“THERE can be little doubt that Dromcollogher-Broadford will have their name on the plinth of the Limerick SFC cup within the next few years.”
The words of Limerick Football Board chairman Billy Ahern as he presented the Limerick SFC trophy back in 2000.
That was Dromcollogher-Broadford’s debut season in the senior grade and no one could have foreseen that millennium final would be the first of 11 Limerick SFC finals for the west Limerick men.
Seventeen championships later Dromcollogher-Broadford chase their eighth title.
Standing in their way are Monaleen – champions four times in the same period.
Saturday’s floodlight final, sponsored by Irish Wire Products, is a repeat of the 2013 final. The final takes place this Saturday evening (October 15) at 7.30 in the Gaelic Grounds.
The rivals also met in last years semi final and indeed the group stages and both victors went west.
But the bookies make Monaleen the slightest of favourites to win this Saturday in the Gaelic Grounds.
Managed by former star player Muiris Gavin, with selectors Alan Kitson, Fergus Melody, Shane Moynahan and John O’Halloran, Monaleen arrive in the final unbeaten – albeit they drew with champions Newcastle West back in round one of the group stages in May.
Coached by Ricky Roynane, Monaleen play a high octane style of football with a big work ethic demanded of all.
Jason O’Brien is ruled out through injury while others like Ross McGrath, Ed Doyle, Jack Hoare and Evan Quinlan have been on the treatment table of late.
With a full hand they have Ger Collins, Graham O’Connell and Brian Donovan as their main scoring threat.
But much will depend on an impressive half back line of Padraic Quinn, Jack Hoare and Shane Cusack. This trio is the launchpad for much of the good work this season, while the pace of Brian Donovan is another vital cog in their rhythm.
Monaleen are back in the final for the first time since 2013 but are seeking a first win since 2011. They have four titles over the last 16 years and on Saturday Jason O’Brien, Finbarr Nash and Paul Kinnerk will be all chasing a fifth winners medal.
Plenty experience in the Drom-Broadford line-up too with Micheal Reidy, Ray Lynch, Jason Stokes, Patrick Donnelly and Garrett Noonan all bidding for an eighth title.
Reidy and Neil Conway are joint-managers with Moss McCarthy coach of a side, that is captained by Garrett Noonan.
Injuries and the influx of players from Feenagh-Kilmeedy have seen Drom-Broadford mould a new team this season.
The O’Gorman brothers Ger and John add options to midfield and the full forward line. Elsewhere Dee O’Leary and Noonan will anchor the defence. If the Monaleen half back line is key to their success the Drom-Broadford half forward line is vital to their cause and makes for an intriguing battle between the six.
Drom-Broadford can alter throughout but could line up with pacy Micheal Brosnan and Derry McCarthy either side of play-maker Pat Donnelly in the half forward line.
They will be without long-term injured Seanie Buckley and Mike Boyce but are boosted by the return of Cillian Fahy and Killian Phair, who were both introduced as subs in the semi final win over Na Piarsaigh.
Both finalists have plenty Munster club experience and for Saturday’s winner, a Munster quarter final with Cork’s Ballincollig or Carbery Rangers awaits on October 29/30.
The curtain-raiser on Saturday is the county JAFC semi final between Gerald Griffins and Kildimo-Pallaskenry at 5.30. The other semi final in this championship takes place on October 30 in Bruff (3.30) between Kilteely-Dromkeen and Croom.
The surviving members of Limerick’s Munster minor football championship winning side of 1956 are to be guests of honour at Saturday’s Limerick SFC final. Limerick beat Kerry in that final, 1-7 to 1-5.
That Limerick line-up was: JJ O’Donovan, Mick Walsh, Paddy Cearney, Martin McNamara, Liam Whelan, Jack Quinlivan, Eamon O’Connor, Joe Myles, Moss Downey, Liam Downey, Charlie Quaid, Ger Phelan, John Fitzgerald, Tom O’Connor, Liam Moloney.