Who would have believed that when Na Piarsaigh scored only three points against an Adare group in their first ever Limerick eight years that they’d go to dominate, not just their particular county, but their province in such a manner?

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Conor Boylan of Na Piarsaigh celebrates his side’s second goal as Ballygunner players look forlorn. Photo: Sportsfile
Conor Boylan of Na Piarsaigh observes his aspect’s second goal since Ballygunner players seem forlorn. Photo: Sportsfile

Who would have believed that when Na Piarsaigh scored only three points against an Adare group in their first ever Limerick eight years that they’d go to dominate, not just their particular county, but their province in such a manner?

Of what they have achieved in Semple Stadium yesterday the circumstance must be set against the foundation of the storied roll of honor of the province.

Na Piarsaigh captain Cathall King lifts the Billy O’Neill Cup after the Limerick side’s victory. Photo: Sportsfile

Blackrock direct with five Munster names but are par with these Cork city leaders of the club sport, Na Piarsaigh, St Finbarr’s, and one ahead of additional pillar clubs such as Toomevara Glen Rovers and Sixmilebridge.

Within their Caherdavin clubhouse last night the need to pinch themselves to love that the last six years are real had to have been widespread. This was an 11th game in Munster club hurling that they have not dropped in four different campaigns. Phenomenal.

By comparison, it was a seventh Munster club final defeat for the Gunners who have reeled off a four-in-a-row at Waterford without even having the ability to capitalise outside that.

As much as Na Piarsaigh are a lustrous set of hurlers they’re a group of personality . That much was in evidence in a attritional. Referee Rory McGann who incurred the wrath of both sets of supporters among the 3,319 crowd for failing to blow for a few obvious frees demanding and very policed the trades. But, in fairness to the Clare official, he was balanced about it and sought to allow it flow.

Na Piarsaigh’s Alan Dempsey in action against Ballygunner’s Harley Barnes (leading) and Peter Hogan. Photo: Sportsfile

Past the Waterford winners devised four things clear and it looked like they were going to break the spirit of Na Piarsaigh once they did it the second time, with three points in quick succession shortly to direct by 1-7 to 0-6.

However, the tougher it is the more they appear to appreciate it and finally their superior power kicked in.

Ballygunner had to have been frustrated to not have led by more than only a point at the rest, their goal coming from Conor Power who obtained from Na Piarsaigh corner-back Jerome Boylan.

They had been dominant and defiant in the majority of the rucks and 50/50 collisions that manifested, a indication of their willingness. Philip Mahony was excellent from the nuts and bolts of function that is defensive .

Adrian Breen of Na Piarsaigh creates a grab before Ballygunner’s Eddie Hayden. Photo: Sportsfile

They must have felt as though it might function as day, only 18 minutes in when Ian Kenny obstructed Stephen O’Keeffe rescued from Conor Boylan from the followup and an Adrian Breen shooter along with his mind. Na Piarsaigh could sense the ball not ran for them although Ronan Lynch converted the.

“We looked fair, we were falling balls that we had been first to. We n’t won sterile possession we n’t won breaks around the center of the area. Whenever you aren’t winning primary possession you are on the back foot straight away,” proposed Na Piarsaigh supervisor Shane O’Neill.


Pauric Mahony left them off. This is a day if his radar and measurement tools were off although Mahony has carried Waterford and Ballygunner teams on the back of his accuracy from placed balls.

True, the majority of the six frees (three short, three broad) that he left out there from were out of between both 65-metre lines. But that’s a range from which there is anticipation of Mahony. Into the bargain there were two further wides out of play.

Photo: Sportsfile

In his past few games alone he’s contributed 0-11, 1-11 and 0-9. In which the shortfall was, those figures alone illustrate.

Naturally, there was not anything but compliments. “A huge amount of his frees were tough frees to get a day with a wet ball. There are loads of other facets in fairness. Pauric Mahony likely got us here. A lot of days he’s pulled us out of the flame.”

Finally responsibility passed on to Billy O’Keeffe who obtained one albeit by a close variety. By then Na Piarsaigh were at full throttle. Adrian Breen was a touchstone for everything producitive, hitting on 1-5 and put up David Breen to their opening goal on 35 minutes to restore parity and even his pressuring of two Ballygunner defenders made the opening to Kevin Downes to twist off.

The ball was back from the Limerick champions’ courtroom today and, overcoming the lack of Shane Dowling after more, Adrian Breen and Kevin Downes tagged on scores to make some distance.

By the minute it was 1-13 to 1-9, Na Piarsaigh defenders such as Mike Casey and Niall Buckley closing down every avenue of opportunity.

But then Buckley came under also his offload and pressure to Ronan Lynch, who’d steered more than two lovely sidelines, put the midfielder in trouble and also ownership decreasing to Peter Hogan Ballygunner had the tonic of a goal.

But the physical force of Na Piarsaigh was overwhelming and to the Ballygunner goalmouth a minute out of Alan Dempsey’s insecure ball later David Breen broke and brother Adrian snapped for a second objective.

In the dying light that they piled it on and with having been yellow-carded, to an off-the-ball offence between David Breen, Ballygunner got ragged. David Breen had the final say, planting a goal.

“Crazy” is how O’Neill described the last six years that has included the 2016 All-Ireland name. “Winning four Munster club names, it’s a phenomenal accomplishment. The only club we’re behind today is Blackrock, who are one of the best teams ever to play, be it at county or club level. For our men to win as much as we’ve won because 2011 just and to be just one supporting them shows how men that are challenging they are.

“It is more than simply blowing ourselves we must do! Up to 2011 we had been trying so hard simply to break through at the county but what has occurred over the last six or seven years, it’s mad really.”

“To be honest we haven’t any complaints,” conceded Hartley. “They left everything on the area and they did their very best. That is all you can ask of fellas daily that they go out.

“They are a enormous physical team and we understood that. And we believe we’re a team and we’re able for this.

“However, a number of the contact there was huge and, even in that regard, it was a wonderful sport to watch. In fairness to the referee, there were a few conclusions that both groups would have felt if he is consistent I think it is the best method and would have gone their way but he abandoned it run.

As to whether they could bounce back, Hartley confessed another Munster club final had been “a very long way off”.

“If you think what you need to do to get here in the first place, beat the likes of Thurles Sars, Sixmilebridge, De La Salle, Lismore, Mount Sion. It just seems like a hell of a long way off again.”

Scorers – Na Piarsaigh: A Breen 1-5, D Breen 2-0, P Casey, R Lynch (2 sls, 1 65) 0-3 each, K Downes 0-2, T Grimes, C Boylan 0-1 each. Ballygunner: P Hogan 1-2, B O’Keeffe (1f) 0-4, C Power 1-0, D O’Sullivan, Pauric Mahony (1f) 0-2 each.

Subs: K Ryan for D Dempsey inj (43), G Brown to get Boylan (60).

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