Na Piarsaigh demolish Clonoulty-Rossmore to reach Munster Club final:
By Joel Slattery Limerick Leader Sport
NA PIARSAIGH are just 60 minutes away from a historic fifth Munster club title after defeating Tipperary champions Clonoulty-Rossmore 3-22 to 0-13 in the Gaelic Grounds.
The Caherdavin men had 18 points to spare as they extended their remarkable unbeaten run in the provincial championship to 12 games with this facile victory.
The winners flew out of the blocks with Adrian Breen and Peter Casey causing trouble for the Clonoulty full back line. Two pointed frees from Shane Dowling and a Breen score from an acute angle gave the Limerick champions a 0-3 to no score lead after six minutes.
The Tipp side finally got off the mark through a Timmy Hammersley free before scores from Ronan Lynch, Dowling, Breen and the impressive David Dempsey saw the Caherdavin men have a 0-7 to 0-2 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
In a first half dominated by the Light Blues, the defending Munster champions found the back of the net in the 24th minute.
Great work from Will O’Donoughue, Alan Dempsey and Breen set up Kevin Downes who made no mistake with the finish to put Na Piarsaigh 1-11 to 0-4 ahead.
The Limerick side rose a second green flag on the stroke of half time when Peter Casey finished emphatically after being set up by Kevin Downes.
The Limerick side continued where they left off at the start of the second half with county final man of the match Alan Dempsey pointing less than 90 seconds after the restart.
Peter Casey and Ronan Lynch added quickfire points before Casey’s second goal put his side 20 points clear after 35 minutes.
However, to their credit, Clonoulty didn’t give up, the Premier county side hit four points in a row.
This run was broken by Adrian Breen’s fifth point from play as Na Piarsaigh eased to a fifth provincial final since 2011 with this impressive display.
SCORERS: Na Piarsaigh: Peter Casey 2-2; Adrian Breen 0-6; Shane Dowling 0-5 (5f); Kevin Downes 1-1 (1f); Ronan Lynch 0-3 (1f), Thomas Grimes 0-2; David Dempsey, Alan Dempsey, Conor Boylan 0-1 each
Clonoulty-Rossmore: Timmy Hammersley 0-8 (5f); Paudie White 0-2, Conor Hammersley, Dillon Quirke (sl), Cathal Bourke 0-1 each.
NA PIARSAIGH: Padraig Kennedy; Jerome Boylan, Michael Casey, Kieran Kennedy; Ronan Lynch, Will O’Donoghue, Cathall King; Alan Dempsey, Gordon Brown; David Dempsey, Shane Dowling, Conor Boylan; Adrian Breen, Kevin Downes, Peter Casey.
Subs: Conor Houlihan for Shane Dowling (29 mins); Kevin Ryan for Peter Casey (37 mins); Micahel Foley for Ronan Lynch (43 mins); Thomas Grimes for Alan Dempsey (44 mins); James O’Brien for Cathall King (54 mins).
CLONOULTY-ROSSMORE: Declan O’Dywer; Joey O’Keeffe, Ciaran Quirke, Jimmy Ryan Con; Sean O’Connor, John O’Keeffe, Enda Heffernan; James Heffernan, Conor Hammersley; Cathal Bourke; Dillon Quirke, Paudie White; Fiachra O’Keeffe, Timmy Hammersley, Tom Butler.
Subs: Thomas Butler for Fiachra O’Keeffe (ht); Ronan Heffernan for James Heffernan (37 mins); Paddy Ryan for Tom Butler (54 mins); Donnchadh Quirke for Jimmy Ryan Con (58 mins).
REFEREE: Diarmuid Kirwan (Cork).