Lacklustre Na Piarsaigh bow out to Ballygunner

Na Piarsaigh slumped to a four point loss in their Munster Senior Club Hurling Championship semi-final, against Ballygunner of Waterford, with over 3,000 in attendance at a breezy TUS Gaelic Grounds.

The Caherdavin men were second best for much of this contest and despite a late 1-2, they were unable to get into a winning position.

Trailing 0-7 to 0-6 at the interval, it was an opening half which didn’t live up to expectations of a classic with only a handful of scores from play. Among those were Will Henn and then Adrian Breen – but they were the only two to score from play for the light blues over the duration.

Dessie Hutchinson looked lively and he, together with Ronan Power, landed white flags to give the defending champions that slender interval lead.

Shane O’Neill’s men only managed one point in the third quarter, as the Gunners swelled their advantage to five in the same period.

Indeed, six points on the spin were confirmed with Pauric Mahony landed his 10th, his third from play.
Na Piarsaigh did get some joy late on, as Lynch knocked over two frees. There was to the games only goal when Adrian Breen whipped to the net in the 59th minute to suddenly leave three between the sides.

There was a near miss, as David Dempsey fired goalwards from virtually inside the square, only for Stephen O’Keeffe to clear the ball away. Mahony’s free then put four between them.

The Waterford side will now face Clonlara in next months decider.

Scorers for Na Piarsaigh: Ronan Lynch 0-7 (0-6 frees, 0-1 65s); Adrian Breen 1-1; Will Henn 0-1.

Scorers for Ballygunner:
Pauric Mahony 0-11 (0-6 frees, 0-2 65s); Dessie Hutchinson, Ronan Power 0-2 each; Harry Ruddle 0-1.

Na Piarsaigh:
Shane Dowling; Emmet McEvoy, Mike Casey (C), Cathal King; Mike Foley, Will O’Donoghue, Vince Harrington; Conor Boylan, David Dempsey; JJ Carey, Peter Casey, Kevin Downes; Will Henn, Ronan Lynch, Adrian Breen.

Keith Dempsey for Carey (42 mins), John Fitzgerald for Foley (48 mins); Wayne Kearns for King (52 mins)

Stephen O’Keeffe; Ian Kenny, Barry Coughlan, Tadhg Foley; Shane O’Sullivan, Phillip Mahony, Ronan Power; Conor Sheahan, Paddy Leavey; Peter Hogan, Mikey Mahony, Pauric Mahony; Patrick Fitzgerald; Dessie Hutchinson, Kevin Mahony.

Harry Ruddle for Fitzgerald (46 mins); Billy O’Keeffe for Hogan (59 mins).

Referee: Michael Kennedy (Tipperary)

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