CHAMPIONS Na Piarsaigh crashed out the Limerick senior hurling championship when defeated 4-24 to 4-13 at the semi-final stage by Kilmallock
The Caherdavin men, who were Limerick and Munster champions in 2011, were beaten by all of 11-points by Kilmallock, who were champions in 2010.
The Light Blues had no answer to a power packed display by Kilmallock, which must rank as one of the best all round club displays seen for some time.
Managed by former Clare senior hurling manager Tony Considine, Kilmallock now play Adare in the county final on October 7 in the Gaelic Grounds.
The men from south Limerick put this epic semi-final beyond Na Piarsaigh with a storming start to the second half.
The champions had led 3-9 to 2-10 at half time.
But before Na Piarsaigh had settled back into game, Kilmallock had flashed in 1-5 without reply.
Merely 30-seconds had lapsed in the half when Graeme Mulcahy had pointed. Kevin O’Donnell added another point and then Mulcahy buried a shot to the net after a delightful flick from Eoin Ryan.
There was still 25-minutes to play, but Na Piarsaigh never recovered.
And, all that excitement came after a thrilling first half of action which had 24 scores and five goals.
Three of the goals came inside the first three minutes!
Kevin O’Donnell set the tone when just about steering the sliothar to the net inside 90-seconds after a flowing move and then within a minute Graeme Mulcahy had their second goal.
In between was an absolute thunderous strike to the net by Kevin Ryan.
SCORERS: Kilmallock: Graeme Mulcahy 3-3, Eoin Ryan 0-8 (5freees), Kevin O’Donnell 1-3, Shane O’Donnell 0-4, Paudie O’Brien, Robbie Egan 0-2 each, Paudie O’Dwyer, Jake Mulcahy 0-1 each. Na Piarsaigh: Shane Dowling 1-7 (1-5frees, ’65), Adrian Breen 2-3, Kevin Ryan 1-0, Kevin Downes 0-2, David Breen 0-1.
KILMALLOCK - Barry Hennessy; Mark O’Loughlin, Philip O’Loughlin, Kevin O’Mahony; Liam Walsh, Gavin O’Mahony, Bryan O’Sullivan; Paudie O’Brien, Robbie Egan; Jake Mulcahy, Paudie O’Dwyer, Eoin Ryan; Graeme Mulcahy, Kevin O’Donnell, Shane Donnell. Subs: Liam Hurley for Mark O’Loughlin (h-t), John Meade for Philip O’Loughlin (49mins), Kieran Kenneally for O’Dywer (57mins).
NA PIARSAIGH - Padraig Kennedy; David Lynch, Niall Buckley, Cathal King; Alan Dempsey, James O’Brien, Brian Hartnett; Aidan Hennessy, Kevin Ryan; David Breen, Shane O’Neill, Kieran Kennedy; Shane Dowling, Kevin Downes, Adrian Breen. Subs: Kieran Breen for Hennessy (16mins), Pa Guinane for Hartnett (h-t), David Sheppard for Kieran Kennedy (44mins), Pat Gleeson for O’Neill (45mins), David Dempsey for David Breen, inj (51mins).
REFEREE - Shane Hourigan (St Marys Sean Finns).
See the weekend print edition of the Limerick Leader for a full report and reaction