IT’S an unusual throw-in time but a familiar pairing in this Sunday evening’s Limerick SFC semi final betweem Monaleen and St Patricks.
The Gaelic Grounds hosts the city derby this Sunday October 2 at 8.00.
This semi final is a repeat of the 2013 tie when Monaleen were one point winners.
The Castletroy and Rhebogue clubs met in the group stages last season and there was also only a point between the teams with Monaleen winning.
Back in 2014, St Pats were 3-8 to 0-12 winners enroute to their last final appearance.
International soccer duty rules Patrick Mullins out for St Patricks – the centre back is in Italy as part of the Republic of Ireland soccer squad playing in the Regions Cup.
It is understood that late Sunday fixture was requested by St Paticks, who have another player (Jason Mullins) abroad on holidays and there were hopes that he would be back in time for the throw-in.
However, it now looks like both Mullins’ brothers (centre back and wing forward) will be absent.
The Saints are bolstered by the return to action of Eoin Hanrahan. A former junior international soccer player, Hanrahan returned after a lengthy leg injury for Pike Rovers on Sunday when scoring after his introduction from the bench. A former Limerick senior footballer, Hanrahan has trained with St Patricks and will be part of their plans on Sunday after missing all six games in the championship to-date.
Monaleen, meanwhile, are sweating on the fitness of Jack Hoare and Evan Quinlan. Managed by former Limerick football captain Muiris Gavin, Monaleen were last champions in 2011. Indeed that county final win over Newcastle West was their last championship appearance in the Gaelic Grounds.
Monaleen are chasing a big double – the Castletroy side play Cappamore in the Premier IHC final on Saturday October 8 in Kilmallock. Ger Collins, Ed Doyle and John O’Dwyer start on both teams and the hurling semi final win last Saturday ensures Monaleen will have dual senior status in 2017.