THE draws for the 2015 Limerick GAA club championships were made this Sunday evening at the end of Annual Convention in Ballylanders GAA clubhouse.
In the flagship Limerick SHC, champions Kilmallock are currently focused on their February All -Ireland club SHC semi-final against Portaferry but they now know their opponents for their county title defence.
Also over the weekend the All-Ireland club SHC was whittled down to four clubs after the delayed Galway final saew Gort dethrone All-Ireland champions Portumna. That means that Gort now play Kilkenny’s Ballyhale Shamrocks in the opposite semi-final to Kilmallock’s.
Back in Limerick, 2014 county finalists Kilmallock and Na Piarsaigh were seeded and therefore are in opposing groups for next year’s championship.
Kilmallock are in Group One, along with east Limerick trio Ahane, South Liberties and Murroe-Boher. Completing the group are Kilmallock’s neighbours and Patrickswell.
The Well unveiled Ciaran Carey as their new manager last week and will be bidding to end a run of two seasons without reaching the knockout stages of the championship. Carey has confirmed that his former inter-county colleague Mark Foley will join his management team as coach.
In Group Two Na Piarsaigh were the seeded team.
They will face stiff opposition from Doon and Adare.
Also in the group are the two sides promoted from the Premier intermediate championship this season - Bruff and Croom.
Completing the group are Ballybrown.
Ahead of Sunday’s draw Na Piarsaigh confirmed that Shane O’Neill is again to manage their side in 2015 with Alan Cunningham as coach.
Ballybrown have also confirmed their status with former Tipperary and Toomevara hurler Eoin Brislane now at the helm.
The top team in each group after the five round robin games will advance directly to the semi-final with teams finishing second and third into the quarter-finals.
The bottom team in each group is automatically relegated to the Premier IHC.
In the senior football championship Group One is exactly the same as this season and contains three of the teams that reached the championship semi-finals this Autumn.
Champions Ballylanders will once again face defeated county finalists St Patrick’s and former champions Dromcollogher-Broadford and Monaleen, as well as Pallasgreen and Rathkkeale’s St Marys Sean Finns.
In Group Two are senior newcomers Na Piarsaigh and fellow dual senior club, Adare.
They will play westerners Newcastle West, Fr Caseys, St Kierans and Ballysteen.
The format for the championship is the same as that for the Limerick SHC.
Meanwhile the draws were also made for the intermediate club championships.
In Group One of the Limerick IHC are Mungret, Cappamore, Feenagh-Kilmeedy, Knockaderry, Caherline and St Kierans.
Group Two contains Glenroe, Kildimo-Pallaskenry, Hospital-Herbertstown, Newcastle West, Claughaun and junior champions Feohanagh-Castlemahon.
This is now the third tier of Limerick club hurling with the eight team Premier IHC the second tier.
No draw was necessary for this champions but the teams were drawn in an order for ease of fixture making. The resulting sequence of teams was Bruree, Monaleen, Blackrock, Dromin-Athlacca, Pallasgreen, Garryspillane, Knockainey and Granagh-Ballingarry.
The final draw made was for the Limerick IFC.
In Group One are Claughaun, Feohanagh-Castlemahon, St Senans, Mountcollins, Hospital-Herbertstown and Bruff.
In Group Two are Oola, Mungret, relegated Galbally, Cappamore, Athea and newcomers Glin.
On the field of play over the weekend in Limerick GAA the county U-21 football championship continued.
The way is now clear for the semi-finals next weekend in the Premier U-21 football championship.
Ballybrown will play Athea-Mountcollins and St Kieran’s face Newcastle West.
In the U-21 A football championship, St Patricks await next weekend’s refixed semi-final between Pallasgreen and Shannon Gaels.
While the U-21 B football final is to be contested by Mungret and Adare.
All fixtures will be made this Monday night.
In the Munster club JBFC Kerry’s Valentia beat Clare champions Cratloe 3-13 to 0-2 to advance to play Kildimo-Pallaskenry in Munster club JBFC final.
A date for this provincial final is also to be confirmed in the next 24-hours.
One game confirmed for next Sunday is the replay of the Limerick premier minor hurling final with the Gaelic Grounds playing host to Ahane and Na Piarsaigh on Sunday (2.00).