Na Piarsaigh set for semi final

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AIB GAA Club Championships – The Toughest of Them AllTHE AIB sponsored All Ireland Club championship is being promoted with the hashtag ‘The Toughest”. Never has a truer word been spoken.
The management and time put into winning the ultimate club prize cannot be underestimated. Factoring in the sheer length of the season, coupled with long breaks and postponements and one can see why the cream invariably rises in these competitions.
This Saturday 8 night will be no different. Two Munster titles in three seasons for Limerick’s Na Piarsaigh would see them as strong favourites for any competition. However, in Thurles on Saturday night, at 5pm, they will face three time All Ireland club champions, Portumna of Galway.
The tribesmen can boast players such as Joe and Ollie Canning, Damien Hayes and Andy Smith in their ranks. If their previous success at this level could be seen as a source of complacency, hurling fans only have to look at the hunger shown by the Galway side in winning their first county final in four seasons.
Na Piarsaigh will enter the game with one major injury blow. Corner forward Adrian Breen will miss the clash with an injured shoulder and it looks likely that his spot will be filled by Ronan Lynch. The Limerick minor star from last Summer will be more than capable of playing at this level and with the pitch in Thurles being as close to perfect as always, the speed and slight of hand of the Na Piarsaigh forward line could yet prove to the crucial on the winning of the game.
This will be Na Piarsaigh first outing of 2014, having won the Munster club championship way back in November. The win over Sixmilebridge, comprehensive as it was, (4-14 to 0-8) will be a long distant memory for the Caherdavin men.
Should the light blues secure a win, they will end a 21 year wait for a Limerick team to reach the All Ireland Club final on March 17 in Croke Park.
Not since Kilmallock in 1993 has a Limerick side managed to reach the show piece of club hurling. The stat of 21 years since an appearance by a Limerick side only hides the fact that no Limerick club has ever won the All Ireland club crown. Something which is hard to believe.
The game this Saturday night is live on TG4 as well as being covered live by Limerick’s Live 95fm.