Limerick SHC round two match previews

Jerome O’Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O’Connell

Kilmallock's Robbie Egan in action in their round one Limerick SHC game against Ahane
ROUND Two of the Limerick SHC takes place this Bank Holiday Weekend.

ROUND Two of the Limerick SHC takes place this Bank Holiday Weekend.

The six group games are evenly spread over Friday and Saturday evenings to allow TJ Ryan bring a full strength Limerick senior hurling panel to Inistioge on Sunday evening for a challenge game against Brian Cody’s Kilkenny.

AHANE V EFFIN

Date: Friday, May 29

Venue: Bruff

Throw-in: 6.15pm

BOTH lost out in round one and will want to get back to winning ways.

Ahane stayed with champions Kilmallock for much of their encounter but Effin suffered the heaviest defeat when Patrickswell piled on a host of final quarter scores.

Injury to Nickie Quaid is a massive blow to the south Limerick men, especially on top of the retirement of John Dillon.

Ahane will have Mike Carr back as an option as he missed round one due to suspension, but Sean Madden did go off injured.

Niall Moran was centre back against The Balbec with Cathal O’Reilly at full forward. When you see the likes of Richie Ryan, Paul O’Halloran and Ciaran O’Mara among the subs it shows the potential that Eamonn Meskell has in Ahane.

They will look to get bigger performances from Morrissey brothers Dan and Tom, who were both positioned in the half forward line last time out.

Overall they should have too much fire power.

Prediction: Ahane

KILMALLOCK V SOUTH LIBERTIES

Date: Friday, May 29

Venue: Bruff

Throw-in: 7.45pm

When these sides met in the final group game last year, Kilmallock were 19-point winner enroute to Limerick and Munster titles.

This tie is the only one of the six games in round two that pits round one winners together.

Kilmallock beat Ahane in round one without the services of Mark O’Loughlin and Bryan O’Sullivan. They were edgy for periods in that game until captain Graeme Mulcahy found goals either side of half time.

South Liberties lined out without Shane O’Neill and Mark Keane. But youth came to the fore in their win over Murroe-Boher with Brian Ryan, Barry Nash and Conor McSweeney starring. Add in Tom Ryan and William Hickey and there is inspiration aplenty.

This is a game where Liberties can aspire to have a go at the champions, free from the pressure of expectancy that may have surrounded round one. If they get early scores they could pose a threat but Kilmallock appear to hold too many aces.

Prediction: Kilmallock

MURROE-BOHER V PATRICKSWELL

Date: Saturday, May 30

Venue: Claughaun

Throw-in: 7.30pm

Credit to Ciaran Carey he appears to have created a buzz around Patrickswell hurling again.

They sparkled in round one and last weekend many of their club stars were in fine form in the colours of varying Limerick teams - Cian Lynch, Seanie O’Brien, Diarmuid Byrnes, Kevin O’Brien, Brian Murray and Mark Carmody.

Add in Thomas O’Brien, Lar Considine and Jack Kelleher and the strength of their line-up is clear.

When these teams met last year The Well were 2-16 to 0-12 winners.

On the back of a losing run in the County League, for Murroe-Boher this is a vital game to try and get a victory after losing to Liberties in round one of the Limerick SHC. Despite his red card in Thurles, Seanie Tobin will be available for club duty.

But they have to supplement the scores of Tobin, who continues to dominate their scoresheet from frees and play.

Both sides have stars but The Well look more balanced.

Prediction: Patrickswell

BALLYBROWN V NA PIARSAIGH

Date: Friday, May 29

Venue: Claughaun

Throw-in: 7.30pm

This is the first of two upcoming meeting for this sides.

On Sunday evening June 7 they are due to contest the City SHC final in Claughaun.

But county championship points will be of utmost importance.

Na Piarsaigh battled well with vital scores at vital times to beat Doon but have now lost two goal hero David Breen to injury, although Kevin Downes could be ready for a start. Aidan Hennessy is also an injury doubt.

They had a new-look defence last time out and struggled for periods until they rejigged and finished with teenager Ronan Lynch at centre back.

While the Caherdavin men got their round one victory, Ballybrown let a big lead slip against Adare.

Eoin Brislane’s side will take confidence from that outing and know that another good first half will be vital to unsettle the 2013 champions.

The Ballybrown defence has a new-look about it in 2015 and this will be their greatest test.

Prediction: Na Piarsaigh

ADARE V CROOM

Date: Saturday, May 30

Venue: Bruff

Throw-in: 7.30pm

Neither side will have been happy with their round one displays.

But while Croom lost to Bruff, Adare battled back to secure a draw with Ballybrown.

In that game Ger Hegarty’s Adare started with Wayne McNamara at full back and Declan Hannon at centre back.

Hannon did move into the attack in the second half, where Adare have former Wexford U-21 hurler James Gahan as a new recruit this season.

Croom’s Conor Allis wasn’t fit enough to be involved in Limerick’s match-day panel in Thurles last Sunday and they will hope he proves his fitness this week.

They had Mark O’Riordan and Stephen Lucey and Peter Lawlor in central roles last time out and will need their long serving trio at their best to curb an Adare side that will surely look to bounce back from a below par round one display.

Willie Griffin and John Fitzgibbon were heroes in Thurles and will also be vital figures in this local derby.

Prediction: Adare

BRUFF V DOON

Date: Saturday, May 30

Venue: Caherconlish

Throw-in: 7.30pm

IT will be a busy weekend for Bruff manager Fergie O’Loughlin, who is also involved with Clooney-Quin in the Clare SHC with a game on Sunday afternoon.

O’Loughlin guided Bruff to a round one win over Croom and therefore they can hurl with greater confidence and perhaps less expectation in this contest.

Bruff were without Brian Finn and Bobby O’Brien in that win and both will bolster their options. John Cooke and Shane Bulfin tormented Croom in a two man full forward line.

At the other end of the field, the Bruff defence, who had Paul Browne at centre back, will face a stiffer test this time round.

Doon had the ideal start of a first minute goal against Na Piarsaigh but then faded until the second half.

If Doon are to reach another knockout stage victory here is a must. Under new management they have made some slight adjustments to their line-up and could adjust further to get this win.

Prediction: Doon