ROUND Three of the Limerick SFC takes place this weekend.
Six group games will determine the group standings ahead of the two month break.
Newcastle West v St Kierans
Date: Friday June 5
These old rivals met in round four last year and Newcastle West just emerged one point winners.
They arrive in Dromcollogher on Friday off the back of very different results in round two.
For Newcastle West they are one of just three clubs with 100% records.
Much has been made of their new system and it certainly has worked a treat so far with just 0-11 conceded in two games. On top of the defensive side of their game plan they have shown themselves capable of amassing sufficient scores to get victories.
They meet a St Kierans team heavily beaten by Ballyseen in round two and who just beat Adare in round one.
The fitness of key full back Paudie McCarthy is vital for a side that have conceded five goals to-date.
The sides could break even around the middle third but aside from this Newcastle West could hold the aces and keep St Kierans at bay while holding more forward power.
Prediction: Newcastle West
Fr Caseys v Na Piarsaigh
Date: Friday, June 5
City side Na Piarsaigh are still searching for a first victory on their return to the senior ranks.
Ahead of the two month Summer break the Caherdavin men will need to boost confidence. But they have scored just 12-points in their two games. As a positive they have only conceded 0-21.
For this trip to Kilmallock getting some early momentum is vital for Na Piarsaigh, who are winning primary possession but not making the most of their attacking play.
Their All County League form is good and includes a win over Fr Caseys back in mid-March.
They face a Fr Caseys side that were nine point winners over Adare in the last round.
John Colbert will stress the need for consistency to his Abbeyfeale charges.
Some in the line-up will be buoyant after the hat-trick success of the local soccer side in the Desmond League.
Robert Browne, Chris Smyth and Eoin Joy are carrying knocks for Fr Caseys.
Prediction: Fr Caseys
Monaleen v Pallasgreen
Date: Friday, June 5
These sides also met in round three last year and Monaleen prevailed 0-15 to 2-4 winners.
After a winning start to the season at U-21, senior football and intermediate hurling, Pallasgreen have hit lean times in recent weeks.
In senior football they beat Ballylanders but then failed to Rathkeale. Regardless they have being putting up big tallies, albeit with Kevin Barry frees a key component.
This Friday they meet a Monaleen side battled for their lives after defeats to Ballylanders and Dromcollollogher-Broadford.
In defeat they have only conceded one goal but have faded out of games for long periods with no sustained attacking threat.
Jason O’Brien was returning from injury last time out for Monaleen while Robert O’Donnell was a missing component from the start when Pallagreen lost to Rathkeale. Paul Kinnerk went off injured also in that Monaleen loss to Ballylanders.
Dromcollogher-Broadford v Rathkeale
Date: Friday, June 5
Both sides arrive in the unusual surrounds of Knockaderry with one win and one defeat.
When these teams met last year Dromcollogher-Broadford were 2-15 to 1-6 winners.
But Rathkeale should be a different proposition this time round. Firstly buoyed by their win over Pallasgreen and also by the return of some key players from long term injuries. Another positive is that they have conceded no goals to-date.
If others can get back into contention Rathkeale would be closer to their 2013 intermediate championship winning form.
On Friday they meet a Drom-Broadford side that will want to bounce back from a loss to St Patricks last time out.
That was a game where the west Limerick side failed to show up in the first half and management will want to ensure no repeat of that inconsistency.
Adare v Ballysteen
Date: Saturday June 6
Venue: Rathkeale GAA club grounds
Table-toppers Ballysteen will know that a third victory will go a long way towards securing them a return to the knockout stages of the championship.
They are also flying high in the All County League at present and will be anxious to continue their winning ways. They are coached by former Adare footballer Niall Crowley.
They will once again be without the suspended Mark Ranahan, who missed their big win over St Kierans in the previous round.
In last year’s championship, Ballysteen won this contest, 3-14 to 0-6.
Adare are without a win after losses to St Kierans and Fr Caseys.
Key forward Mikey Lyons wasn’t fit enough to start last time out and will be a boost to a young side.
Shane O’Donoghue didn’t play for Adare last time out but played hurling at the weekend. It was the opposite for Jeff Lohan and they will need all hands on deck to stop Ballysteen’s winning ways.
Ballylanders v St Patricks
Date: Sunday, June 7
The game of the weekend is certainly this repeat of the 2014 County final.
In that final Ballylanders claimed victory but St Patricks will be quick to point out that they won the corresponding group game.
While the city men are undefeated, Ballylanders are yet to hit top form with defeat to Pallasgreen in round one and then a late victory over Monaleen in round two.
Key man Stephen Walsh injured his back on Limerick hurling duty last Sunday and could be a doubt for a side that could have manager Ephie Fitzgerald back on the sideline as he missed their last game due to Clare commitments.
St Patricks are flying high with impressive wins over Rathkeale and Drom-Broadford. Key men Gearoid Hegarty, Eoin Hanrahan and John Mullane are all in top form at present for a side that was won without goals.
Defensively they have also looked very strong to-date and will look to maintain that.
Prediction: St Patricks