Subs

22. Adam McNamara for Downes (inj) (29)
5. Mike Foley for Grimes (58)
23. James O’Brien for Kieran Kennedy (60)
17. Niall Buckley for King (63)

Patrickswell

1. Brian Murray

2. Seanie O’Brien
3. Nigel Foley
4. Tom Nolan

6. Diarmaid Byrnes

8. Josh Considine
5. Paudie Maher
7. Mark Carmody

9. Cian Lynch (captain)
12. John Flynn

10. Jack Kelleher
11. Kevin O’Brien
15. Tom O’Brien

13. Jason Gillane
15. Aaron Gillane

Subs

17. Cian Fitzgerald for Carmody (inj) (37)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole  / Reports from Gaelic Grounds

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