LIMERICK champions Na Piarsaigh have been beaten in the semi-final of the All-Ireland club hurling champions for the second time in three years.
This Saturday evening the Caherdavin men lost 1-15 to 1-11 to Galway’s Portumna.
The Limerick side played witht eh wind in the opening half but never recovered from an early scoring burst of 1-1 from the three time champions Portumna.
At half time the sides were level 1-6 to 0-9 and all in the attendance of 1820 knew that it would take something special from Sean Stack’s men to succeed.
Played under the floodlights of Semple Stadium, the contest was greeted by a strong gale force wind throughout and intermittent driving rain.
While conditions were not kind to the players, the teams served up a high tempo game.
But the Galway men always looked likely winners after the early scores.
They were 1-14 to 0-11 clear with 10-minutes to play.
There was a slight hope for Na Piarsaigh when Shane Dowling goaled from a 56th minute penalty but Portumna held on for a merited win.
SCORERS: Na Piarsaigh: Shane Dowling 1-4 (0-4frees, 1-0pen), Ronan Lynch 0-3 (2 lineballs), Kevin Downes 0-2, Kevin Ryan, Pat Gleeson 0-1. Portumna: Joe Canning 0-9 (0-6frees, 1 lineball), Ronan O’Meara 1-2, Ollie Canning, Damien Hayes, Kevin Hayes, Andy Smith 0-1 each.
NA PIARSAIGH: Padraic Kennedy; Kieran Breen, Cathal King, Michael Casey; Niall Buckley, David Breen, James O’Brien; Alan Dempsey, William ODonoghue; Kieran Kennedy, Kevin Downes, David Dempsey, Kevin Ryan, Shane Dowling, Ronan Lynch. Subs; Pat Gleeson for Kieran Kennedy (26mins), David Sheppard for William O’Donoghue (36mins), Brian Hartnett for David Dempsey (52mins), John Madden for James O’Brien (52mins).
PORTUMNA: Joe Keane; Conor O’Hara, Eugene McEntee, Gareth Heagney; Peter Smith, Martin Dolphin, Eoin Lynch; Leo Smith, Joe Canning; Kevin Hayes, Damien Hayes, Ollie Canning; Ronan O’Meara, Andy Smith, Niall Hayes; Sub: Owen Treacy for Niall Hayes (59mins).
REFEREE: James McGrath (Westmeath).
See Monday’s print edition of the Limerick Leader for a full report and reaction.