Sixmilebridge (Clare) 1-15 Na Piarsaigh (Limerick) 3-11
Na Piarsaigh maintained their hold over Sixmilebridge with a remarkable second half recovery to book their place in the Munster club semi-final this afternoon.
Two years on from their comprehensive final victory over the Clare champions in Ennis, this time Na Piarsaigh traveled to O’Garney Park in Sixmilebridge to stage an 11-point second-half turnaround in what was a compelling Munster Club Championship opener.
With a strong breeze dictating matters, hosts Sixmilebridge finally pulled clear in the second quarter to build up a nine-point half-time advantage. Up to that point, an early Adrian Breen goal ensured that the sides would be on level terms at 0-04 to 0-01 by the end of the opening quarter.
Sixmilebridge eventually seized control, with a Cathal Malone goal commencing a purple patch that would see the Clare representatives outscore their opponents by 1-08 to 0-02 for the remainder of the half to take a 1-12 to 1-03 interval lead.
The roles were totally reversed on the restart however as wind-assisted Na Piarsaigh went direct and reaped a brace of goals inside the opening ten minutes through Kevin Downes and Peter Casey to cut the arrears to just three at 1-14 to 3-05.
With moment firmly behind them, they would continue their rampage with six of the last seven points to prevail by two, despite a last-gasp scare when Niall Gilligan’s 25-metre free cannoned off the crossbar much to the relief of the Limerick support.
Na Piarsaigh will now face Tipperary champions Thurles Sarsfields at the last-four stage in the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick in a fortnight’s time.
Sixmilebridge: Derek Fahy; Barry Fitzpatrick, Aidan Quilligan, Seadna Morey; Noel Purcell, Caimin Morey, Paidi Fitzpatrick; Jamie Shanahan, Conor Deasy (0-01); Cathal Malone (1-01), Niall Gilligan (0-07, 0-05f), Brian Carey (0-01); Brian Corry (0-02), Shane Golden (0-01), Alex Morey (0-02)
Subs: Alan Mulready for Corry (21, inj), Danny Morey for A. Morey (47), Pa Sheehan for Deasy (47), Kevin Lynch for Malone (50, inj), Tadgh Keogh for Purcell (56)
Na Piarsaigh: Podge Kennedy; Mike Casey, Kieran Breen, Kieran Kennedy; Cathal King, Ronan Lynch (0-01, 0-01f), Mike Foley; Alan Dempsey, Will O’Donoghue; Kevin Ryan (0-01), David Dempsey (0-01), Adrian Breen (1-02); Shane Dowling (0-05, 0-03f, 0-01’65), Kevin Downes (1-01), Peter Casey (1-00)
Sub: Pat Gleeson for Ryan (57)
Referee: Cathal Egan (Cork)