Listen- We preview a host of football action this weekend with Matt O’Callaghan
There are a number of intruiging ties taking place this weekend in all levels of club football in Limerick. Ballylanders tackle Adare in the first quarter final of senior football championship in Kilamllock on Saturday at 4pm. The sides are in very different situations to the ones they faced last year when Ballylanders were in relegation play-off whilst Adare battled to regain senior status in the Intermediate championship. Speaking with Matt O’Callaghan we got his thoughts on the game.
“What I’m predicting is that Ballylanders experience might take the day but I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if Adare were to win it… Adare are coming in here with momentum and it’s not just momentum in the current campaign. I take you back to 2015. If we were having this conversation in 2015 we would be talking about Adare facing into a relegation final against Rathkeale which they lost.”
Since then however, football in the club has been on the rise. 2016 saw the Adare U21 side win the premier championship in Limerick. The Intermediate footballers went undefeated through the championship to secure their passage back to the senior ranks at the first time of asking in 2016 also.
Upon their return to senior football, Adare’s main aim must have been to secure their senior status for another year and look to next year to make an impact in the championship. As things have paned out, Adare have been a breath of fresh air in the championship. In their five games in the group stages, they picked up two wins, as well as two draws to finish on six points and guarantee a quarter final spot.
“They were in exhalted company and were very unlucky not to beat Monaleen but look hey did enough to get them where they are so the momentum is with them.”
For Ballylanders, things weren’t as smooth sailing. Despite winning two of their opening three games, heading into Ballylanders final group game against Ballysteen, a loss would have seen them enter into a relegation play-off. However, looking back 12 months, this has been a strong turnaround from Ballylanders who faced Pallasgreen in the relegation play off last year after a disastrous campaign.
“They will try to make to most of that near brush with another relegation and try and drive on. In terms of experience it favours Ballylanders. They know what it is to win country championships and won big games like this but if Adare were to upset the oddsmakers I wouldn’t be one bit surprised.”
Mountcollins face Claughan in the Intermediate quarter final this weekend also. Mountcollins have been impressive thus far in the championship with their only loss coming against group winners Gerald Griffins. Claughan on the other hand lost their opening two games but regrouped to win three on the trot to reach the last eight.
“There are a number of players off this Mountcollins who would have been through the glory years of Mountcollins when they made it to the senior ranks for a number of years. I’ve a hunch that Mountcollins may make it to the semi final.”
In the intermediate relegation play-off, Glin face Cappamore this Friday in Mick Neville Park. Glin were promted as Junior champions in 2014 but have only picked up two wins in their three campaigns at this level to date. Cappamore made great progress in the early years after their promotion in 2012 but things have stalled recently for the east Limerick side as they have also only won 2 of their fifteen group games in the last three years.
“They (Glin) have never really cut it (in Intermediate football)… They have one last chance to pick it up, I think they may just do it… Im giving Glin a very cautious vote to just save status”
On Tuesday evening Newcastle West and Drom Broadford meet in the County League final in Mick Neville Park. This game was originally fixed for a fortnight ago but postponed. Both of these sides are safely through to the semi-finals of the County Championship after topping their groups respectively. NCW and Drom met last year in Tournafulla in the final where Newcastle ran out victorious on a scoreline of 2-5 to 0-5. These teams met already in the league and played out an entertaining 1-10 a piece draw. Both campss will be happy to get a game under their belt as they wait for the quarter finals to be played.
“Newcastle West have held the upper hand over Drom Broadford in recent final meetings… They will start favourites but Drom Broadford since 2000 arent seven time champions for no reason… Newcastle West are favourites but watch Drom Broadford.”
To listen to the full audio with Matt check out the link below.