Na Piarsaigh remain tops in Limerick club rankings

THE Limerick Leader rankings are updated after there were shocks aplenty in round one of the Limerick senior hurling championship. Jerome O’Connell ranked the teams from 1-16 ahead of the championship and now updates those on the rise and those on the decline after the eight opening round games last weekend.

THE Limerick Leader rankings are updated after there were shocks aplenty in round one of the Limerick senior hurling championship.

Jerome O’Connell ranked the teams from 1-16 ahead of the championship and now updates those on the rise and those on the decline after the eight opening round games last weekend.

1. Na Piarsaigh (no change)

Still the team to beat, although they only drew with South Liberties. Remember the Caherdavin side were missing five starters against Liberties and still it took a late gasp goal to deny them victory. Will need everyone back through to retain crown

2. Kilmallock (no change)

Probably the most impressive team in round one and for me still the favourites for the championship. While it was a poor Knockainey challenge, The Balbec looked focused and still have the likes of the exam-tied Philip O’Loughlin and Robbie Egan to bolster their team.

3. Emmets (no change)

Have lost players from Hospital-Herbertstown and Effin since their county final appearance of 2010 but still one of the contenders. Weren’t brilliant against Bruree but still won and always get better as the season progresses.

4. Murroe-Boher (up three places)

Any time they beat eastern rivals Ahane it is noteworthy but up next is Kilmallock and that game will tell a lot, albeit they will now be missing the injured Seamus Hickey. Still have put themselves in position for a quarter-final spot.

5. Patrickswell (up one place)

Needed a late winning goal from county minor Kevin O’Brien to snatch victory from Effin. But winning a tight game like that is testament to the club because they certainly were not playing well. Don’t have the experienced leaders of old but have exciting young talent.

6. Adare (down one place)

Only started with a sprinkling of experienced players and still were only caught by a late goal and all that was despite the absence of Declan Hannon. Play Bruree in next game so any obits can be placed on the long finger for another while.

7. Ahane (down three places)

Last year’s county finalists have an uphill battle to reach knockout stages now but if they get a result against Knockainey next time out all will be to play for. Ollie Moran is an obvious lost but others have departed also and the time is right for new heroes to emerge.

8. Granagh-Ballinagarry (up three places) Will take huge confidence from beating Adare and look to have real options with a number of players back in their ranks. But they will be the first to acknowledge that beating a perceived heavyweight like Adare will only be worthwhile if they progress to quarter-finals.

9. South Liberties (up three places)

Held the champions to a draw and should take great belief from the game. The group remains wide open and the next outing against Croom will probably determine the season.

10. Croom (down one place)

Only drew with Hospital-Herbertstown, who scored three goals on the night. Appeared to have shown good form in winning south championship and the draw in the other game ensures that all is still to play for.

11. Doon (down three places)

The real disappointment of the opening round. Just don’t seem to bring their individual talent together on the field. Were beaten by a Garryspillane side that appeared to want the victory more.

12. Garryspillane (up three places)

One of those to create a shock in round one when beating Doon when loyal clubmen like Micheal O’Donnell and Donie Ryan showed that club pride still means a lot – like it should to all teams! Play Effin next and while they won’t want to talk of quarter-finals yet, thats what another victory would mean.

13. Hospital-Herbertstown (up one place) Drew with Croom but next up are the champions. However Na Piarsaigh will still be short quite a few on the June Bank Holiday weekend but should be on high alert after the results of round one. Still much to do for the 2010 intermediate champions.

14. Effin (up two places)

Almost the fairytale story of the opening round until robbed by a late Patrickswell goal. But Effin looked very much at home in senior company and that was without the injured Tommy Quaid, who should be back for their crucial game with The Bouncers in round two.

15. Bruree (down five places)

Had done much work under manager Pat Bennett of Waterford but lost to an Emmets side that hadn’t played a game together since last year’s semi-final. Still have Adare and neighbours Granagh-Ballingarry to play in a tough group.

16. Knockainey (down two places)

Were no match for an in-form Kilmallock. Were missing centre back Nigel Finch but don’t appear to have the firepower to hurt teams and with Murroe-Boher and Ahane to come it doesn’t look like their will be any repeat of their run of 2010.