SEVEN championships have passed since anyone has retained their Limerick SHC title.
Indeed since the turn of the millennium Adare (twice) are the only club to win back-to-back Daly Cup crowns.
This weekend, the 2017 Credit Union sponsored Limerick SHC commences with 11 clubs setting out in the hope of dethroning Patrickswell.
Leading the roll of honour with Ahane on 19 titles, The Well last won successive titles in 1996-97.
Ahead of the new campaign, its 2016 All Ireland club SHC winners Na Piarsaigh that are the hottest of favourites with the bookies to win a fourth county title in seven years.
The Caherdavin men are priced at 10/11 with defending champions Patrickswell leading the chasing pack at 7/2.
Kilmallock are seeking a fourth title in eight years and are third in the betting at 4/1.
While the championship commences this weekend and round two follows on May 11-14, there is then a break for round three until June 8-11 – the weekend after the Munster SHC semi final between Limerick and Clare in Thurles.
From this Friday until the final on October 8 there are at least 35 exciting encounters on eight weekends over a five month period.
It one change from last season, just one club will be relegated down to the Premier IHC – the bottom club in each group will play off to determine, who makes the drop.
The top three teams in each group make the knockout stages, while those finishing fouth and fifth progress to the County Cup.
MANAGEMENT: Management: Paul Keane (manager), Donncha Sheehan, Colm Cribbin, Sean Brennan, Timmy Houlihan (all selectors).
KEY PLAYERS: Declan Hannon, Wayne McNamara, John Fitzgibbon, Willie Griffin.
YOUNG PLAYERS: Mikey Mackey, Sean Hogan, Eoin Ryan, Mark Connolly.
ROUND 1: Adare v Patrickswell, Sunday May 7 in Kilmallock at 4.45
ROUND 2: Adare v Knockainey, Sunday April 14 in Kilmallock at 3.00
MANAGEMENT: Colm and Eoghan Hanley (joint managers-coaches), Dave Crowley (strength and conditioning coach), Seanie O’Connor and Ger Mulcahy (both selectors).
KEY PLAYERS: Niall Moran, Dan, Tom and Paddy Morrissey.
YOUNG PLAYERS: Paul O’Halloran, Ciaran O’Mara.
ROUND 1: Ahane v Doon, Saturday May 6 in Cappamore at 7.30
ROUND 2: Ahane v Ballybrown, Friday May 12 in Claughaun at 7.00
MANAGEMENT: Evan Loftus (manager), David Bulfin (coach), Mike Lynch (strength and conditioning coach), Pat Gavin and Robert Graham (both selectors).
KEY PLAYERS: Alan O’Connor, Mikey Kiely, Stevie O’Reilly, Shane Kenny.
YOUNG PLAYERS: Josh Adams, Cian Hedderman.
ROUND 1: Ballybrown v Kilmallock, Sunday May 7 in Bruff at 7.00
ROUND 2: Ballybrown v Ahane, Friday May 12 in Claughaun at 7.00
MANAGEMENT: Mike O’Hara (manager), Francis Browne (coach).
KEY PLAYERS: Paul Browne, Sean Finn, Cian Madden, Bobby O’Brien.
YOUNG PLAYERS: Kyle Dillon, Paul O’Riordan.
ROUND 1: Bruff v South Liberties, Saturday May 6 in Caherconlish at 7.00
ROUND 2: Bruff v Doon, Friday May 12 in Caherconlish at 7.00
MANAGEMENT: Liam Hammersley (manager), Tony Power (coach), Seamus Ryan (selector).
KEY PLAYERS: Eamon Gleeson, Bill Creamer, Tommy O’Donoghue, Conor Sheehan.
YOUNG PLAYERS: Joe Lonergan, Anthony Foley, Adam Coleman.
ROUND 1: Cappamore v Na Piarsaigh, Saturday May 6 in Kilmallock at 7.30
ROUND 2: Cappamore v Monaleen, Saturday May 13 in Caherconlish at 7.00
MANAGEMENT: Austin Buckley (manager), Niall Rigney (coach), Tadhg Hayes (selector).
KEY PLAYERS: Richie English, Pat Ryan, Darragh O’Donovan, Denis Moloney, Niall Maher.
YOUNG PLAYERS: Barry Murphy, Eoghan McNamara, Thomas Hayes.
ROUND 1: Doon v Ahane, Saturday May 6 in Cappamore at 7.30
ROUND 2: Doon v Bruff, Friday May 12 in Caherconlish at 7.00
MANAGEMENT: James Connery (manager), Ger Downes (coach-selector), Mike Heelan (selector).
KEY PLAYERS: Gavin O’Mahony, Graeme Mulcahy, Paudie O’Brien, Barry Hennessy.
YOUNG PLAYERS: Oisin O’Reilly, Robbie Hanley, Cal McCarthy.
ROUND 1: Kilmallock v Ballybrown, Sunday May 7 in Bruff at 7.00
ROUND 2: Kilmallock v South Liberties, Saturday May 13 in Bruff at 7.00
MANAGEMENT: Tom Moloney (coach-manager).
KEY PLAYERS: Padraic Barron, Nigel Finch, Kieran Cleary.
YOUNG PLAYERS: Jack O’Grady and Michael O’Grady.
ROUND 1: Knockainey v Monaleen, Friday May 5 in Caherconlish at 7.00
ROUND 2: Knockainey v Adare, Sunday May 14 in Kilmallock at 3.00
MANAGEMENT: Jimmy Browne (manager-coach), Alan Ward (strength and conditioning coach), Ged O’Dwyer, Edward Cosgrave, Eamonn Doyle, Eamonn Cosgrave (all selectors).
KEY PLAYERS: Brian Geary, Peter Russell, Ger Collins, Damien Cosgrave
YOUNG PLAYERS: Andrew La Touche Cosgrave, Lorcan Lyons, Mark O’Dwyer.
ROUND 1: Monaleen v Knockainey, Friday May 5 in Caherconlish at 7.00
ROUND 2: Monaleen v Cappamore, Saturday May 13 in Caherconlish at 7.00
MANAGEMENT: Shane O’Neill (manager), Alan Cunningham (coach), Darragh Droog (strength and conditioning coach), Kieran Bermingham (selector).
KEY PLAYERS: Shane Dowling, Kevin Downes, Cathall King, Alan Dempsey, William O’Donoghue, Mike Casey.
YOUNG PLAYERS: Ronan Lynch, Peter Casey, Thomas Grimes, Conor Boylan.
ROUND 1: Na Piarsaigh v Cappamore, Saturday May 6 in Kilmallock at 7.30
ROUND 2: Na Piarsaigh v Patrickswell, Saturday May 13 in Gaelic Grounds at 7.00
MANAGEMENT: Gary Kirby (manager), Declan Fitzgerald (coach), Paudie Carey (strength and conditioning coach), John O’Brien, Darragh Bennis and Damien Gillane (all selectors).
KEY PLAYERS: Diarmaid Byrnes, Cian Lynch, Seanie, Thomas and Kevin O’Brien.
YOUNG PLAYERS: Aaron Gillane, Andrew Carroll, John Flynn.
ROUND 1: Patrickswell v Adare, Sunday May 7 in Kilmallock at 4.45
ROUND 2: Patrickswell v Na Piarsaigh, Saturday May 13 in Gaelic Grounds at 7.00
MANAGEMENT: Cronan Garry and Cathal O’Neill (managers), Sean Hehir (coach).
KEY PLAYERS: William Hickey, Shane O’Neill, Barry Nash, Michael O’Brien.
YOUNG PLAYERS: Brian Ryan, Brian Nash, Conor McSweeney,
ROUND 1: South Liberties v Bruff, Saturday May 6 in Caherconlish at 7.00
ROUND 2: South Liberties v Kilmallock, Saturday May 13 in Bruff at 7.00