Predictions for Saturday's five key Limerick club hurling championship games

Jerome O'Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O'Connell

Email:

joconnell@limerickleader.ie

Predictions for Saturday's five key Limerick club hurling championship games

Dromin-Athlacca stalwart Paul Neenan

WITH the Limerick SHC and Premier IHC finals set for a Sunday October 15 double-header in the Gaelic Grounds, it’s tier three semi finals that dominate the hurling fixture list this weekend.

The two Nick Grene Sportsground Limerick IHC semi finals take place on Saturday with a clash of clubs colours in both.

Unlike previous years only the county champions will be promoted to the Premier IHC ranks this season to replace relegated Effin.

LIMERICK IHC SEMI FINALS

Granagh-Ballingarry v Glenroe

Saturday October 7 in Kilmallock at 1.00

Glenroe have lost out in the last three Limerick IHC semi finals – all the more heart-breaking given that victory would then have secured promotion.

The south Limerick side arrive in this semi final unbeaten – albeit they drew with Kildimo-Pallaskenry in their final group game.

The Pat McGrath managed side will be without captain Eoin Walsh, due to injury. McCarthy’s Diarmuid and Dave missed much of the Summer but are now back in contention.

Granagh-Ballingarry are in their first season down in this grade. In the group phase they lost three of their five games - including the last two. But the Donal O’Grady captained side regrouped to beat Na Piarsaigh’s second string in the quarter final.

Prediction: Granagh-Ballingarry

Dromin-Athlacca v Kildimo-Pallaskenry

Saturday October 7 in Croagh at 3.30

These sides met in the group phase last year with the south Limerick men 2-12 to 1-10 winners.

In their second season in this grade, Dromin-Athlacca bring the only 100% record into the semi finals. They were actually Limerick IHC winners in 2013 but were then relegated back down after a two year stay in the Premier IHC.

Captained by Peter Ryan, David and Mike Reidy and Gearoid and Eoin O’Leary continue to fill central roles.

Opponents Kildimo-Pallaskenry were beaten in the quarter final last season and semi final the season before – both after replays.

2015 All Ireland U-21 winning centre back Barry O’Connell and 2017 All Ireland U-21 winning centre back Kyle Hayes lead the way for Kildimo-Pallaskenry, who have experience in the form of John Chawke, Adrian Garvey and Mikey Dillon. They will also include Limerick footballers Peter Nash and Tony McCarthy.

Prediction: Kildimo-Pallaskenry

LIMERICK IHC COUNTY CUP FINAL

Croom v Dromcollogher-Broadford

Saturday October 7 in Bruff at 3.45

In 2015 Croom were in the Limerick SHC and Dromcollogher-Broadford were in junior hurling.

Croom have since suffered two relegations, while Drom-Broadford won the ‘15 JAHC title. 

Last year Drom-Broadford lost this County Cup final to Dromin-Athlacca in what was their first season in the Limerick IHC ranks.

Both sides lost three group games but Croom beat Hospital-Herbertstown in their County Cup semi final and Drom-Broadford overcame Claughaun-Old Christians.

Prediction: Croom

LIMERICK MINOR B HURLING FINAL

Ballybrown v Pallasgreen

Saturday October 7 in Bruff at 2.00

This is the curtain-raiser to the IHC County Cup Final.

Both emerged from divisional championships played on a group basis, combining the A and B – both finishing third.

Ballybrown, who beat Dromin-Athlacca in their semi final, lost this MBHC final in 2015 and semi final in 2016.

Pallasgreen, who last enjoyed minor county success in 2013, beat Granagh-Ballingarry in their semi final.

Prediction: Ballybrown

LIMERICK PREMIER MINOR HURLING FINAL

Garryspillane v Mungret St Pauls

Saturday October 7 in the Gaelic Grounds at 5.00

A novel pairing for the top flight minor hurling final – a first appearance for Mungret St Pauls at this stage since 1993.

Garryspillane are chasing for first ever top flight minor title.

Mungret, who are chasing a minor double and play Monaleen in the football decider on October 22, will be backboned by Paul O’Brien, Conor Flahive, Rory Duff and Conor Hellewell.

The Bouncers will have Ryan Tobin, Dylan O’Shea and Eoin Sheehan as key men.

When they met in the final round of the group stages on August 29, Garryspillane were 2-14 to 1-15 winners.

Mungret beat Na Piarsaigh in their semi final, while Garryspillane defeated Doon.

The curtain-raiser in the Gaelic Grounds, 3.15, will be Kilmallock v Rathkeale in the Limerick JAHC semi final.

Prediction: Mungret