Matt O’Callaghan previews Limerick SFC Round 4 with Sporting Limerick.

The penultimate round of games in teh Limerick Senior Football Championship take place this weekend with a number of knockout places up for grabs. For other clubs, this weekend will determine whether they will be fighting for survival come the conclusion of the group.

Group 1

Monaleen v Adare

Friday 4 August @7pm in Clarina

Monaleen top the table with three wins from three thus far. They have been highly impressive so far and look very capable of retaining their crown. Adare on the other hand have been a mixed bag, with a win, loss and draw in their opening games. A win over Adare could be enough for the city side to earn a semi final spot, Adare will know that a win will leave them with one foot in the knockout stage.

Matt: “Monaleen have been alerted by their performance the last time and I think they will be anxious to take the direct route and clinch a semi final place as soon as possible.”

Rathkeale v Na Piarsaigh

Saturday 5 August @4pm in Adare

A battle at the bottom sees Rathkeale and Na Piarsaigh square off with a total of one point between the two sides. All looked promising for Rathkeale after their draw with Drom Broadford, but thats as good as it has got for the west side. Na Piarsaigh lie at the bottom with no points but will be encouraged by their performance against Monaleen in the last round. This allied with the fact that Rathkeale will be without a number of players who are in America, may see Na Piarsaigh clinch a crucial victory.

Matt: I think they might get a bit of momentum from that (Monaleen performance) and I think they may shade this one.”

Drom Broadford v Fr Caseys

Saturday August 5 @5pm in Newcastle West

Drom have gone about their business quietly yet will be confident of securing passage to the knockout stages yet again with a win over Fr Caseys. Drom lie on 5 points and are undefeated in the championship. Caseys on the other hands have picked up a win, a draw and a loss thus far and are deadlocked on three points with Adare. Drom should have enough to prevail but Caseys cannot be ruled out to make a late surge to the quarter finals.

Matt: “I think Drom-Broadford will just about shade it.”

Group 2

Ballylanders v St Patricks

Friday August 4 @7pm in Bruff

Ballylanders have come a long way from last year when they were involved in a relegation play-off with Pallasgreen. This year they have two wins from the opening three games. St Pats meanwhile, have a win over Ballysteen sandwiched between two heavy defeats against Newcastle West and St Kierans. If Pats are to have any chance of qualifying for the knockout stages they must win but Ballylanders may have too much for the city team.

Matt: “I think Ballylander with the pressure and clinching a quarter final place at least in their grasp, i think they will shade it.”

Newcastle West v Oola

Friday August 4 @7pm in Kilmallock

Newcastle seemed to be headed straight for the semi final stages after two highly impressive performances against Pats and Ballylanders but were hit on the hop by Ballysteen in the last round as they fought back to secure a draw. Oola on the other hand have recorded two defeats since their win over Ballysteen in the opening round. They now find themselves in real danger of relegation as NCW should get over the line here and get their season back on track.

Matt: There will be a response from Newcastle West and I think that response will be in the shape of a win.”

Ballysteen v St Kierans

Sunday August 6 @7pm in The Bog Garden

The most intriguing game of the round sees two west sides clash on Sunday evening. St Kierans lie in second place in the group and can secure a quarter final spot with a win here. Ballysteen, although lying on a solitary point will find hope in their west championship victory over Kierans as they look to keep their season alive. With so little to choose between the sides, a draw is certainly on the cards.

Matt: I think Ballysteen’s need is the greater in this one. If they can pick up on their second half performance against Newcastle West, I think they might just shade it.”

You can listen to Matt O’Callaghan’s take on the upcoming weekend of championship action on the link below.

For some of the most insightful GAA commentary and writing you can read Matt’s GAA column in the Weekly Observer (Wednesday) and Vale Star (Thursday) every week.