2017 Limerick Senior Football Championship

2017 Limerick SFC

On Friday Ballysteen will clash with Oola in Mungret with both teams looking to get off to a positive start. Also on Friday evening 2015 champions Newcastle face last years semi finalists St Pats in Mick Neville Park.

The first round concludes on Saturday evening as Champions Monaleen meet Rathkeale in Clarina while St Kierans will be hoping for revenge on Ballylanders in Bruff as a final round loss to the east Limerick club cost Kierans a place in the knockout stage last year.

All games are scheduled to throw in at 7pm. The second round of the championship takes place next weekend. Below Sporting Limerick takes a look at each teams chances this summer.

Group 1

Monaleen

Last year-Champions

Manager: Muiris Gavin

Limerick Representatives: Donal O’Sulliavan, Padraig Quinn, Ger Collins, Brian O’Donovan, Shane Cusack

One to Watch: Daniel Enright

Last years County Champions will be strong favourites to retain their crown from last year. Very strong team that overcame everyone last year after their opening round draw with NCW with relative ease. Strong panel will be tested with the return of Monaleen to the senior hurling ranks. Won minor premier football last year which should add numbers and quality. Should have a straightforward progression through the group stage.

Verdict: Winners

Drom Broadford

Last year-Finalists

Manager: Mike Fahy

Limerick Representatives: Gareth Noonan, Cillian Fahy

One to Watch: Paul Madigan

Reached the final last year but were over ran by the impressive Monaleen. Have an aging squad reaching the final years of their careers. They will be confident that they can once again go on a long run in the championship but are certainly not the force they once were. However Na Piarsaigh will agree that doubting them could prove to be very costly. They will make it out of their group, and no team has knockout experience like them. They have won 7 Senior Football Championships since the turn of the millennium.

Verdict: Quarter Finals

Na Piarsaigh

Last year-semi final

Manager: Pat McHugh

Limerick Representatives: N/A

One to Watch: Kieran Daly

Were very impressive last year in reaching the semi finals. Were helped by the fact that the hurlers were knocked out in the group stage, something that surely will not happen this year. If players choose one code it could seriously dampen their chances. If they retain all players however we could have double county champions. Player burnout could be a massive factor as Peter Casey, Alan and David Dempsey and potentially Kevin Downes will have to mix Inter county hurling with senior club football and hurling. Were runners up in U/21s premier football in 2016.

Verdict: Finalists

Fr Caseys

Last year-quarter finalists

Manager: Gerard O’Connor

Limerick Representatives: Daniel Daly, David Ward

One to Watch: Cormac Roche

Reached the quarter final stage last year but a St Patrick’s goal blitz was enough to end their season. Have had a couple of strong minor teams come through the last few years but are yet to see a real impact from that core group. Padudie Browne is a major doubt to play senior football this year which is a massive blow to the Abbeyfeale side. Have a lot of experience and are a strong team who will look to engage in a battle.

Verdict: Group Stage.

Rathkeale

Last year-Group Stage

Manager: Moss McCarthy

Limerick Representatives: Paul White, Sean Sheahan

One to Watch: Darragh O’Grady

Rathkeale can cause damage to the bigger teams as their hard running counter attacking game-plan is a nightmare for top sides as was seen as they dismantled Newcastle West last year. Lack experience which proved costly in their final group games last year. Minor side lost the premier final to Monaleen so expect to see new faces on the team. Paul White is the obvious danger man whose direct running creates so many of Rathkeale’s chances. Strong group will be their downfall.

Verdict: Relegation Finalists.

Adare

Last year- Promoted

Manager: Harry Gleeson

Limerick Representatives: Hugh Bourke

One to Watch: Eoin Ryan

Return to the Senior Ranks after one year in Intermediate. Their swift return to the top tier was smooth as they were able to blood many of the U/21 Premier winning team from 2015. They have a pacey forward line that will prove a test for any defence. Although they will be a challenge for any outfit, will be happy to maintain their status in 2017, looking forward to progressing to 2018.

Verdict: Group Stage.

Group 2

Newcastle West

Last year-Quarter Final

Manager: Joe Lee

Limerick Representatives: Iain Corbett, Paul Hannon, Jamie Lee, Cian Sheehan, Andrew Ruddle

One to Watch: Diarmaid Kelly

Newcastle will be looking to put last year firmly behind them, limping out of the championship at the quarter final stage. Will surely look to play more attacking football with the array of options at their disposal after experimenting with a dour brand of football last year. Recently won the U21 premier football championship so will look to them to freshen up the squad. Ian Corbett, who will be in his second year of Limerick Captaincy, will look to spearhead another assault on the county championship. Will progress from their group.

Verdict: Semi Finals

Oola

Last year-Group Stage

Manager: Alan O’Mahony

Limerick Representatives: Josh Ryan

One to Watch: Richie English

Oola had a positive return to the senior set up last year, hammering Na Piarsaigh in their first game. Unfortunately were unable to push on from this and failed to make it out of the group. With a year of senior football under their belt, this group will look to push on. Richie English and Darragh O’Donovan are key men for Oola but both have Senior hurling with Limerick and Doon to contend with. Josh Ryan has blossomed into a fine player and made his Senior debut already just a year removed from minor. However, their vast array of dual players could prove costly for them.

Verdict: Group Stage

Ballylanders

Last year- Relegation finalists

Manager: Mike Fox

Limerick Representatives: N/A

One to Watch: Eoin O’Mahony

Failed to make an impact in last years championship, eventually beating Pallasgreen in a relegation play off. However, many of the 2014 championship winning team remain and will look for a fresh start this year after such a disappointing 2016. Will have high expectations for 2017 to prove 2014 was no fluke. Although, in the easier side of the draw, don’t expect them to progress further than group stage.

Verdict: Group Stage.

Ballysteen

Last Year- Group Stage

Manager: Paddy Ivess

Limerick Representatives: Danny Neville

One to Watch: Darragh Ranahan

Plagued by injury and immigration last year, Ballysteen escaped a relegation final after two hard fought wins against Rathkeale and Pallasgreen in the final two rounds. The return of many key players from injury coupled with the  impressive form of Danny Neville could spell danger for their opponents. Some fresh faces starting to appear on the team after winning 3 west minor A championships in the last 4 years. Dark horses.

Verdict: Semi Final.

St Kierans

Last year-Group Stage

Manager: Mike Greaney

Limerick Representatives: Darragh Treacy, Sean McSweeney, Johnny McCarthy

One to Watch: Noel Callanan

St Kierans always manage to be competitive and there’s no reason why this year would be no different. Strong county representative sprinkled throughout the squad which is a nice mixture of young and old. Will be disappointed to have not made it out of the group stage after losing to relegation finalists Ballylanders in their final group game. Will be hurting by this as they would feel they are as good as any team around. Expect them to make it out of the group this year.

Verdict: Quarter Final

St Patricks

Last year-Semi Finalists

Manager: Kieran Dore

Limerick Representatives: N/A

One to Watch: Jason Mullins

Performed well in last years championship, finishing second to Na Piarsaigh in their group on point differential. Could not overcome eventual champions Monaleen in an all city Semi-Final clash. Will expect to go far again this year. However, star man, Gearoid Hegarty’s decision to not play inter-county football may harm St Pats influence. Regardless, will give no team an easy game. Strong, physical team capable of overcoming any team on their day.

Verdict: Group Stage.

2017 Limerick SFC Betting:

Monaleen 11/4,

Dromcollogher-Broadford 4/1

Newcastle West 4/1

St Patricks 5/1

Na Piarsaigh 7/1

Fr Caseys 8/1

Ballylanders 12/1

St Kierans 14/1

Ballysteen 20/1

Adare 20/1

Oola 20/1

Rathkeale 33/1.

First Round Fixtures

Thursday April 20

Adare v Fr Caseys in Newcastle West at 7pm

Dromcollogher-Broadford v Na Piarsaigh in Askeaton at 7pm

Friday April 21

Ballysteen v Oola in Mungret at 7pm

Newcastle West v St Patrick’s in Mick Neville Park

Saturday April 22

Monaleen v Rathkeale in Clarina at 7pm

St Kierans v Ballylanders in Bruff at 7pm

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