MONALEEN’S stuttering start to the defence of their Limerick SFC title has seen them drop from the top of the Limerick Leader club football rankings.
Jerome O’Connell ranked the teams from 1-12 ahead of the championship and now updates those on the rise and those on the decline after the six games in round two last weekend.
1. Fr Caseys (up one place)
The Abbeyfeale men are on fire at present - winning both games with a scoring difference of +38. That said, Fr Caseys are in what is perceived to be the easier of the two groups. Nonetheless they have been so impressive and that’s with much changing to their team with comings-and-goings with 23 players used to date.
2. Newcastle West (up one place)
One of three teams with a 100% record in the championship and last year’s beaten finalists are sitting proudly on top of the more difficult of the groups. There is a solid look to their line-up which is finally showing some continuity after years of inconsistency. It wasn’t been smooth running but if preparations come right they will be involved at later stages.
3. Dromcollogher-Broadford (up two places)
Never right off the team that dominated club football in the Limerick since the turn of the millennium and so it proved with their demolition of Ballylanders and that was without three key defenders. Still much football to play in this group and their clash with Monaleen in the next game in August which determine much.
4. Monaleen (down three places)
Just one point from two games is another terrible start to the championship. They managed to scrap into the knockout stages for the last two years and then came to life late in the summer. This time round they still have games to come against Newcastle West, Drom-Broadford and St Senans and will need at least two wins. No doubting the class of the squad but not at the races just now.
5. St Kierans (up one place)
Can’t argue with two wins from two and a knockout place must now be the end result. Nice look to their side at present with young and old working well. Forwards are starting to put up scores, which had previously being their downfall. Still have young players that can bolster the side.
6. Ballylanders (down two places)
Beat champions Monaleen in round one and then were well below par when losing to Drom-Broadford last weekend. This is a difficult group and it doesn’t get any easier with Newcastle West up next in August. Defeat will focus their preparations but at present both the footballers of Bally and the hurlers of Glenroe face a battle to progress.
7. Adare (no change)
Battled back from losing in round one to defeat St Patricks. Have introduced a lot of fresh faces this season but could still qualify but will need to beat at least one of the current group leaders; Fr Caseys or St Kierans.
8. Ballysteen (up three places)
Just survived in the senior ranks last year but remain unbeaten this year - albeit with two draws to-date. Played brilliantly against champions Monaleen and looked a very impressive unit when running at the city side. Still have three extremely tough games ahead and will need another positive result along the way.
9. St Senans (up one place)
Drew with Ballysteen in round one and came very close to securing another draw but lost to Newcastle West by the narrowest of margins. With just one draw point on the board they will need to get win before relegation starts to become a problem.
10. Mountcollins (down two places)
Their senior debut was the dream start that they had hoped for when defeating Adare. But the joy was short-lived as they failed to stand up to St Kierans and lost by 15-points. Still they have other intermediate champions of recent times, St Patricks and Galbally to come so their remains much to play for.
11. St Patricks (down two places)
The city side were quarter-finalists last season but are yet to get a point on the group table this season with losses to Adare and Fr Caseys. Will need to get full team back on the pitch but will be targeting games against Mountcollins and Galbally after the mid-summer break.
12. Galbally (no change)
Defeated by Fr Caseys and St Kierans and have a scoring difference of minus 18 after two rounds. Have scored just six points in both games to date. The next game back after the break, against Mountcollins, will determine what shape the championship run-in will have.