Na Piarsaigh defeat Doon in Limerick SHC Final
Limerick Senior Hurling Championship Final
NA PIARSAIGH 2-22 DOON 3-10
By Daragh Small at the Gaelic Grounds
Na Piarsaigh’s Shane Dowling scored 12 points as he crowned a brilliant hurling year with another Limerick SHC title after victory over Doon.
Doon scored goals at the start of each half but the reigning Munster champions held their nerve following the strikes from Pat Ryan and Dean Coleman.
Dowling scored some crucial frees while the strong midfield pairing of Alan Dempsey and Gordon Brown were on form also. But goals from David Dempsey and Adrian Breen secured a fifth title in eight years for Na Piarsaigh.
Doon had the dream start and Pat Ryan fired a goal past Pádraig Kennedy in the Na Piarsaigh goal inside two minutes.
But the reigning champions showed composure though. Gordon Brown scored their first point in the sixth minute. He doubled his tally and then from a very tight angle Adrian Breen drew the sides level in the tenth minute.
Doon hit back with two frees from Barry Murphy. And their inside forward line of county stars Murphy and Ryan became the obvious threat. Na Piarsaigh had more of a potent attacking unit but Doon captain Richie English led the resistance.
Na Piarsaigh drew level for the second time after points from Peter Casey and Alan Dempsey. But when Cathal McNamara went short with a free a snapshot from Dean Coleman landed over the bar.
Shane Dowling tapped over his first free and Brown’s third point gave Na Piarsaigh the lead for the first time in the 23rd minute.
There was a sense of an inevitability about how the champions crept their way back into the game and despite a second Coleman effort, Dowling cancelled out with another free.
Dowling scored two more frees before half-time, either side of an Alan Dempsey point and Na Piarsaigh went into the break with an 0-11 to 1-5 advantage.
Just like the first half Doon made a blistering start to the second. Pat Ryan carved out the opportunity when he raced through the defence and Coleman applied the finish.
But again Na Piarsaigh weren’t rattled, instead they scored 1-2. Their goal came in the 38th minute, Casey drove in along the end-line and his pass was flicked to the net by David Dempsey.
Doon stayed in the game with Pat Ryan and Murphy amongst the scores again. But the challengers were too reliant on their full-forward line. Conor Boylan and Kevin Downes were the only players from the Na Piarsaigh front eight who had not scored.
Dowling added his first from play in the 44th minute and that gave Na Piarsaigh a 1-16 to 2-7 lead. And the killer second goal arrived six minutes later when Breen burst through to score.
Murphy scored a third Doon goal as the game ticked into three minutes of additional time but Dowling rounded off the scoring.
Scorers for Na Piarsaigh: Shane Dowling 0-12 (0-8f, 0-1 65), Adrian Breen 1-2, David Dempsey 1-0, Gordon Brown 0-3, Peter Casey 0-3, Alan Dempsey 0-2.
Scorers for Doon: Barry Murphy 1-7 (0-7f), Damien Coleman 1-2, Pat Ryan 1-1.
Na Piarsaigh: Pádraic Kennedy; Jerome Boylan, Mike Casey, Kieran Kennedy; Ronan Lynch, William O’Donoghue, Cathal King; Alan Dempsey, Gordon Brown; David Dempsey, Shane Dowling, Conor Boylan; Aidan Breen, Kevin Downes, Peter Casey. Subs: Conor Houlihan for A Dempsey (52), Michael Foley for King (61), Kevin Ryan for C Boylan (62).
Doon: Cathal McNamara; Brian McPartland, Richie English, Stephen Ryan; Denis Moloney, Mike O’Brien, Eddie Kiely; Josh Ryan, John Hayes; Patrick Cummins, Darragh O’Donovan, Darragh Stapleton; Dean Coleman, Pat Ryan, Barry Murphy. Subs: Michael Ryan for Hayes (30), Jack Cummins for P Cummins (45), Jack Ryan for Stapleton (57).
Referee: Jason O’Mahony (Limerick).