IT appears a coin toss will determine where the Munster club SHC final will take place.
The decider between Kilmallock and Cratloe will take place on Sunday November 23 with Limerick’s Gaelic Grounds and Cusack Park in Ennis now the most likely venues, although it could be Wednesday before confirmation.
The November 23 final will be the third time in four years that the province’s showpiece club final will be contested by the champions of Limerick and Clare.
Thurles hosted the 2011 final between Na Piarsaigh and Crusheen amid much supporters unrest about the unnecessary travel.
A new regulation was introduced in the aftermath of that championship meaning that Munster Council officials can now instruct competing teams to toss for a home venue within their county but not their own grounds.
As a result Na Piarsaigh and Sixmilebridge had to toss this time last year and the final took place in Ennis.
This would appear to rule out any possibility of the Kilmallock v Cratloe final going to Thurles.
Ahead of the eagerly awaited Shannonside clash the bookies make double-chasing Cratloe the 4/5 favourites, with Kilmallock at 5/4.
The final will see Ger ‘Sparrow’ O’Loughlin come into a sideline battle with his former Clare inter-county colleagues Brian Lohan and Alan Neville - both Cratloe selectors. Indeed Neville and O’Loughlin won a Munster club title in the black and white of Clarecastle in 1987.
“I’ve gone to see them this year, they beat my own club, Clarecastle. They are a serious outfit. I’m a great admirer of Cratloe hurling and football and the next game could be an epic too, two good hurling teams meeting each other. They are going to be so hard to beat. That said, the one thing I will say about our lads is we’re not going to lie down, we’ll give it everything,” said Kilmallock manager O’Loughlin.