With Dromcollogher-Broadford crowned Limerick senior football champions and already eliminated from the Munster championship, Jerome O’Connell reviews the 2012 club campaign.
The Limerick senior football clubs were ranked from 1-12 at the outset of the championship last April, now Jerome O’Connell updates the ratings for the final time. This Wednesday LeaderSport will select a Team of the Championship, Player of the Championship and Young Player of the Championship.
1. Dromcollogher-Broadford (up 2 places)
There is no more can be said about this club. Fifteen years ago they were in the junior ranks but have climbed the ladder to contest 11 senior finals - winning six, losing two, drawing two and one was abandoned.
They lost in round one this year to Newcastle West but regrouped to ensure the magpies wouldn’t beat them for a fourth successive time when they met in the county final. It was a county final that saw eight players from the club collect a sixth title in the black, amber and red.
2. Newcastle West (up 2 places).
Just like last year, Newcastle West were on the losing side on County Final Day. This time round they went much closer but just couldn’t kill off Drom-Broadford. They will look back at key missed goal chances in both finals but nonetheless have the youth to return next year to try and end the famine that stretches back to 1992.
3. Fr Caseys (down 1 place)
Advanced unbeaten to the semi-finals, putting up some big scorelines along the way. Perhaps that was their downfall as certainly the teams from the other group were much more battle hardened. But the Abbeyfeale men can also point to key injuries that robbed them of their best team in the semi-final loss to Drom-Broadford. They are already planning for 2013 with a new management team, led by Dave Keating.
4. Ballysteen (up 7 places)
What a year for the men from the Askeaton-Ballysteen parish. Just about held onto their senior status last season and with only two draws in the early games of the 2012 championship they could again have faced relegation trouble. But they beat Ballylanders and then St Kierans to book an unlikely semi-final spot, where they failed to Newcastle West.
5. St Kierans (up 3 places)
Progress to reach the quarter-finals but they will feel there was an opportunity to advance further. Aside from a defeat to Fr Caseys, St Kierans secured four wins to reach the knockout stages. They could have been better served by a tougher route to the quarter-final stages. Certainly have reach to approach 2013 with optimism, although they are now an intermediate hurling club also.
6. Galbally (up 3 places)
Monaleen will always remember the role Galbally played for them in 2011. This year Galbally made a name for themselves but taking advantage of a favourable draw to reach the quarter-final. On top of that was their fine league form, which saw them beat Fr Caseys in the final.
7. Ballylanders (down 3 places)
All they had to do was beat Ballysteen to book a place in the knockout stages. But again their inconsistent form came back to haunt them. Beating Monaleen and Newcastle West shows potential of the team but they need to maintain form for all games.
8. Monaleen (down 7 places)
What a fall from grace. Set out last April seeking a hat-trick of titles and there can be no denying the talent at their disposal. Simply they never displayed the hunger necessary to win. They lived dangerously in the group stages for the last two years but their luck ran out and there was no great escape this time round.
9. Mountcollins (up 3 places)
Beat Adare and St Patricks to consolidate their senior status and for the newcomers that has to be seen as good opening season in the top flight. Don’t have the resources of some other clubs and will keep fingers crossed that they don’t lose any players before the start of the 2013 championship next spring.
10. Adare (down 4 places)
Beating St Patricks was their only win of the season. Were very much a new look side this season and will need to show confidence in that youth again next year. Crucially some of the new players appear to hold football as their number one choice and this could work to their advantage.
11. St Patricks (down 5 places)
Their only win of the year came in the relegation play-off against St Senan’s. Didn’t look the force of previous years and for the first time since winning the intermediate grade, the settled look to their team was absent. Getting all players pulling in the one direction is key and it appears they will be under new management next season.
12. St Senans (down 3 places)
Reached the county final in 2006 but instead of building on that, they have slipped year after year. And, yet they were within minutes of advancing to the knockout stages this year only for late changes in a number of games in the final round of action.
Have some great talent but remain too inconsistent. Will be hot favourites for the 2013 IFC title.