Na Piarsaigh retain Limerick SHC title

Na Piarsaigh claimed an eight Limerick Senior Hurling title with a tense four-point victory over Patrickswell. At the TUS Gaelic Grounds it finished, Na Piarsaigh 1-20, Patrickswell 0-19.

Peter Casey’s kicked goal in the 25th minute gave the ‘Super Blues’ a grip of the Daly Cup, which they’d never release. In all, the winners had eight scorers and were strong at the back with William O’Donoghue anchoring the rearguard in front of captain Mike Casey.

Patrickswell were made to rue a couple goal chances let slip. Kevin O’Brien’s touched escaped him at a crucial point, while John Kirby flashed a pass across the square. Their best chance fell to O’Brien, who after good work from Jordan Higgins, fired an effort which was well beaten away by Shane Dowling in the Na Piarsaigh goal.

The Caherdavin men led by four at half-time with a 1-8 to 0-7 advantage – as Kevin Downes’ point closed a somewhat scrappy half of hurling. There was little between the sides but Casey’s moment of craftmanship the difference.

The Well couldn’t get level during the second half, with Kevin O’Brien and Jack Kelleher among their scorers but they weren’t able to supply marksman Aaron Gillane with the service which had helped him to top of the scoring charts this season.

Instead, it was Ronan Lynch and then Will Henn and David Dempsey who kept Shane O’Neill’s men in the driving seat right until the very last. An eight title that will taste oh so sweet for Na Piarsaigh, who recovered after an opening round defeat to the same opposition.

The All Ireland Intermediate team of 1998, which included a certain John Kiely, were introduced to the crowd at half-time.

Scorers for Patrickswell: Aaron Gillane 0-7 (0-5 frees);Jack Kelleher 0-4 (0-1 s/l); Diarmaid Byrnes 0-2 (0-2 frees); Kevin O’Brien 0-2; Evan Fitzgerald, Mark Carmody, Calvin Carroll, John Flynn 0-1 each.

Scorers for Na Piarsaigh: Ronan Lynch 0-8 (0-7 frees); Peter Casey 1-1; Kevin Downes 0-4; David Dempsey, Conor Boylan 0-2 each; Mike Foley, JJ Carey, Will Henn 0-1 each.

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

Subs: Keith Dempsey for Breen (57 mins); John Fitzgerald for Henn (62 mins).

Patrickswell: Jason Gillane; Kelvin Lynch, Mark Carmody, John Flynn; Evan Fitzgerald, Diarmaid Byrnes, Cian Fitzgearld; Jack Kelleher, Josh Considine; Kevin O’Brien, Cian Lynch, Jordan Higgins; Tom O’Brien, Aaron Gillane (C), John Kirby.

Subs: Patrick Kirby for T O’Brien (half-time), Tom Nolan for Evan Fitzgerald (temp – 36 – 40 mins); Calvin Carroll for Considine (44 mins), Nigel Foley for J Kirby (48 mins); Tom Nolan for Higgins (59 mins).

Referee: Michael Sexton (Bruree)

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