NEWCASTLE WEST became the first Limerick Senior Football side to reach a Munster SFC Club Final since 2008 after an extra time victory over Clonmel Commercials last weekend.
The heavily fancied Tipperary outfit had no answer once Emmet Rigter found the net in the first period of extra time. Newcastle West will now play Kerry’s Kerins O’Rahilly’s in the decider on Saturday, December 11.
Following the victory, manager Jimmy Lee was quick to pay tribute to his players.
“You’ve got to be extremely proud of them. They’re a bunch of lads that will do everything that you ask of them and you couldn’t ask much more from them,” he said.
“We never make it easy for ourselves, but I suppose we know how to win those battles and that’s what we spoke about at the end of full time, winning these battles.
“We were extremely happy with where we were at that moment in time. The boys put in some performance in extra time”
Although they were the better side in the opening half, the Magpies were a point down at half time and needed a Rudhan O’Connor point deep, deep into injury time to force the extra 20 minutes.
It is a momentous moment in Limerick football, with Dromcollogher-Broadford being the last team to both reach the Munster Final and win the title back in 2008.
Na Piarsaigh join Newcastle West in a Munster Final and did so in dramatic circumstances, needing penalties to see off Ballina. Evan Egan got the clinching spot kick, but it was Na Piarsaigh goalkeeper Eoghan Sherlock that stole the show.
Sherlock made a save from a Steven O’Brien penalty in normal time and saved twice more in the shootout to send the Caherdavin outfit through to the final. They will also face Kerry opposition in that game after Rathmore put Cork’s Kanturk to the sword in their semi final.
It has been a fantastic turnaround for Na Piarsaigh after being relegated to the Intermediate grade in the Limerick championship last season. They bounced back to win that title and now have a provincial final to look forward to on December 11.
Elsewhere, Castlemahon’s run in Munster came to an end after a defeat to Kerry’s Fossa at their own ground in Coolyroe. Fossa, backboned by Kerry stars David and Paudie Clifford, had too much for the home side in a game that was witnessed by a full house of 1,500 supporters.
Fossa had full control of the game from the off as they blitzed their opposition to hold a 1-11 to 0-1 half time advantage. Things didn’t improve in the second half and it was the Kerry side that romped to victory. Castlemahon will ply their trade in the Intermediate Championship in 2023 after their victory in the Junior Final against Feenagh-Kilmeedy earlier this month.