New Na Piarsaigh captain William O'Donoghue
NA Piarsaigh got off to a winning start in their Credit Union Limerick SHC title defence this Sunday – four weeks after their All Ireland club SHC final replay defeat to Cuala.
The Caherdavin side were 4-15 to 1-16 winners over Doon in the Gaelic Grounds.
When the sides met in the county semi final last season there were just four points between the sides but this time round, Na Piarsaigh had eight points to spare.
Na Piarsaigh showed two changes from the side that lost to Cuala in the All Ireland club SHC final four weeks ago – Peter Casey and David Breen absent.
Under new management with Paul Beary replacing Shane O’Neill as manager, the Caherdavin side also showed a number of positional switches.
Na Piarsaigh have beaten Doon in a goal fest in the Gaelic Grounds! Watch the Full-Time Highlights here on GAANOW! pic.twitter.com/wCJj3I1tV8— The GAA (@officialgaa) April 22, 2018
Doon had the slight breeze to their backs in the first half but Na Piarsaigh led 1-9 to 0-10. It was a half where Barry Murphy had six pointed frees for Doon and Shane Dowling had five for Na Piarsaigh.
The all important goal came in the fourth minute from Conor Boylan, who beat Eoghan McNamara at his near post after being set up by Ronan Lynch.
Two Ronan Lynch points from play ensured Na Piarsaigh were 1-3 to 0-3 ahead after seven minutes.
Denis Moloney and Pat Ryan had Doon points to level the game by the mid-point of the half.
But the city men struck back with a Kevin Downes point in the middle of Dowling frees.
Micheal Ryan struck from distance but Na Piarsaigh had the lead out to four points for the first time after David Dempsey pointed in between another pair of Dowling frees.
There was two minutes and injury time to play and Doon finished on top with three points – Darragh O’Donovan from play and Murphy either side with frees.
It took Doon 17-minutes to find a score from play in the second half by which time Na Piarsaigh were 2-13 to 0-12 clear. The second Na Piarsaigh goal came in the 12th minute of the second half from Shane Dowling. A superb finish after a fine dummy.
Eight minutes from time Ronan Lynch had goal no3 and the Light Blues were 3-14 to 0-13 ahead.
Just two minutes later Doon had their goal – Darragh O’Donovan driving to the net from a 25-metre free.
But the response was instant – Adrian Breen with the fourth Na Piarsaigh goal in the final minute.
Barry Murphy ended with 10 pointed frees for Doon, while Dowling ended with eight for the winners.
*See the print editions of the Limerick Leader for full match reports on all Limerick SHC games.