Adare and Ballylanders to meet in SFC decider after semi final victories.
Reigning champions Adare will face Ballylanders in this years Limerick Senior Football Championship decider which will be played on the weekend of October 20/21. Adare secured their place in the decider with a win over Monaleen on Friday while Ballylanders overcame Newcastle on Saturday in Mick Neville Park.
On Friday, last years champions Adare faced the 2016 winners in Mick Neville Park. In a cagey affair, Adare would come out on top 1-5 to 1-4. Despite the lack of scores, there was much adventure and skill from both teams in an entertaining contest.
Evan Quinlan goaled for Monaleen early in the game which was cancelled out by Mark Connolly who would net for the champions in the 12th minute to give them a 1-1 to 1-0 lead. However, Adare would fail to register a score before the half and Monaleen took a 1-3 to 1-1 lead into the break with points from Brian Carson and Quinlan.
Brothers Hugh and Robbie Bourke edged Adare into the lead ten minutes into the half before Shane O’Connor extended the advantage to two with fifteen minutes of normal time remaining. Adare would not extend their tally but limited Monaleen to a single score in the second half to come away with the victory as they moved one step closer to regaining the title they won for the first time twelve months ago.
The following evening, Newcastle looked to set up a rematch of last years final and faced a Ballylanders side looking to reach the final for the first time since 2014 when they were last crowned county kingpins.
Landers got off to the perfect start and had a goal courtesy of Eoin Walsh within the opening minute. Not to rest on their laurels they added a second from Eoin O’Mahony on ten minutes. Indeed, Ballylanders had racked up 2-3 before Newcastle opened their account in the 15th minute.
A couple of minutes later Diarmuid Kelly would net for Newcastle to further reduce the deficit. Despite their early dominance, Ballylanders would only add a solitary point in the final 20 minutes of the half but would take a 2-4 to 1-5 lead into the break.
Within five minutes of the restart, Newcastle had the game level but that would be as good as it got for the magpies with late points from Kieran O’Callaghan and Brian O’Connell securing a historic victory for the South Limerick side.
Ballylanders will be looking for a fifth county title while Adare will be keen to add to their maiden crown.