Limerick SHC previews

Jerome O’Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O’Connell

Action from Doon v Croom in the Limerick SHC
THE final round of group games takes place this Saturday and Sunday in the Limerick SHC.

THE final round of group games takes place this Saturday and Sunday in the Limerick SHC.

Semi final, quarter final and relegation issues all have to be confirmed with all 12 clubs fighting for something.

Jerome O’Connell previews the action.

AHANE V SOUTH LIBERTIES

Date: Saturday, August 29

Venue: Caherconlish

Throw-in: 6.30

SOUTH Liberties are the only side of three battling for a quarter-final spot in Group One that have destiny in their own hands.

Simply a draw or win here will return them to a quarter final place.

Ahane must win and hope that Murroe-Boher don’t beat Effin if they are to progress.

Indeed for Ahane, relegation is also an issue as if they fail to win and Effin do beat Murroe-Boher then the Castleconnell side would drop to the Premier IHC.

Ahane will have Dan Morrissey and Niall Moran back in their plans after both missed the previous round.

South Liberties started without Tom Ryan in their previous round but he was introduced at half time. His teenage brother Brian could be out due to injury.

Both only have one win from four championship games but Liberties did secure a draw so only lost to Kilmallock and Patrickswell.

Neither should want for desire but even the thought of relegation will surely inspire Ahane to what will have to be their best display of the season. Both sides have struggled for score so goals could be key.

Prediction: Ahane

EFFIN V MURROE-BOHER

Date: Saturday, August

Venue: Bruff

Throw-in: 6.30

For Effin the quest is to avoid relegation, while for Murroe-Boher the permutations are varied but ultimately they will hope they can make a late run for a quarter final spot.

Only a win can stop Effin making the drop. Murroe-Boher will be relegated if they lose and Ahane win.

Murroe-Boher will make the quarter finals if they win and Ahane win.

Darren Moynihan’s side could have Mikey Ryan back from the US and could be set to have their strongest line-up of the Summer.

The first quest for Effin will be to curb the influence of Seanie Tobin. Others like Pat Tobin, Paudie McNamara and perhaps Ryan can assist in the scoring steaks.

Effin are drive by the Quaid trio and Jack is now back from injury to bolster their options around the middle third.

Confidence should be high in Murroe-Boher after defeating Ahane last time out. They appear to carry the greater potential to open the opposition defence.

Prediction: Murroe-Boher

KILMALLOCK V PATRICKSWELL

Date: Sunday, August 30

Venue: Bruff

Throw-in: 1.00

A straight shoot-out between the only two sides with 100% records in the county championship.

The winner moves directly into the semi finals, while the losing side are already guaranteed a quarter final place.

For both this will be the first real big test of the competition with big margins in many of their four previous wins - Patrickswell scored 11 goals, Kilmallock scored nine.

Ciaran Carey’s Patrickswell should welcome back Kevin and Seanie O’Brien, who missed the previous round while captain and full back Barry Foley returns from suspension.

Kilmallock will be without U-21 player Robbie Hanley, who is out with a should injury. Eoin Ryan has also missed out of late.

Ultimately the winner here could potentially avoid another of the fancied sides Na Piarsaigh until the county final.

The losing side here will play Adare, Doon or Ballybrown in the quarter final next month.

Prediction: Kilmallock

DOON V BALLYBROWN

Date: Sunday, August 30

Venue: Kilmallock

Throw-in: 6.30

Not 100% a winner takes all contest but both will know that they need to win to reach the quarter final.

Especially as Adare would be fancied to beat Bruff in their game.

Both have failed to beat Adare and Na Piarsaigh, although Ballybrown did draw with Adare.

Doon altered their team in their last game with Richie English taking up the troublesome centre back role and Cathal McNamara moving from attack to wing back and Denis Moloney going to midfield.

They were without Micheal Ryan in the last two games and will need all their attacking options to squeeze into the last six of the championship.

Dean Coleman and Mike Fitzgerald have been in fine scoring form and their U-21 contingent should be high on confidence.

Eoin Brislane’s Ballybrown have worked very hard to get themselves in this position.

They took much from their displays against the big two in the groups and will know victory is a possibility.

Prediction: Doon

ADARE V BRUFF

Date: Sunday, August 30

Venue: Claughaun

Throw-in: 6.30

What an unusual championship for Adare.

They appointed Ger Hegarty just before the outset of the competition and were slow-burners with three successive draws. But then they beat Doon to move into pole position for a quarter final spot.

Victory here will see them once again in the business end of the championship.

For Bruff, a quarter final spot is not possible but they will keep an eye on the Na Piarsaigh v Croom game to ensure relegation does not become a problem.

Only a Croom win can drag the Bruff side into trouble.

Bruff beat Croom in round one but have faltered since.

With so much on offer for Adare its hard to see Willie Griffin, John Fitzgibbon, Wayne McNamara and Declan Hannon allowing standards to slip sufficiently to give Bruff an opening.

Bruff have come under defensive pressure with 10 goals conceded and trouble scoring at the other end and ultimately falling short of opponents.

Prediction: Adare

NA PIARSAIGH V CROOM

Date: Sunday, August 30

Venue: Clarina

Throw-in: 6.30

Two very different agendas here.

Only a surprise victory can stop Croom from making an immediate return to the Premier IHC in 2016.

Na Piarsaigh for their part know that victory will ease them through directly to the semi finals.

And, what a nice position for the Caherdavin side to have got his far without some households names like Shane Dowling, Alan Dempsey and William O’Donoghue - who all had spells in the US.

All are expected back in their plans for another crack at the Daly Cup in September/October.

Croom will need all hands on deck in their outside chance of avoiding relegation. Stephen Lucey and Ryan O’Shea missed out last time out when they lost to Doon in their delayed round three fixture.

Conor Laffan, Conor Allis and Ger Flynn led the way in that contest but something special would be needed to rescue their season in this clash.

Prediction: Na Piarsaigh