Munster Club SHC Final – Na Piarsaigh 1-11 Crusheen 0-14

The 2011 AIB Munster GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship Final between Na Piarsaigh (Limerick) and Crusheen (Clare) finished level in Thurles on a scoreline of Na Piarsaigh 1-11 Crusheen 0-14 on Sunday in Semple Stadium Thurles.

The replay has been fixed for next Sunday December 4th at 2:00pm in Semple Stadium Thurles.

Click to view photos from the game

Semple showpiece fails to fire

Na Piarsaigh (Limerick) 1-11 Crusheen (Clare) 0-14

By Diarmuid O’Flynn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

WHAT a disappointment in Semple Stadium yesterday. The biggest club game of the season on the Munster calendar, the senior hurling final, but you wouldn’t have thought so, from the numbers in the stand. A mere 2,893 made the long journey from Clare and Limerick to Thurles, a pathetic attendance for a game of this significance. Even on the field there was a malaise, and while both teams defended strongly, hunted in packs, there was nevertheless a shortage of the kind of blood-and-guts approach we’ve come to expect from what has always been a fiercely competitive hurling province.

“The lads are exhausted because they put in a magnificent effort,” said Crusheen manager Michael Browne and it was a reasonable assertion given the heavy conditions. Nevertheless there was something sadly lacking in Semple Stadium, something we’ve come to associate with this most famous of hurling venues. Atmosphere. Even in a game that ended in a draw, from beginning to end that certainly contributed to the lack of real excitement. The replay has been fixed for the same venue on Sunday but surely it’s time for the Munster Council to step in and mandate a toss for home advantage.

What galls is that the ingredients were all there. This is a high-powered Na Piarsaigh side, playing with the abandon and fearlessness of youth (seven Limerick U-21s), but coming up against a very experienced Crusheen side, a team on a mission; having this year defended their Clare title, they were determined to go one better and win out in Munster. It started badly for the Clare champions, the normally deadly Pat Vaughan missing two frees that were well within his compass, Adrian Breen and minor sensation Shane Dowling then pointing for Na Piarsaigh to put them 0-2 to nothing ahead in the 5th minute. Already however the signs were there – this was going to be a dour in-the-trenches battle.

Crusheen were soon back on level terms, a huge point from outstanding wing-back Cathal Dillon getting them on the board, followed by a point from the experienced David Forde. Thus settled, the men from Clare began to take over, and though Dowling had another Na Piarsaigh point, after 16 minutes Crusheen were in front, 0-4 to 0-3. Dowling then goaled for Na Piarsaigh with a bullet penalty in the 17th minute after full-forward Kevin Downes was pulled back. But for the remainder of the opening half it was all Crusheen. Five successive points (two from flying corner-forward Patrick Meaney) had them well placed at the break (0-9 to 1-3) in front. The scoring would have been greater but goal chances were missed when a rogue bounce of the ball in the cut-up turf.

Na Piarsaigh were first to score in the second half, Dowling again pointing the way, and again from a placed ball, and in fact this was to become the main story of the next 20 minutes as Crusheen indiscipline was repeatedly and unerringly punished by the Limerick minor star. The youngster scored five point in the second half, all from frees, the last of those coming in the 50th minute and it tied the scores (0-11 to 1-9). Crusheen keeper Donal Touhy was a busy man in this period, three fine saves. Their attack struggled against an underrated Na Piarsaigh defence, captain Ger O’Grady, Fergus Kennedy and Vaughan having to chisel out a point apiece. Eventually they steadied the ship and a super point from halfway by Pat Vaughan give them the lead again on 51st minutes but it was negated by Na Piarsaigh sub John Madden.

As the minutes ticked away neither side was able to grasp the initiative. Centre-forward David Breen gave Na Piarsaigh the lead in the 57th minute. But again it was cancelled out within a minute by yet another Vaughan free. Truth be told neither side deserved to win so it’s good they both get another chance. Next time, however give the supporters – the neutrals especially – a decent chance also. “It wasn’t our doing to be in Thurles,” said Na Piarsaigh manager Seán Stack. Who’s doing was it?

Scorers for Crusheen: P Vaughan 0-5 (0-3f, 0-1 65); P Meaney 0-2; F Kennedy 0-2; C O’Doherty (f), Cathal Dillon, J Fitzgibbon, D Forde, G O’Grady, 0-1 each.

Scorers for Na Piarsaigh: S Dowling 1-7 (1-0pen, 0-6f); A Breen, D Breen, C King, J Madden, 0-1 each.

Subs for Crusheen: C O’Donnell (Forde 55).

Subs for Na Piarsaigh: D Lynch (A Breen 30); A Hennessy (Cunningham 44); J Madden (Gleeson 50); D Quigley (O’Neill 61).

Referee: J Ryan (Tipperary)


Dowling the driving force

From the Irish Independent newspaper

Crusheen 0-14, Na Piarsaigh 1-11, MUNSTER CLUB SH FINAL

The contrast between the deathly silence that greeted the final whistle and the noise generated by the manic, pulsating nature of the minutes that preceded it could not have been greater. Yet the consensus is that both sides deserve to be returning to Thurles for another tilt at a first ever Munster title next Sunday (2.0) after an exhaustive hour at Semple Stadium. An unusually sticky surface compounded the difficulty of hurling at the end of November, but most of the mistakes that dotted those final minutes were borne of nerves and perhaps a little over-eagerness at the prospect of winning this title for the first time.

For Na Piarsaigh, it was the second time in this provincial campaign that they had to dig deep and come from behind. The scale of the comeback this time was much smaller, but, in the conditions, it was significant nonetheless. For such a young team in development the experience of their two outings in Waterford and here can’t be a bad thing. Their manager Sean Stack admitted that half of his attack had not performed to the best of their ability and that gives them ample scope to work and improve during the seven-day turnaround.

But they face a defence that thrives on parsimony, backboned by three Dillon brothers and two Brigdale brothers. For a long time, they were ahead in five of the six personal duels played out. Only Shane Dowling, the hugely talented 18-year-old who has blazed a scoring trail this season for the emerging Caherdavin club, could really reflect on a satisfying day. David Breen also regained some momentum near the end. “We know at least half our forward line did not perform to the best of their ability. But you perform as well as you are let. Crusheen have a fair outfit,” said Stack. “Any inter-county forward would find themselves struggling against those six guys,” was the ultimate compliment the former Clare centre-back could pay.

That said Crusheen, who only won their first Clare title last year, will have come away a little disappointed that they did not keep their foot on the gas when they held a commanding four-point lead, 0-11 to 1-4, early in the second half. A forceful Dowling penalty in the 16th minute, courtesy of Cronan Dillon’s foul on full-forward Kevin Downes, gave Na Piarsaigh a 1-3 to 0-4 lead, but they didn’t score again for the remainder of the half as Crusheen executed an impressive lockdown around their goal. Wing-back Cathal Dillon delivered a towering performance while Pat Vaughan profited from the freedom of his role, as Crusheen withdrew Fergus Kennedy to midfield for extra support.

Gerard O’Grady caused constant trouble at full-forward for Crusheen and his ability to win ball and hold up to bring others around into the play was a big influence in helping to forge a 0-9 to 1-3 interval lead. Patrick Meaney was one of those to benefit, picking off consecutive scores in response to the penalty to restore parity. Their failure to score for those 16 minutes of the opening half after the Dowling goal was a cause of concern for Stack. “People don’t realise that you will have troughs. I didn’t realise that our trough was so long, that we went so long without a score. It’s a bit worrying,” he said.

Dowling started the second half with a converted free, but Crusheen kept pressing their advantage with O’Grady capitalising on a steal by Meaney and Kennedy using his pace to open up that four-point lead. But from there to the end it was Na Piarsaigh who had the upper hand as their half-backs, Alan Dempsey in particular, became dominant. Dowling, who possesses wonderful ability under a dropping ball, edged them closer with a trio of frees by the three-quarter mark. A Vaughan free gave Crusheen brief respite, but Na Piarsaigh kept pressing with Cathal King, now playing at midfield, and Dowling (free) drawing them level. Crusheen would lead once more before Na Piarsaigh made their surge for glory. Substitute John Madden got them level again, but progress was stalled by weak shots from Breen and Dowling that dropped into goalkeeper Donal Tuohy’s grateful arms. Eventually, Breen found his range under pressure to put Na Piarsaigh ahead, but a Vaughan free after Kennedy was fouled ensured there would be another day for both teams.

“There are always things you could have done differently,” acknowledged Crusheen manager Michael Browne. “But probably, what I’d be looking at is the fact that there were a couple of frees, especially in the early stages, that we didn’t put over and we normally would. “Then there were a couple of balls that came back off the upright, and they might have made all the difference. “We seemed to be a bit nervous at the very start and I don’t understand that to be honest, because we’d prepared for this game the same as we had for every other game I suppose it was the occasion; the bigger the occasion, the more likely lads need time to respond to it.” Criticism of the choice of venue in the build-up — many felt a toss for home draw would have been more convenient — may have led to a disappointing 2,893 crowd, but they got value for their journey. “Who gets their head around it, that’s the team that is going to win,” said Stack. You couldn’t help feeling the experience could bring his team on that bit more.

Scorers — Crusheen: P Vaughan 0-5 (3f, 1 ’65’), F Kennedy, P Meaney 0-2 each, C O’Doherty (1f), Cathal Dillon, J Fitzgibbon, D Forde, G O’Grady 0-1 each. Na Piarsaigh: S Dowling 1-7 (1-0 pen, 0-6f), D Breen, A Breen, C King, J Madden 0-1 each.

Crusheen — D Tuohy; S Brigdale, Cronan Dillon, A Brigdale; C O’Doherty, Cian Dillon, Cathal Dillon; P Vaughan, J Meaney; G O’Donnell, J Fitzgibbon, D Forde; P Meaney, G O’Grady, F Kennedy. Subs: C O’Donnell for Forde (55).

Na Piarsaigh — P Kennedy; C King, K Breen, K Bermingham; B Hartnett, J O’Brien, A Dempsey; P Gleeson, K Kennedy; K Ryan, D Breen, S O’Neill; S Dowling,K Downes, A Breen. Subs: D Lynch for A Breen (h-t), A Hennessy for Bermingham (44), J Madden for Gleeson (50) D Quigley for O’Neill (57).

Ref — J Ryan (Tipperary)


For the Record

Na Piarsaigh (Limerick) Crusheen (Clare)
2011 Team Manager Sean Stack Michael Browne
2011 Team Captain Kieran Bermingham Gerry O’Grady
Number of Munster Club Senior Hurling titles N/A 0
Last Munster Club
Senior Hurling Title
Number of Munster Club Senior Hurling titles
(by County)
5 9
Last Munster Club
Senior Hurling Title
(by County)
(Kilmallock, Limerick 2-11, Toomevara, Tipperary 1-11)
(Sixmilebridge, Clare 2-17, Mount Sion, Waterford 3-8)
Munster Club Senior Hurling Championship Record since 2000 for each county’s representative Played – 19
Won – 7
Lost –  11
Drawn – 1
Played – 17
Won – 7
Lost –  10
Drawn – 0
Last meeting in the Munster Club Senior Hurling Championship involving participating county representatives October 31st 2010 at Cusack Park Ennis (Munster Club Quarter-Final) – Kilmallock (Limerick) 2-11 Crusheen (Clare) 0-14 –
Kilmallock recovered from a 2 point interval deficit to score 2-4 in a six minute second half spell to secure victory in this first round match.
Last meeting in the Munster Club Senior Hurling Championship FINAL involving participating county representatives December 7th 1997 at Semple Stadium
(Munster Club Senior Hurling Final)
Clarecastle (Clare) 2-11 Patrickswell (Limerick) 0-15
Goals by Alan Neville and Ken Ralph secured a two point victory for Clarecastle over a Patrickswell side aided by 11 points by Gary Kirby.
Trends Na Piarsaigh are just the 4th Limerick club to qualify for the Munster Club Senior Hurling Final since 1994. Meanwhile, Clare clubs won 6 Munster Club Senior Hurling titles in a row from 1995 to 2000. However, since then only Sixmilebridge (2002) and Tulla (2007) have qualified for the final, both falling at the final hurdle.


Munster GAA HURLING Club Senior Championship 2011


Sunday October 30th

@ Semple Stadium Thurles           Ballygunner (Waterford) 2-15 Drom & Inch (Tipperary) 1-13

Sunday November 13th

@ Pairc Ui Chaoimh                       Crusheen (Clare) 0-19 Carrigtwohill (Cork) 1-10

@ Walsh Park Waterford                 Na Piarsaigh (Limerick) 3-9 Ballygunner (Waterford) 0-12


Sunday November 27th (Replay date – Saturday December 3rd)

@ Semple Stadium Thurles           Na Piarsaigh (Limerick) v Crusheen (Clare) 2:00pm

Munster GAA Club HURLING Senior Championship Roll Of Honour

Cork (17) – 1964, 1965, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1987, 2003, 2005, 2009

Tipperary (11) – 1966, 1969, 1970, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1991, 1993, 2004, 2006, 2007

Clare (9) – 1967, 1968, 1984, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000

Waterford (5) – 1981, 2001, 2002, 2008, 2010

Limerick (5) – 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1994,

Odds and Ends

The meeting of Crusheen and Na Piarsaigh is the sixth ever Munster Club Senior Hurling Final meeting between the Clare and Limerick champions. To date, Limerick clubs have won three of those games courtesy of Ballybrown, Patrickswell and Kilmallock in a four year period. For Clare, Sixmilebridge and Clarecastle have won titles against Patrickswell of Limerick. The scorelines of the 5 Clare v Limerick Club Finals to date are as follows –

1984 – Sixmilebridge, Clare 4-10 Patrickswell, Limerick 2-06

1989 – Ballybrown, Limerick 2-12 Sixmilebridge, Clare 1-08

1990 – Patrickswell, Limerick 0-08 Eire Og Ennis, Clare 0-06

1992 – Kilmallock, Limerick 3-11 Sixmilebridge, Clare 2-11

1997 – Clarecastle, Clare 2-11 Patrickswell, Limerick 0-15

In the last 7 Munster Club Senior Hurling Finals, the winning team has won by a margin of 1 or 2 points on each occasion. Yet, there has only been 2 draws in the final, in 1977 and 1983. The margin of victory in finals at this grade since 2004 has been as follows – 2004 (1 point), 2005 (1 point), 2006 (1 point), 2007 (2 points), 2008 (2 points), 2009 (2 points) and 2010 (1 point).

No home team has won a match in the Munster Club Senior Hurling Championship over the past 2 seasons, a run of 6 games of success for the travelling team.

Neither Crusheen or Na Piarsaigh have played in a Munster Club Hurling Final

Of the 5 participating counties in this year’s Munster Club Senior Hurling Championship, Waterford have the best record over the last 10 years with 17 victories and 1 draw out of 26 matches played. Tipperary have the next best record with 12 wins and 2 draws out of 23 games. Cork have a marginally winning record while Clare and Limerick have losing records since 2000 at this grade.

Prior to Crusheen’s semi-final victory over Carrigtwohill, the Clare champions have failed to record a Munster Club Senior Hurling Championship victory in 6 of the last 8 seasons including 2008, 2009 and 2010.

The last draw in the Munster Club Senior Hurling Championship came in 2001 Munster Club Championship with Ballygunner (Waterford) defeated Toomevara (Tipperary) after a replay.

Cork won 10 Munster Club Senior Hurling Championship titles in a row from 1971 through 1980. Interestingly, Cork then went from 1987 to 2003 without winning the title

Clare winning teams in Munster GAA Club HURLING Senior Championship


1967 – Newmarket on Fergus, Clare 3-09 Carrick Davins, Tipperary 2-07

NEWMARKET-ON-FERGUS CLARE: Kevin Toomey, Jim Woods, Ml. Considine, Louis Halpin, Jim Cullinan (Captain), Gus Lohan, Joe Hannon, Val Arthur, Liam Danaher, Jimmie McNamara, Paddy McNamara, Pat O’Leary, John McMahon, Mick Arthur, Michael O’Leary.

Sub: Tom Melody.
1968 – Newmarket on Fergus, Clare 5-08 Ballygunner, Waterford 4-03

NEWMARKET-ON-FERGUS, CLARE: Kevin Toomey, John O’Leary, Ml. Considine, Billy Meehan, Con Woods, Gus Lohan, D.J. Meehan, Liam Danaher, Pat O’Leary, Val Arthur, Paddy McNamara, Timmie Ryan, Ml. Kilmartin, Jim Woods, Michael O’Leary.

Sub: Mick Arthur.


1984 – Sixmilebridge, Clare 4-10 Patrickswell, Limerick 2-06

SIXMILEBRIDGE, CLARE: Pat Collins, Jamesie Keogh, Noel O’Gorman, Kieran O’Shea, Martin Corry, Sean Stack (Captain), John Brennan, Pat Morey, Flan Quilligan, John Chaplin, P.J. Fitzpatrick, Tommy Morey, Eamon Healy, Danny Chaplin, Gerry Mclnerney.

1995 – Sixmilebridge, Clare 2-18 Eire Og Nenagh, Tipperary 1-07

SIXMILEBRIDGE, CLARE: Davy Fitzgerald, Michael O’Halloran, Kevin McInerney, Michael Toomey, Christy “Rusty” Chaplin, Pat Hayes, Ian Mulready (Captain), Noel Earlie, John Chaplin, Martin Conlon, Flan Quilligan, Alan Mulready, Declan McInerney, Danny Chaplin, Gerry McInerney.

Subs: John O’Connell, Noel O’Gorman, David Chaplin.
1996 – Wolfe Tones, Clare 4-09 Ballygunner, Waterford 4-08

WOLFE TONES, CLARE: Damian Garrihy, Gerry McIntyre, Brian Lohan (Captain), Martin Hartigan, Frank Lohan, Sean Power, Paul Meaney, Denis O’Riordan, Pat O’Rourke, John O’Riordan, Ciaran O’Neill, Paul Lee, Paul O’Rourke, Finbarr Carrig, Paul Keary.

Subs: Derek Collins (played); Michael O’Neill, John Markham, Mark Purcell, John McPhillips, Ger Carrig, Fergal O’Shea, Mike McPhillips, Ray Carley, Joe Costello, Andrew Carr, Eddie Mulvihill
1997 – Clarecastle, Clare 2-11 Patrickswell, Limerick 0-15

CLARECASTLE, CLARE: Tommy Hegarty, Ger Canny, Martin Sheedy (Captain), Bernard Scanlon, Pat Healy, Stephen Sheedy, Anthony Daly, Kenneth Morrissey, Victor O’Loughlin, Fergus Tuohy, Alan Neville, Danny Scanlon, Robert Fitzgerald, Ken Ralph, Ger O’Loughlin.


1998 – St. Joseph’s Doora Barefield, Clare 0-12 Toomevara, Tipperary 0-08

ST.JOSEPHS DOORA BAREFIELD, CLARE: Christy O’Connor, Ger Hoey, Donal Cahill, Kenneth Kennedy, David Hoey, Sean McMahon, Darragh O’Driscoll, Ollie Baker, Joe Considine, James O’Connor, Noel Brodie, Lorcan Hassett (Captain), Greg Baker, Ciaran O’Neill, Andrew Whelan.

Sub: Colm Mullan.
1999 – St. Joseph’s Doora Barefield, Clare 4-09 Ballygunner, Waterford 3-08

ST.JOSEPHS DOORA BAREFIELD, CLARE: Christy O’Connor, Ger Hoey, Donal Cahill, Kenneth Kennedy, David Hoey, Sean McMahon, Darragh O’Driscoll, Ollie Baker, Joe Considine, Colm Mullan, James O’Connor, Noel Brodie, Andrew Whelan, Ciaran O’Neill, Greg Baker.

Subs: Fergal O’Sullivan, Dermot Daly.
2000 – Sixmilebridge, Clare 2-17 Mount Sion, Waterford 3-08

SIXMILEBRIDGE, CLARE: Davy Fitzgerald, Kevin McInerney, John O’Connell, Wayne Kennedy, Alan Mulready, Pat Hayes, Declan Murphy, Stiofan Fitzpatrick, Christy Chaplin (Captain), Robert Conlon, John Reddan, Martin Conlon, Brian Culbert, Niall Gilligan, John O’Meara

Subs: Brian Kennedy, Paul Fitzpatrick, Adrian Chaplin

Limerick winning teams in Munster GAA Club HURLING Senior Championship

1988 – Patrickswell, Limerick 3-13 Mount Sion, Waterford 2-13

PATRICKSWELL, LIMERICK: Joe Murphy, Philip Foley, Leonard Enright, Paul Foley, Dave Punch, Pa Carey, Pa Foley, Anthony Carmody, David Punch, Ciaran Carey, Gary Kirby, Seamus Kirby, Ger Hayes (Captain), Sean Foley, Frankie Nolan.

Sub: Gerard Burke
1989 – Ballybrown, Limerick 2-12 Sixmilebridge, Clare 1-08

BALLYBROWN, LIMERICK: Francis O’Reilly, James Coughlan, John Kenny, Shane Adams, Paul O’Connor, Joe O’Connor, Tony Hall, Joe Mann, Colm Coughlan, Ollie O’Connor, Terence Kenny, Pat Davoren, Ed Cliffe, Peter Mulqueen, Seany Hayes.

Sub: C Keyes.
1990 – Patrickswell, Limerick 0-08 Eire Og Ennis, Clare 0-06

PATRICKSWELL, LIMERICK: Joe Murphy, Philip Foley, Paul Foley, Eamonn Kelleher, Dave Punch (Captain), Pa Carey, Pa Foley, Anthony Carmody, Sean Carey, Ger Hayes, Gary Kirby, Seamus Kirby, Sean Foley, Nigel Carey, Leonard Enright.

Sub: Paul O’Grady.
1992 – Kilmallock, Limerick 3-11 Sixmilebridge, Clare 2-11

KILMALLOCK, LIMERICK: Ger Hanley, Sean Burchill, J.J. O’Riordan, Shane O’Grady, Ger O’Riordan, Dave Clarke, Donal Barry, Mike Houlihan, Sean Barrett, Paddy Kelly (Captain), Brendan Hanley, Pat Barrett, Paudge Tobin, Dave Hanley, Thomas Nelligan.

Sub: Paul Dowling


1994 – Kilmallock, Limerick 2-11 Toomevara, Tipperary 1-11

KILMALLOCK, LIMERICK: Tom Hennessy, Ger O’Riordan, Sean Burchill, Shane O’Grady, James Connery, Dave Clarke, Donal Barry, Mike Houlihan (Captain), Pat Barrett, Liam Neenan, Maurice Neligan, Pat Dowling, Paudge Tobin, Brendan Hanley, Paddy Kelly.

Munster GAA Club HURLING Senior Championship – List of Winning Teams


Visit the Munster GAA web site History section to view the complete list of each winning team since the competition began –

All Ireland GAA Club HURLING Senior Championship


In the Club Senior Hurling All Ireland Roll of Honour, Cork clubs have won 9 titles followed by Tipperary with 3 and Clare with 2. Galway lead the roll of honour with 11 club titles followed by Kilkenny clubs with 10.

Munster Club Senior
Club Championship Senior Hurling Cup – O’Neill Cup

Presented by Sarsfields Club, Cork, in 1972 to commemorate Billy O’Neill who founded their club in 1903.