Shane Dowling is Na Piarsaigh’s penalty shoot-out hero in Limerick SHC semi-final win over Doon:
By Tom Clancy Limerick Leader Sport
NA PIARSAIGH are back in the Bon Secours Limerick senior hurling championship final once again after securing a dramatic 4-3 penalty shoot-out semi-final victory over Doon at the TUS Gaelic Grounds on Saturday afternoon.
The teams had finished deadlocked after extra time, Na Piarsaigh 2-23, Doon 0-29, with the game then decided in a penalty-taking competition.
The sides were level after 60 minutes, thanks to a 12th point from the ever-impressive Adam English. Indeed, they were inseparable after another twenty minutes of action which saw the sides level another four times – allowing for the first ever Limerick SHC penalty shootout.
Shane Dowling saved four penalties, while his ex-intercounty colleague Kevin Downes, netted the winner when sending Tomas Lynch the wrong way. It was a dramatic end to a superb contest where Doon ignored their 19-point reversal at the hands of the same opposition in round three of this competition.
Typically, many of the leading lights are members of the Limerick senior side, with Adam English and Peter Casey among the chief scorers for their sides. There was little to separate these sides during this clash, with Doon backed by a strong vocal support at Limerick GAA HQ.
These sides were well matched all afternoon, level at the midway point, again at full time and again after 80 minutes. There was no shortage of drama too, Doon denied an early goal for a square ball while Shane Dowling missed a penalty in extra-time.
The clash with lit up by Adam English, who chipped over four from play, eight in all in a lively first half. Doon will regret only being level, 0-13 to 1-10 with a late David Breen goal briefly giving Na Piarsaigh the lead.
The second half looked to be heading on way when Breen netted his second goal, but there was to be a fightback from Doon. Cian O’Donovan, Pat Ryan and English were among the scorers as they got level.
The light blues led deep into five additional minutes, as JJ Carey fired over but the final say went to English, who held his nerve to land another free and bring the clash to extra-time.