Only one team has guaranteed their place in the knockout stages as the LSFC enters round 5.

Last weekend saw a feast of action in the Limerick Senior Football Championship with a number of clubs staking a claim for a knockout berth with others being dragged into a relegation battle. With the final round to come next weekend , we preview a wonderful weekend of action with Matt O’Callaghan.

Group 1 contains the only side that are guaranteed their knockout stage spot and that is current county champions Monaleen.

“Only one club, Monaleen, assured of their place in the knockouts stages. There are so many permutations we could be here until tomorrow discussing them, it’s absolutely fascinating.”

On Friday evening last, Adare and Monaleen played out an entertaining 1-13 to 1-13 draw that saw Monaleen consolidate their place at the top of group 1. For Adare, they have now secured safety upon their return to the senior ranks. Yet, there is a chance of qualification for the quarter finals should they beat

“They (Adare) are in a position now where they could possibly and have a very good chance of making it to the knockout stages.”

In the battle at the bottom, Na Piarsaigh overcame Rathkeale to earn their first points of the campaign and move off the bottom ahead of their opponents. Both sides will now look to the final game to try secure safety with Rathkeale knowing a win is a must.

“Both teams gave it a go and had their moments.. Na Piarsaigh for the most part went some way towards recapturing the type of form that has made them quite an exciting team in the competition for the past two years.”

Arguably the biggest shock of the group came on Saturday evening as Fr Caseys trumped Drom Broadford in Newcastle West. Drom knew a win would see them go level on points with Monaleen but Fr Caseys had other ideas, winning on a scoreline of 3-10 to 0-11.

“It was a huge win for Fr Caseys. They played exceptionally well and were full value for their win from what I am hearing.”

The situation in Group 2 is even more tight with a single point separating the top five sides. Newcastle and St Kierans lead the way with five points, with Oola, St Pats and Ballylanders just behind on four points heading into the final round of games. Ballysteen prop up the group on two points with a last round clash with Ballylanders giving them a chance at securing safety.

St Patricks got the better of Ballylanders on Friday night beating their opponents 1-14 to 0-11. The win moves sides level on four points in the group with Pats now assured of safety and also knowing they have a chance at progressing should they beat Oola in the final game.

“All the reports I have on it were that St Patricks were full value for their win…If they can put back to back wins together, they will be in the knockout stages.”

Without a doubt, the biggest surprise of the round came on Friday night in Bruff as Oola shocked the 2015 County Champions. A hat trick of Richie English goals in the opening 20 minutes gave the east side the platform they needed to pull off the result winning by a point in the end.

“A combination of Newcastle West sitting back and Oola finding a gear, they snatched what is a hugely important victory in the context of the group.”

In the final group game of the round, Ballysteen and St Kierans played out an entertaining draw in the Bog Garden. The result sees Kierans move top of the table level on points with NCW. For Ballysteen, qualification is now beyond them with their final game against Ballylanders to decide who enters the relegation play off.

“Ballylanders crystalize exactly how tight the situation is. Ballylanders win against Ballysteen they are almost certainly through to the knockout stages unless St Kierans and Newcastle West draw, lose and they are in the relegation play-off. You just couldn’t script it.”

Matt’s full breakdown of the Round 4 action can be heard below.