Doon 2-17 Patrickswell 0-22
Doon are through to their first Limerick SHC final in 19 years after a one-point victory over Patrickswell in the Gaelic Grounds this afternoon. Despite dominating the majority of the opening period, Patrickswell found themselves facing a three-point deficit at half-time thanks to two first-half goals from Dean Coleman and Pat Ryan.
It was the 2016 champions who came racing into this game.
The immense Calvin Carroll got them off the mark with a brilliant long-range effort as their roaming forwards looked to get to grips with the Doon defence early. Doon’s first goal came against the run of play and as a result of some poor, scurrying defence from Patrickswell who’s full-back line had looked impressive up to that point. Dean Coleman took charge of the ball which was being bounced around and drove it past Brian Murray to give them a one-point lead. Goals were clearly their objective and with Darragh O’Donovan supplying ball from midfield, they came again. This time, Nigel Foley got a stick to Pat Ryan’s effort.
The Well never panicked and their eye-catching half-forward line were soon firing again.
Although Hurler of the Year nominee, Cian Lynch, was held scoreless in the first 30 minutes, he was highly influential from play and soon set up Aaron Gillane who delivered a stunning point from half-way. As Doon began to rely on the free-taking ability of Barry Murphy, Patrickswell pushed ahead but were unable to shake off their challengers entirely. Lar Considine and Kevin O’Brien struck them into a three-point lead but Murphy, who was causing Diarmuid Byrnes all sorts of bother, replied immediately. Calvin Carroll responded with what was the point of the match and quickly followed it up with another effort.
Gillane missed an unusually simple free but immediately redeemed himself with a point from the puck-out. When Carroll scored his fourth effort, it looked as though Patrickswell were in cruise mode. Perhaps that is why their defence switched off momentarily, allowing Darragh Stapleton to sneak in for two successive points. On 27 minutes, the influential O’Donovan levelled the game, much to the delight of the Doon contingent. Just as he did for Limerick on a number of occasions this summer, Pat Ryan delivered a killer blow with a signature solo run and goal. Gillane managed to respond to reduce the gap to three at half-time.
Patrickswell’s ill-discipline continued to hinder them in the second half as Murphy was allowed to extend their lead immediately.
Patrickswell responded, but an unmarked Ryan soon fired over. Doon got on top of Patrickswell in the middle of the field, thanks to O’Donovan, and they soon translated that dominance into scores. The riveting contest soon descended into the battle of the free takers as the referee’s whistle was repeatedly called into action. Gillane soon had Patrickswell to within two points with 15 minutes remaining.
Ryan continued to cause chaos among the full-back line but he misfired, allowing the Well to clear. His side soon regained control when Murphy, once again, knocked over a free and the gap was reduced to three. Lynch, who was given much leeway from the referee, was eventually booked for persistent fouling. The 22-year-old then wandered to the full-forward line where he found himself with an opportunity in front of goal. After he was fouled, Gillane pointed the resulting free. He was gifted another free a minute later and he brought the deficit to just one point.
Crucially, O’Brien missed an opportunity to level the game.
The drama was far from over as Dean Coleman attempted to put daylight between the teams but his shot dropped short and was sent back down the field by Murray. O’Brien had an opportunity in front of goal blocked, resulting in a 65′ which captain, Byrnes pointed to level the game. As all eyes turned towards the clock, Doon wing-back, Denis Moloney drifted up the field and found himself with space, allowing him to knock over the winning point.
Doon: Cathal McNamara; Brian McPartland, Richie English (c), Stevie Ryan; Denis Moloney (0-1), Mikey O’Brien, Eddie Kiely; Josh Ryan, John Haye; Darragh Stapleton (0-2), Patrick Cummins, Barry Murphy (0-8, 6f); Dean Coleman (1-0), Pat Ryan (1-3), Darragh O’Donovan (0-2).
Substitution: Jack Cummins for Hayes (45) Jack Ryan for Cummins (51) Micheal Ryan for Kiely.
Patrickswell: Brian Murray; Mark Carmody, Nigel Foley, Josh Cosidine; Seán O’Brien, Diarmuid Byrnes (0-3, 2f, 1 65′) (c), John Flynn; Jack Kelleher, Calvin Carroll (0-5); Aaron Gillane (0-8, 3f), Cian Lynch, Kevin O’Brien; Lar Cosidine (0-2), Peter Harty, Tom O’Brien (0-2).
Substitutions: Darragh Ahern for Harty (29)