Limerick IFC Final - Claughaun v Pallasgreen preview

Jerome O’Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O’Connell

This Saturday, Claughaun and Pallasgreen meet in the Limerick intermediate football championship final.

This Saturday, Claughaun and Pallasgreen meet in the Limerick intermediate football championship final.

IN the Limerick SFC of 2009 Pallasgreen and Claughaun met in the group stages.

On the day, Pallasgreen were 3-9 to 2-8 winners.

That season ended with Claughaun slipping from the senior ranks and the following year they were followed on the relegation trail by Pallasgreen.

This Saturday at 4.00 in Bruff one of them will climb back to the top table of senior club football when they meet in the Limerick intermediate football championship final.

Claughaun are 14-time Limerick SFC winners and play in the club’s first intermediate final on Saturday.

Pallasgreen were IFC winners back in 2005.

Already this year Saturday’s finalists met in the group stages - back in June the sides finished level, Pallasgreen 0-12, Claughaun 2-6.

“We have a lot in common and it really is a 50-50 game in every way,” said Pallasgreen’s Mick Lawton.

He is joined in the backroom team by fellow selectors; James McMahon, Tom Ryan, John Gammell and Tony McMahon.

Uniquely, the five have managed both the Pallasgreen intermediate hurlers and footballers this season.

“It would make an awful difference to us to go straight back up. It really would mean everything but I’m sure Claughaun are the same especially with their great tradition,” said Lawton.

Pallasgreen are captained by inter-county man Lorcan O’Dwyer from centre back. Other key men will be Tony McMahon, Jonathan Deere, Chris McMahon and Wayne McCarthy.

Claughaun’s manager is Matt Graham.

“They came down last year and we were down the year before - Saturday is going to be fantastic for one of us and for the other it will be back to the start again,” explained Graham, who is joined in the backroom team by Tom McGarry, Liam Galligan and Michael O’Donoghue.

Graham said that winning on Saturday is “vital” for The Hoops.

“We are not been cocky or anything like that but we are up there on top of the roll of honour and thats where we want to be. We believe that we are good enough to be up senior and thats where we want to be,” said Graham.

“We need to be playing at that level to improve. You need to be playing the Abbeyfeale’s and Drom-Broadford’s every year to test yourself.”

On Saturday, Claughaun will look to youth to carry them over the line.

“Last weekend in the semi-final we had eight guys started that we 20 years of age or younger. One was actually U-18 and one U-17,” explained Graham.

“It’s a changing of the guard for us. When we came down from senior we had guys that had played with us for years and gave it everything but now this is a new team.”

Four years ago Claughaun won the county U-16 A championship and it is that team that provides the fresh faces to the Claughaun line-up.

“I remember starting out with that team when they were six years of age up in the CBS Hall. They are all good guys and they all hang out together,” outlined Graham.

The experience will be provided by captain Pat McGarry, Philip Judge, Emmett Harty and Adrian Healy.

“We drew the last time we met but we had a lead and didn’t drive on to win the game. They are like us with a new look young team and there won’t be much between us. It will be there for who ever gets the breaks on the day.”