Na Piarsaigh: 5-27, Doon: 1-12.
Na Piarsaigh made up for last year’s county final defeat in devastating fashion with a 27-point win over Doon on Saturday at the Gaelic Grounds. The city side produced a brilliant display of score taking and had too much firepower for a Doon side who came up well short on the day. After a close opening quarter, Kieran Bermingham’s side showed their experience and class to pull away before half time, while the second half became a scoring exhibition. Although they were without star forward Shane Dowling, the likes of Peter Casey, David Dempsey and Adrian Breen were on fire as they demolished Doon.
Unfortunately for Doon, they had to line out without two of their county players, Richie English and Darragh O’Donovan, both of whom were injured for the final. The opening quarter was a close affair, with Na Piarsaigh getting scores from Peter Casey, William Henn and Adrian Breen, while Doon matched them with scores from wing back Cormac Ryan and midfielder Josh Ryan (0-2). Doon were well in the game, with Cormac Ryan getting some good long range frees, as they trailed by 0-8 to 0-6. However, Na Piarsaigh raised their game and pulled away before half time. The city men outscored Doon by 1-4 to 0-3 during this period as they took control. David Dempsey got the first goal of the game, which put Na Piarsaigh in the driving seat as they led by 1-12 to 0-9 at half time.
Dempsey’s second goal came early in the second half, and it looked like curtains for Doon at this stage. However, Tony Ward’s side continued to battle and were awarded a penalty, which Barry Murphy blasted to the net. Na Piarsaigh responded at the other end, with scores from Peter Casey, Dempsey and Henn to extend their lead to ten points. Will O’Donoghue and Thomas Grimes were outstanding in midfield for Na Piarsaigh. Unfortunately, the Doon players’ heads appeared to drop, as Na Piarsaigh showed their ruthless streak in the final quarter. Casey scored two brilliant goals for the city side, while he also made a great pass to Adrian Breen, who fired home a fifth goal to put the icing on the cake. William Henn, Thomas Grimes and Ronan Lynch added points for Na Piarsaigh, as they finished in style. Doon were simply outclassed as Na Piarsaigh outscored them by 3-8 to no score in the last quarter. It was an unfortunate way for their season to end, but the east Limerick team did extremely well to reach the county final with injuries to some of their most experienced players. O’Donovan and English were huge losses on the day, but Doon’s young team will undoubtedly be back in the future. For Na Piarsaigh, it was a day they underlined their status as Limerick’s most dominant senior club of the last decade.
Na Piarsaigh: P. Kennedy, K. Kennedy, M. Casey, C. King; A. Dempsey, R. Lynch (0-4, 0-3 frees, 0-1 ’65), J. Boylan; T. Grimes (0-2), W. O’Donoghue; A. McNamara, C. Boylan (0-2), P. Casey (2-4); W. Henn (0-8, 0-7 frees), A. Breen (1-3), D. Dempsey (2-2). Subs: M. Foley for A. Dempsey (53 mins), J. O’Brien (0-2, 0-1 free) for Lynch (55 mins), N. Buckley for Kennedy (55 mins).
Doon: E. McNamara, C. Thomas, E. Fitzgibbon, T. Hayes; J. Cummins (0-1), M. O’Brien, C. Ryan (0-3, all frees); M. Ryan, J. Ryan (0-2); B. Murphy (1-4, 0-3 frees, 1-0 pen, 0-1 ’65), P. Ryan, D. Moloney (0-2); E. Stokes, D. Stapleton, J. Ryan. Subs: D. Coleman for M. Ryan (28 mins), P. Cummins for Hayes (HT), C. O’Donovan for Stokes (44 mins).
Referee: J. Murphy.