NA Piarsaigh’s dream of putting together back-to-back senior hurling titles is still very much on track and anyone swayed by headlines would be impressed by their five-goal margin of victory over Ahane after this 5-14 to 0-14 quarter-final win in the Gaelic Grounds.
But there’s more to games than scoresheets and it will need a more sustained challenge than this if the Northsiders’ real strengths are to be assessed.
Na Piarsaigh led 1-8 to 0-7 at the break.
But goals from Breen, Dowling, Sheppard and Downes eased them into the semi-finals against Kilmallock.
SCORERS - Na Piarsaigh: Shane Dowling 1-7 (1-5 frees), Adrian Breen 1-3, Kevin Downes 1-2, David Sheppard 1-1 (1 free), David Breen 1-0, Shane O’Neill 0-1; Ahane: John Meskell (4 frees), Niall Moran (2 frees) 0-4 each, David Laing, Seán Madden 0-2 each, Fergus Ahern, Patrick Meskell 0-1 each.
NA PIARSAIGH - Pádraig Kennedy; David Lynch, Kieran Breen, Niall Buckley; Alan Dempsey, James O’Brien, Brian Hartnett; Aidan Hennessy, Cathal King; Shane Dowling, David Breen, Kevin Ryan; Shane O’Neill, Kevin Downes, Adrian Breen. Subs: Kieran Kennedy for Aidan Hennessy
(43 mins), David Sheppard for Shane O’Neill (48 mins), Eoin Keogh for Brian Hartnett (55 mins).
AHANE - Seanie O’Connor; Mike Hayes, Darragh Madden, John Doheny; Cathal O’Reilly, John Meskell, Pádraig Treacy; Mike Carr, Patrick Meskell; Seán Madden, David Laing, Niall Moran; Dan Morrissey, Richard Ryan, Fergus Ahern. Subs: Macdara Butler for Patrick Meskell (25 mins), Cathal Ryan for Darragh Madden (51 mins), Séamus Harnett for Mike Carr (58 mins), Tom Doheny for Richard Ryan (60 mins).
REFEREE - Jason Mullins (Saint Kieran’s)
For a full report on this game see this weekend’s print edition of the Limerick Leader.