NA Piarsaigh were crowned All Ireland Club Hurling champions on St Patrick’s Day in Croke Park. Limerick’s first ever winners sealed a famous victory with a 2-25 to 2-14 win over Ruairí Óg Cushendall of Antrim on Thursday.
In what was an outstanding performance from the pre match favourites, Na Piarsaigh lead from start to finish in what was an almost perfect performance from the men in blue.
With Limerick sides not always doing so well in Croke Park, Na Piarsaigh’s perceived calm was a secret of their success. Ahead of the final, selector and former player with Na Piarsaigh, Kieran Bermingham had described the biggest day in the club’s history as “just another game”. Speaking to PostSport this week, Bermingham was quick to herald the mental toughness of his team.
“We told the lads that they would have to be brave and stick to their game plan regardless of what happened. Everyone knew their job and when you have that clarity, matched with these lads’ work rate, there is going to be a good result.”
Bermingham describes the final whistle as a “great sense of achievement”. The former team captain also admitted that the team was blown away by the genuine goodwill of everyone in Limerick.
“The sense of achievement was made all the better when you knew that this team was representing everyone in this great city of ours. That was special. Limerick deserves to represented in any sport with pride and passion. I think we did the place proud.”
Na Piarsaigh team:
Pádraic Kennedy; Mike Casey, Kieran Breen, Kieran Kennedy; Mike Foley, Ronan Lynch (0-1, free), Cathal King; Alan Dempsey (0-4), Will O’Donoghue (0-1); Shane Dowling (0-7, 0-5 free), David Breen (0-2), Adrian Breen (1-4); Kevin Downes (1-2), David Dempsey, Peter Casey (0-3).
Subs: Kevin Ryan for David Breen, 54 mins; Pat Gleeson (0-1, 65) for O’Donoghue, 57 mins.