History created in Limerick SHC

Tomás Lynch of Doon makes a save during the nail-biting penalty shoot-out last weekend. Photo: Tom Beary.

FOR the first in its near 140-year history, a penalty shoot-out was necessary to determine the outcome of a Limerick Senior Hurling Championship fixture after Na Piarsaigh and Doon couldn’t be separated after extra time following a thrilling semi-final at the Gaelic Grounds.

The teams had finished level – Na Piarsaigh 2-23, Doon 0-29 – after 80 minutes and in a result-on-the-day scenario, and it came down to dreaded penalties at the Clare goal end of the famed Stadium.

With respective goalkeepers Shane Dowling of Na Piarsaigh and Doon’s Tomás Lynch both stopping three out of the regulation five each, the contest went to sudden-death in which the 2018 All-Star forward again blocked and then Kevin Downes blasted home the winner.

Only those with hearts of stone wouldn’t feel for title-less Doon.

“It was hard, really, really hard, probably a horrible way to lose a game, especially a county semi-final,” commented former Limerick dual-star James Ryan.

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“After a long season, to go out on penalties is terrible. But the teams knew there was that possibility entering the match.”

“Perhaps 65s rather than penalties should be used to determine the outcome in such situations, as was the case a few years ago when Limerick beat Clare here in the National League (2018). It’s only a suggestion, but one worth examining again.”

Doon had chances aplenty in regulation time to have put themselves through to the decider, but some missed chances and a couple of opportunistic goals by Adrian Breen denied Fergie O’Loughlin’s luckless outfit.

In the other semi-final, Patrickswell surprised Kilmallock (2-25 to 1-15) to reach their 30th final. The ‘Well (20-time winners) were superbly captained to this victory by Aaron Gillane, who emerged with a brilliant 1-12, while his inside forward line colleague John Kirby struck an impressive 1-1.

The final is listed for the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday week, October 28.

Through to the Premier Intermediate Final are Blackrock, who stunned Effin (1-17 to 0-15), and Dromin/Athlacca, surprise 0-17 to 1-12 winners over Bruff.

Into the Intermediate final are neighbours Croagh/Kilfinny and Granagh/Ballingarry following respective wins against Hospital/Herbertstown and Murroe/Boher (2-31 to 3-27) after extra time).

The Junior final will involve Feenagh/Kilmeedy and Mungret St Paul’s.