Limerick Premier IHC preview – club by club guide

Jerome O'Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O'Connell

Limerick Premier IHC preview – club by club guide

THE third year of the Limerick Premier IHC and it continues to go from strength to strength.

Just like last year the second tier of Limerick club hurling championship will be sponsored by LIT.

Action in the LIT Limerick Premier IHC commences this weekend and 28 round robin games later, the top four teams will progress to the semi finals and the bottom two relegated.

Just like the previous two years there is very little to divide any of the eight teams – made up of clubs from the four divisions – four from the south, two from the west and one each from the city and east. Garryspillane Blackrock are the ever present clubs in this championship, while Croom are the only side to have been promoted/relegated and then returned.

Elsehwere, Effin and Granagh-Ballingarry are recent senior teams, while the likes of Feohanagh-Castlemahon, Monaleen and Cappamore are climbing up the ladder. The minimum quest for all is to target four wins in the hope of reaching the knockout stages.

Effin and Croom are attempting immediate returns to the top flight.  Effin have former Patrickswell goalkeeper Damien Gillane as their new coach. The men in green and white are bolstered by the return to the club of John Mike Manning, while Timmy Rea and Enda Kelly are involved after missing some of last season. Conor Kearney could also return for the later stages of the championship.

Croom dont appear so fortunate and ahead of Saturday’s game with Monaleen have a long list of injuries including Stephen Lucey, Peter Lawlor and Tom Carmody.

Next in the betting are Monaleen and Garryspillane. Former Clare minor and U-21 supremo Jimmy Browne is still at the helm in Monaleen and will hope last year’s step upto this ranks will stand to his rising stars like Porter, Lyons, La Touche Cosgrave, Doyle, Golden, Nicholas and O’Dwyer.

The Bouncers continue to have Ryan brothers Davy and Donie as instrument figures at either end of the field. But the Knocklong based side will hope fresh talent like Micheal Bourke can add fresh impetus.

Then there are the two newcomers – Feohanagh and Cappamore.

For Feohanagh its a second successive promotion with a side laden with top underage talent like the Flanagan’s Fitzgibbon, Lynch and Butler. They now have former Kanturk manager Dan O’Donoghue as coach. Cappamore continue with the Liam Hammersley-Tony Power combination after their silverware winning 2015. But they make the step up with experienced trio Liam Cronin, Mark Treacy and Seamus Lane.

Blackrock have been the nearly team for the past two years but haven’t found top from in late Summer. Likewise Granagh-Ballingarry, who are facing into their second season at this level and have looked to Adare’s Aidan O’Rahilly as coach. 

BLACKROCK

Management: Peter O’Sullivan, Fintan Leahy, Ted Danaher

Captain: Richie Murphy

Key players: Richie McCarthy, Paudie Leahy, Kevin Palmer, Dylan Dawson

Young guns: Ian O’Brien, Martin Farrell

Last year: Mid-table finish in Limerick Premier IHC

Betting: 6/1

CAPPAMORE

Management: Liam Hammersley (manager), Tony Power (coach), Seamus Ryan (selector)

Captain: TBC

Key players: John Ryan, Conor Sheehan, Tommy O’Donoghue, Eamon Gleeson

Young guns: Joe Lonergan, Adam Coleman, Anthony Foley

Last year: Promoted as Limerick IHC winners

Betting: 10/1

CROOM

Management: Ray Twomey (manager), Liam Lyons (physical trainer), Liam Ryan, Timmy Quirke, Richie O’Kelly (selectors)

Captain: Stephen Lucey, vice captain: Conor Allis

Key players: Stephen Lucey, Conor Allis, Conor Laffan

Young guns: Ryan O’Shea, Darragh O’Farrell, Mark Reidy

Last year: Relegated from the Limerick SHC

Betting: 4/1

EFFIN

Management: John Mulcahy (manager), Damien Gillane (coach), Gary Murphy, Pat Power, Donal O’Riordan (selectors)

Captain: Tommy Quaid

Key players: Nickie and Tommy Quaid Damien Moloney, Michael Rea

Young gun: Jack Quaid

Last year: Relegated from Limerick SHC

Betting: 11/4

 

FEOHANAGH-CASTLEMAHON

Management: Pat O’Brien (manager), Tommy McCoy, Mikey Sweeney, Dan O’Donoghue (coach).

Captain: Conor Noonan

Key players: Jamie Butler, Mike Fitzgibbon, Barry Lynch

Young guns: Seamus and Sean Flanagan

Last year: Promoted as Limerick IHC runners-up

Betting: 12/1

GARRYSPILLANE

Management: Sean Doyle (manager), Mark Ryan (physical trainer), Darren Hayes, John Joe O’Reilly (selectors)

Captain: Davy Ryan

Key players: James Ryan, Donie Ryan, Stephen Meade

Young guns: Micheal Bourke, John Kerins, Colin Ryan

Last year: Beaten in the semi final by Knockainey

Betting: 6/1

GRANAGH-BALLINGARRY

Management: Liam Carroll (manager), Aidan O’Rahilly (coach), Paul Kennedy, Stephen Stapleton, Darragh O’Grady (selectors)

Captain: John Carroll

Key players: Donal O’Grady, David Clancy, Denis O’Connor

Young gun: David Condon 

Last year: Mid-table finish in Limerick Premier IHC

Betting: 5/1

MONALEEN

Managament: Jimmy Browne (manager/coach), Jed O’Dwyer, Eamon O’Connell, Edward Cosgrave

Captain: TBC

Key players: Brian Geary, Andrew La Touche Cosgrave, Peter Russell, John O’Dwyer

Young guns: Darren Golden, Mark O’Dwyer, Lorcan Lyons

Last year: Beaten after a replay by Bruree in the semi final

Betting: 5/1