Dempsey's double sees Na Piarsaigh shock Tipp kingpins

Loughmore were reduced to 14 men after only four minutes but looked set for victory before their Limerick rivals struck late.

Na Piarsaigh's David Dempsey celebrates scoring their second goal of the game.
Na Piarsaigh's David Dempsey celebrates scoring their second goal of the game.
Image: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Loughmore-Castleiney (Tipperary) 2-18

Na Piarsaigh (Limerick) 3-17

DAVID DEMPSEY’S TWO second half goals helped Limerick champions Na Piarsaigh past Tipperary kingpins Loughmore-Castleiney in a feisty AIB Munster senior club hurling quarter-final at Semple Stadium this afternoon.

Loughmore had two players sent off and Na Piarsaigh finished the game with 14 men following a hard-hitting encounter in Thurles.

Na Piarsaigh had to come from 10 points down in the second half to claim victory — and set up a semi-final meeting with Waterford representatives Passage, at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick on 10 November.

Loughmore trailed by 0-5 to 0-8 in the 21st minute when William O’Donoghue became the fifth Na Piarsaigh forward to register a score from play but that was the cue for the Tipperary kingpins to run riot before half-time. Loughmore led 1-11 to 0-8 at the break, with Liam McGrath netting in the 27th minute, as they defied the odds following Bourke’s sending-off.

A quickfire 1-1 from Cian Hennessy after half-time had Loughmore in 2-12 to 0-8 in front – and in sight of a remarkable victory. Loughmore then lost Willie Eviston to a straight red card – after fellow defender Derek Bourke was dismissed as early as the fourth minute.

Eviston was sent off after Kevin Downes had goaled for Na Piarsaigh to spark their fightback. And when Dempsey netted the first of his two goals, in the 39th minute, it was very much game on, in front of 1,642 spectators.

Na Piarsaigh also had a massive wind at their backs in the second half and yet Loughmore refused to bend. They received a boost with five minutes remaining when full-back Kieran Breen was sent off for an off the ball incident involving Liam McGrath.

It appeared that Loughmore might hold out but Dempsey broke their hearts in the final minute, after Loughmore goalkeeper Shane Nolan had brilliantly kept out Kevin Ryan’s shot.

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The brilliant Noel McGrath, scorer of nine points for Loughmore, reduced the deficit to just a point in stoppage time, 2-18 to 3-16, before Shane Dowling’s fifth point, and his fourth from a free, sealed the deal for Na Piarsaigh.

Scorers for Loughmore-Castleiney: Noel McGrath 0-9 (4f, 1 sl), Liam McGrath 1-3 (0-3f), Cian Hennessy 1-1, Ciaran McGrath 0-2, Tom King, John McGrath & Evan Sweeney 0-1 each.

Scorers for Na Piarsaigh: David Dempsey 2-1, Kevin Downes 1-2, Shane Dowling 0-5 (4f), Kevin Ryan & Pat Gleeson 0-2 each, David Breen, James O’Brien, William O’Donoghue, Kieran Kennedy & Adrian Breen 0-1 each.

LOUGHMORE-CASTLEINEY: Shane Nolan; Tommy Long, Derek Bourke, Lorcan Egan; Willie Eviston, John Meagher, Tom King; Ciaran McGrath, Tomás McGrath; John McGrath, David Kennedy, Liam McGrath; Evan Sweeney, Noel McGrath, Cian Hennessy.

Subs: Johnny Campion for Long (60), Micheál Webster for Hennessy (60).

NA PIARSAIGH: Padraig Kennedy; Kieran Breen, Niall Buckley, Michael Casey; Cathal King, David Breen, James O’Brien; Shane Dowling, Alan Dempsey; William O’Donoghue, Kevin Downes, David Dempsey; Kieran Kennedy, Kevin Ryan, Adrian Breen.

Subs: Pat Gleeson for Kennedy (h.t.), Damien Quigley for Adrian Breen (57), Brian Hartnett for Casey (60+3).

Referee: Cathal McAllister (Cork)

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Jackie Cahill

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