A second-half fight back from Oola secured a first Irish Wire Products sponsored Limerick Senior Football final since 1980. Final Score - OOLA 2-9 ST KIERANS 0-9
The east Limerick men were pushed all the way by St Kierans, but a strong final quarter hour booked them a place in the decider against Newcastle West. (The original date for this final is October 13, but this may now change due to the Limerick Senior hurlers holiday, but this is to be confirmed in the coming days)
Kem Downey’s side had goals from John Bourke and Ian Bourke as their ability to raise green flags proved crucial once again. The win sets up a repeat of the round five clash, where Oola defeated the Magpies by a single point.
This tie was played in extremely wet conditions at the Ennis Road venue, and it was St Kierans who dominated the opening half. A first minute pointed free was cancelled out by Sean McSweeney, who added two more, including one from play to make it 0-3 to 0-1 after 15 minutes.
Handling errors were costing Oola, though Josh Ryan scored direct from a sideline ball, with the score of the evening. Teenager John Hayes, who was impressive in their quarter-final victory over Fr Casey’s, kicked three points late in the half to put his side 0-7 to 0-3 ahead at the break.
John Bourke would produce second half heroics, as he kicked 1-2 in the first 15 minutes to haul his side level. His 45th minute goal lifted Oola, adding to two fine points ealier in the half.
Oola kicked three wides in a row but it was McSweeney, off the ground, who put Kierans ahead with a well taken free on 51 minutes. This was just their second point of the half, but crucially, their last. It was the men in red and white who dominated the final moments. Ian Bourke, like his namesake John, would find the target late on. Bourke brought them level before Eamon Landers had them ahead. An exquisite Josh Ryan ‘45’ put them two ahead for the first time while Ian Bourke was on target from the resultant kick-out.
He would pounce on a defensive mix-up to find the net with time almost up as St Kierans had no answer. Depsite their 6 second-half wides, Oola won enough possession and kept their cool to defeat St Kierans for the second time this season.
The roar at full-time defied the small crowd in attendance, as Oola return to centre stage for the first time since the lost to Thomond College in 1980.
SCORERS: OOLA: Josh Ryan 0-4 (0-1free, 0-1 sideline, 0-1 ‘45’); John Bourke 1-2, Ian Bourke 1-2, Eamon Landers 0-1
ST KIERAN’S: Sean McSweeney 0-5 (0-4 frees), John Hayes 0-3 (0-2 frees); Seamus Mangan 0-1
OOLA: Kevin Nolan; Eoin Fitzgibbon (capt), Tommy Hayes, Fiarchra O’Grady; James Power, Stephen Ryan, John Bourke; Conor Ryan, Darragh O’Donovan; Eamon Landers, Josh Ryan, Mike O’Brien; Richie English, Jack Downey.
SUBS: Dúbhan O’Grady for Power (26 mins), Ian Bourke for Downey (39 mins); Patrick Cummins for C. Ryan 59 mins); Bob Purcell for P Ryan (60 mins)
ST KIERAN’S: Rob Bradley; Mossie Shine, Paudie McCarthy, Diarmuid Mulcahy; Anthony Mullins, Johnny McCarthy, Kevin Meade; Liam Kennedy, Darragh Treacy; Anthony Molyneaux (capt), John Hayes, Noel Callanan; Sean McSweeney, Donie Nolan, Seamus Mangan
SUBS: Killian Enright for Mullins (44 mins), Ray Cahill for Nolan (49 mins), John Doyle for Hayes (56 mins) Diarmuid Crowley for Meade (61 mins)
Referee: Martin Doherty (Rathkeale)