The first of the adult championship titles were decided in Limerick this weekend with football firmly in focus.
Jerome O’Connell reviews the action
1. Ballylanders bounce back
Ephie Fitzgerald arrived in Ballylanders in the Spring and worked his magic. After numerous successes with his native Nemo Rangers, Fitzgerald changed the shape of the Ballylanders team and it worked a treat with their sweeper system getting the best from the group of players. From outsiders at the outset of the championship, the south Limerick side progressed to win a fourth ever title and a first crown since 2007. Next up for Bally is a Munster club quarter-final clash with Waterford’s Stradbally or The Nire at a Limerick venue on November 2.
2. No stopping Na Piarsaigh
What a weekend for the Caherdavin club. On Saturday they surprised all when defeating St Senans in the Limerick IFC to join Adare as Limerick’s only dual senior clubs in 2015. Less than 24-hours later some of the same players lined out as they beat Doon to reach the final of the Limerick JAHC against Feohanagh-Castlemahon. This week Na Piarsaigh’s attentions switch to Sunday’s county SHC final against Kilmallock.
3. Bruff back senior
Patrickswell legend Gary Kirby guided Bruff back into the senior hurling ranks with Saturday’s win over Garryspillane. The south Limerick side were relegated in 2011. They now await either Croom or Blackrock in the county Premier IHC final, with the winner of this to play Ballyhea or Lixnaw in the Munster club semi-final on November 11.
4. Junior ranks
Feohanagh-Castlemahon were already confirmed as Limerick representatives in the Munster club JAHC but on Saturday they moved a step closer to winning the Limerick title when beating Patrickswell. They now play Na Piarsaigh in the Limerick final. Regardless they will play away to Tipperary’s Skeheenarinky on November 2 in the provincial quarter-final. In the Limerick JBHC the finalists are also confirmed with Doon playing Monaleen.
5. Football final venues
For the second successive year the Limerick SFC final was brought out of the Gaelic Grounds and to Newcastle West. Similarly the county IFC final was played in Askeaton. The public have appeared to respond positively with big crowds at both games. On Sunday, 2,565 attended in Newcastle West for the senior and minor final double-header.