Heartbreak for Oulart-The Ballagh

By Alan Aherne in Thurles

Published 07/02/2016 | 01:11

6 February 2016; Oulart the Ballagh kitman Tommy Davitt prepares the team jerseys in the dressing room before the game. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Oulart the Ballagh kitman Tommy Davitt prepares the team jerseys in the dressing room before the game. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; David Breen, Na Piarsaigh, arrives for the game. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Will O'Donoghue, Na Piarsaigh, warms up in the tunnel area before the game. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Na Piarsaigh manager Shane O'Neill arrives for the game. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Oulart the Ballagh kitman Tommy Davitt prepares the team jerseys in the dressing room before the game. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Oulart the Ballagh physical trainer Ray Harris fixes a Wexford flag to the the dressing room ceiling before the game. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Oulart the Ballagh players including Ben O'Connor arrive for the game. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Oulart the Ballagh players arrive for the game. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Garrett Sinnott, Oulart the Ballagh, in action against Kieran Breen, Na Piarsaigh. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Mike Foley, Na Piarsaigh, in action against Peter Murphy, Oulart the Ballagh. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Supporters look on during the game. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Cathal King, Na Piarsaigh, in action against Nicky Kirwan, left, and Des Mythen, Oulart the Ballagh. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Cathal King, Na Piarsaigh, in action against Garrett Sinnott, Oulart the Ballagh. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Mike Casey, Na Piarsaigh, in action against Nicky Kirwan, Oulart the Ballagh. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Mike Casey, Na Piarsaigh, in action against Nicky Kirwan, Oulart the Ballagh. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Ronan Lynch, Na Piarsaigh, in action against Tommy Storey, Oulart the Ballagh. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Mike Casey, Na Piarsaigh, in action against Nicky Kirwan, Oulart the Ballagh. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Cathal King, Na Piarsaigh, in action against Nicky Kirwan, Oulart the Ballagh. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Kevin Downes, Na Piarsaigh, in action against Tommy Storey, Oulart the Ballagh. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Kevin Downes, Na Piarsaigh, celebrates after victory over Oulart the Ballagh. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Peter Casey, left, and Ronan Lynch, Na Piarsaigh, celebrate after victory over Oulart the Ballagh. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; David Dempsey, right, and man of the match Will O'Donoghue, Na Piarsaigh, celebrate after victory over Oulart the Ballagh. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Man of the match Will O'Donoghue, right, and David Dempsey, Na Piarsaigh, celebrate after victory over Oulart the Ballagh. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Man of the match Will O'Donoghue, left, and David Dempsey, Na Piarsaigh, celebrate after victory over Oulart the Ballagh. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Darren Stamp, Oulart the Ballagh, leaves the pitch after defeat to Na Piarsaigh. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Kieran Breen, Na Piarsaigh, celebrates as Shaun Murphy, Oulart the Ballagh, shows his disappointment at the final whistle. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Des Mythen, Oulart the Ballagh, is assited off the pitch at half-time of extra-time by physical trainer Ray Morris, left, and physio Joe Kirwan. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Mike Casey, Na Piarsaigh, in action against Rory Jacob, Oulart the Ballagh. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Des Mythen, Oulart the Ballagh, gets some assistance with cramp during extra-time from Na Piarsaigh captain Cathal King. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; David Breen, Na Piarsaigh, in action against Michael Jacob, left, and Eoin Moore, Oulart the Ballagh. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Will O'Donoghue, Na Piarsaigh. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Nicky Kirwan, Oulart the Ballagh, takes a free. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Anthony Roche, Oulart the Ballagh, in action against David Breen, Na Piarsaigh. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Na Piarsaigh manager Shane O'Neill. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Na Piarsaigh manager Shane O'Neill. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Oulart the Ballagh manager Frank Flannery reacts during the game. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Shane Dowling, Na Piarsaigh, in action against Kevin Sheridan, Oulart the Ballagh. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Shane Dowling, Na Piarsaigh, in action against Kevin Sheridan, Oulart the Ballagh. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Oulart the Ballagh supporters celebrate a late point scored by Nicky Kirwan which brought the game to extra-time. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; 10-year-old Samuel Ryan from Thurles enjoys a look at the Oulart the Ballagh players' hurls during the game. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
6 February 2016; Na Piarsaigh supporters Seoirse Laffan, left, and 7-year-old Oscar Fitgerald with a large flag after the game. AIB GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Oulart the Ballagh v Na Piarsaigh. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

Oulart-The Ballagh's quest to make Croke Park on St. Patrick's Day ended in bitter disappointment in Semple Stadium, Thurles, on Saturday, February 6, when Na Piarsaigh of Limerick edged them out by 1-22 to 0-20 after extra-time in a gripping AIB All-Ireland Club Senior hurling semi-final.

Na Piarsaigh 1-22 Oulart-The Ballagh 0-20

The first-time Leinster champions seemed to be in serious trouble when David Breen goaled with the second-last puck of the opening half to leave the Munster men ahead by 1-8 to 0-9 after playing against the wind.

The gap widened to five on the re-start, and Oulart-The Ballagh didn't help their cause at all by striking five wides in eleven minutes. They were still four points behind entering the last ten minutes and playing into the elements, but a brave effort secured extra-time as Des Mythen and Nicky Kirwan (three, two frees) hit unanswered points to force a draw (0-16 to 1-13).

Sadly, that supreme effort had taken so much out of the team that it wasn't sustained in extra-time. Na Piarsaigh faced the wind once more and still managed to lead by 1-17 to 0-17 at the break, and they outscored Oulart-The Ballagh by five points to three in the last period to set up a March 17 showdown with Cushendall of Antrim for the Tommy Moore Cup.

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