GAA club round-up: Na Piarsaigh return to action with a win
Goals from Conor Boylan, Shane Dowling, Ronan Lynch and Adrian Breen secured the win
Na Piarsaigh saw off Doon to reach the Limerick SHC final. Photo: Inpho
New Na Piarsaigh manager Paul Beary admitted before Sunday’s return to the Limerick SHC that his players probably wouldn’t ‘breathe out’ until the end of the month.
Four weeks after their AIB All-Ireland club final replay defeat to Cuala, the Caherdavin outfit were back in action but did a fine job of playing whilst holding their breath, securing a crucial win.
Back in 2016, in similar circumstances after winning the All-Ireland, Na Piarsaigh lost their opening two games of the local championship to Kilmallock and Doon.
Na Piarsaigh clearly learned from that experience because they faced Doon again on Sunday and ran out comfortable 4-15 to 1-16 winners.
“There’s no other way to describe it other than being pushed to the limit,” said Beary – Shane O’Neill’s replacement in the Na Piarsaigh hot-seat – on the demands on the players right now.
Goals from Conor Boylan, Shane Dowling, Ronan Lynch and Adrian Breen secured the win for Na Piarsaigh at the Gaelic Grounds.
Boylan got the goal glut underway with a fourth minute goal and the strike separated the sides at the break when the Munster champions led 1-9 to 0-10.
Dowling’s 42nd minute goal came after a fine run through to the middle and Ronan Lynch added his major, Na Piarsaigh’s third, with seven minutes to go.
It took a fourth goal from Adrian Breen, a blistering strike from the right with just a minute to go, to finally kill off Doon.
Mind you, if you thought Na Piarsaigh could finally put down their hurls, think again. They’ll be back in action on Saturday against Ballybrown.
There were also Group 1 wins at the weekend for the Graeme Mulcahy inspired Kilmallock and Patrickswell while Monaleen and Ahane won their Group 2 games.
Meanwhile, holders Liam Mellows came from eight points down to beat Castlegar by five in the Galway SHC.
Castlegar capitalised on the elements to burst into a 1-5 to 0-0 lead but goals kept Liam Mellows in it and they trailed 2-2 to 1-9 at half-time.
Aided by the wind after the restart, Conor Kavanagh put Liam Mellows ahead for the first time with a 35th minute goal, 3-4 to 1-9.
The All-Ireland semi-finalists dominated the second-half and boomed over a series of late long-range points, including one from evergreen half-back David Collins, to win 3-15 to 2-13.
Sarsfields also defeated Mullagh by 0-15 to 1-7 yesterday while there were wins on Saturday for Craughwell, Portumna and Cappataggle. Tommie Larkins and 2013 All-Ireland winners St Thomas drew 2-11 to 0-17.
In Cork, Erins Own scorched to a 4-21 to 2-13 opening round win over Bride Rovers who will now play the losers of Bandon/Na Piarsaigh in Round 2.
A first-half penalty conversion by county goalkeeper Evan Comerford proved vital for Kilsheelan-Kilcash who scored a 1-11 to 1-10 Round 1 Tipperary SFC win over JK Brackens.
Comerford’s strike helped his club to lead 1-6 to 0-3 at half-time but they played into a strong breeze after the break and clung on with the netminder scoring from a late free to help edge it.
Holders Clonmel Commercials began the day with a 3-22 to 0-7 thumping of Ardfinnan to underline their status as title favourites.
Elsewhere in the Tipp SFC, there were wins for Ballyporeen, Killenaule, Aherlow and Moyle Rovers.