Na Piarsaigh turn thoughts to All Ireland title

Jerome O’Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O’Connell

Na Piarsaigh celebrate with the cup after victory over Ballygunner
NA Piarsaigh now have their sights set on All Ireland glory after Sunday’s thrilling Munster championship success.

NA Piarsaigh now have their sights set on All Ireland glory after Sunday’s thrilling Munster championship success.

With three Limerick and three Munster club SHC titles in five years, the Caherdavin club have now identified an All Ireland club final spot next March as their target.

First up for the city side will be a February 6 All Ireland semi final against the Leinster champions – Cuala (Dublin) or Oulart The Ballagh (Wexford). In the other side of the draw are Galway’s Sarsfields and Antrim’s Cushendall.

Although no Limerick side has ever won an All Ireland SHC club title, the bookies now make Na Piarsaigh as the evens favourites for ultimate honours on March 17 next in Croke Park.

The city side will be bidding to follow in the footsteps of Kilmallock, who reached this season’s final only to lose to Kilkenny’s Ballyhale Shamrocks.

In 2011 and 2013 Na Piarsaigh tasted heartbreak in the All Ireland semi finals.

“We will have to try and learn some lessons for the All Ireland series because we were 2-0 in that,” said manager Shane O’Neill after yesterday’s 2-18 to 2-11 Munster final win over Waterford’s Ballygunner.

”They are a very ambitious bunch and they know that against Loughgiel Shamrocks (2011) we didn’t show up and Portumna’s (2013) experience told against us two years later but still there was only three or four points in it - the boys have experienced defeat there so they will try and change that.”

Sunday’s Munster title is all the more remarkable, given that Na Piarsaigh had to start without injured inter-county men David Breen and Kevin Downes.

“It’s an unbelievable feat when you think about it - we only won our first county in 2011 and to have three countys and three Munsters within five years - a lot of clubs have tried that and they have much greater tradition that us going way back but we are creating our own.”