Limerick SHC previews

Jerome O’Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O’Connell

Adare play Ahane in the Limerick SHC
LIMERICK’S Gaelic Grounds hosts two big SHC games this Sunday.

LIMERICK’S Gaelic Grounds hosts two big SHC games this Sunday.

There is a repeat of the 2014 county final when Kilmallock play Na Piarsaigh in the semi final and Adare and Ahane replay their drawn quarter final.

LIMERICK SHC SEMI-FINAL

Kilmallock v Na Piarsaigh

Date: Sunday, September 27

Venue: Gaelic Grounds

Throw-in: 3.45pm

WHAT a contest.....

The Limerick and Munster club hurling champions of the last two years.

The big two of Limerick club hurling have won the last five Limerick SHC titles between them but neither have managed to retain their crown.

They met for the last three seasons and neither side have won back-to-back games. All makes for another intriguing contest.

But champions Kilmallock won’t arrive in the Gaelic Grounds in the best of health,

None of Eoin Ryan, Bryan O’Sullivan and Robbie Hanley started last weekend’s quarter final win over Doon.

On top of that Philip O’Loughlin have forced off with a hand injury, while Gavin O’Mahony is suffering with a leg injury.

In the city, Na Piarsaigh look close to full strength with Alan Dempsey now back from the Summer in the US.

The bookies make Na Piarsaigh the 4/7 favourites to reach the October 11 county final. Indeed the Shane O’Neill managed and Alan Cunningham coached Caherdavin side are 13/2 fourth favourites to win back their Munster club title, as well as the short priced 6/5 favourites to retain the Daly Cup.

Na Piaraigh scored 17 goals in their five group games but never had a full team and never looked to be at full tilt.

But they will need to be at their best to overcome the champions on Sunday.

Kilmallock trio Paudie O’Brien, Jake Mulcahy and Philip O’Loughlin were very prominent in the middle third for Ger O’Loughlin’s side last weekend in their battling win over Doon. For all the talent that Na Piarsaigh have they need to nullify The Balbec in this area to give a constant supply to their attack.

Kilmallock have had hard games against Patrickswell and Doon in recent weeks but Na Piarsaigh’s last two games were 16 and 22 point wins.

As long as Na Piarsaigh are up to speed they should have too many options on the team and bench to dethone the champions.

Prediction: Na Piarsaigh

LIMERICK SHC QUARTER FINAL REPLAY

Adare v Ahane

Date: Sunday, September 27

Venue: Gaelic Grounds

Throw-in: 2.00pm

NINE times these sides were level in their drawn encounter last Saturday.

It finished 0-17 each and 50% of the scores came from play, albeit Adare did have the greater return from open play.

Both sides will know their is room for improvement and that the extra game will stand to the winner ahead of a semi final against Patrickswell.

Ahane lined out the last day without defenders Cathal O’Reilly and Cathal Ryan and were forced to make big changes to their line-up. Dan Morrissey did well as a new full back, but it’s in attack they will look for greater improvement.

Niall Moran was held scoreless by his former pupil Jody Hannon but the former county man had been one of the stars in the previous round win over South Liberties.

For their part Adare could be without Ross Kennedy, who was forced off injured with an ankle injury in the drawn game.

Adare haven’t used a big panel this season and Ger Hegarty will call for consistency from his side.

They are unbeaten in six championship games but have drawn for of those games. Ahane, Na Piarsaigh and Croom all struck late to deny Adare and much focus will be on their last five minutes in preparation for Sunday’s replay. They do look to hold more aces through.

Prediction: Adare