Jerome O’Connell looks at the state of play in the Limerick SFC after the fourth round of games last weekend
NEWCASTLE West had one point to spare last September when they faced Claughaun in the senior football championship relegation play-off.
Eleven months later Newcastle West find themselves in the knockout places of the Limerick’s Live 95FM sponsored county senior football championship and with one foot in the semi-finals.
The could indeed lose their final Group Two game against St Senans and still progress directly to the semi-finals, but of course a draw or win would copper fasten a remarkable turn around.
Ten of the side that scored a one point win over Claughaun last year lined out last weekend as Mike Quilligan’s side maintained their unbeaten run with a draw against Ballylanders.
For their part Eamon O’Neill’s Ballylanders have their progress in their own hands in that a draw would be enough to progress when they face Ballysteen in the last round.
Ahead of an intriguing final round of action on the weekend of September 2/3/4, Ballylanders could lose and still progress.
Just like St Senans when they play Newcastle West, Ballysteen will be looking to get a first win of the season to avoid a relegation play-off. Elsewhere in this group there will be a winner-takes-all contest between Dromcollogher-Broadford and St Kierans.
A draw will be enough for the Ardagh-Coolcappa-Kilcolman side to progress and eliminate the former kingpins, while Maurice McCarthy and Eamon Fitzmaurice know that a third successive victory will complete a famous turnaround for Drom-Broadford.
In Group One champions Monaleen are on the brink of elimination after suffering defeat to St Patricks for the second successive year.
There are many permutations but even if Monaleen defeat table-toppers Fr Caseys they would loose out. But another sequence of results would mean that a draw would be sufficient.
The Abbeyfeale side are into the semi-finals regardless of the result.
If they loose they can be joined on seven points by St Pats, but the west Limerick side won the head-to-head battle.
Head-to-head results will determine the final standings where two teams finish level on points, but scoring difference would be used if three or more sides finished level. St Patrick’s have their progress in their own hands in that they know that a draw would be enough to progress to the quarter-finals, when they face Pallasgreen.
Adare are in the same position when they face Galbally. A draw or win for both St Pats and Adare would put Monaleen out.
But both face Pallasgreen and Galbally sides battling relegation. At present Pallasgreen are on course for a relegation play-off by virtue of the Galbally win earlier in the year.