NA PIARSAIGH are in their first ever All-Ireland SHC club final after a hard-fought 1-22 to 0-20 win over Oulart-The Ballagh side after extra-time.
Na Piarsaigh were slow out the blocks as the Wexford champions raced to a 0-3 to no score lead after five minutes. However, once they got going, the Caherdavin club found their range and levelled the game 0-4 apiece after 16 minutes – a fine Peter Casey point levelling the game.
Na Piarsaigh led at the break (1-8 to 0-9) as David Breen got a goal with the last action of the first half. After Ronan Lynch’s mis-hit free was caught by Breen, the big man made no mistake, burying the ball past Conor O’Leary, with the last action of the first half.
Na Piarsaigh increased the lead to five early in the second half after points from Shane Dowling, David Dempsey and Kevin Downes. The free-taking of Nicky Kirwan kept the Wexford side within touching distance.
Oulart scored the last four points of the hour, including an injury-time free from Kirwan that levelled the game and forced extra-time.
The city side scored the opening three points of extra-time with Kevin Downes, Alan Dempsey and Shane getting on the mark. Then a fine point from Will O’Donoughue was cancelled out by Eoin Moore but Na Piarsaigh led 1-17 to 0-17 at half time in extra-time.
In the final 10 minutes Na Piarsaigh were able to push on and seal a historic victory, and an All-Ireland final date with Cushendall of Antrim on St Patrick’s Day.
SCORERS - Na Piarsaigh: David Breen 1-2, Shane Dowling 0-5 (0-4 frees), Kevin Downes, Alan Dempsey 0-4 each; David Dempsey, Peter Casey 0-2 each; Ronan Lynch(free), Adrien Breen 0-1 each. Oulart-The Ballagh: Nicky Kirwan 0-10 (0-8 frees); Des Mythen 0-3, Eoin Moore 0-2 (0-1 free); Garrett Sinott 0-1, Shaun Murphy, Tommy Storey, Conor O’Leary (free); Billy Dunne (free) 0-1 each
NA PIARSAIGH: Padraig Kennedy; Mike Casey, Kieran Breen, Kieran Kennedy; Mike Foley, Ronan Lynch, Cathal King; Alan Dempsey, Will O’Donoughue; Shane Dowling, David Breen, Kevin Ryan; Kevin Downes, David Dempsey, Peter Casey. Subs: Adrian Breen for Kevin Ryan (37)
OULART-THE BALLAGH: Conor O’Leary; Anthony Roche, Keith Rossiter, Barry Kehoe; Eoin Moore, Shaun Murphy, Kevin Sheridan; David Redmond, Michael Jacob; Garrett Sinnott, Tommy Storey, Des Mythen; Rory Jacob, Peter Murphy, Nicky Kirwan. Subs: Tomas Dunne for Peter Murphy (41); Kevin Nimmo for Michael Jacob (44); Billy Dunne for David Redmond (51); Darren Stamp for Tomas Dunne (57); Stephen Doyle for Garrett Sinnott (70); David Redmond for Des Mythen (70); Darren Nolan for Nicky Kerwan (72).
REFEREE: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)