After securing knockout berths, Na Piarsaigh & Mungret St Pauls rise | SHC Power Rankings #5

After a slow start in the opening pair of games, Na Piarsaigh were back to their best in the second block of contests, winning both with relative ease.

The Limerick Senior Hurling Championship takes a short break this weekend prior to the concluding round of games.

Three teams have guaranteed a knockout berth with Kilmallock assured of a place in the final four. The Balbec have won four on the trot and are one of three undefeated sides alongside Ballybrown and Mungret St Pauls who are also into the knockout stages.

There were also wins for Na Piarsaigh who face Kilmallock in the final round knowing there’s a semi-final place on offer.

Ahead of those final round games, we look at the fallers and risers in our power rankings.

Round Four Rankings

  1. Kilmallock (=)
  2. Patrickswell (=)
  3. Na Piarsaigh (=)
  4. Doon (=)
  5. Ballybrown (+1)
  6. Ahane (-1)
  7. Mungret St Pauls (+2)
  8. Kildimo Pallaskenry (-1)
  9. Monaleen (=)
  10. Adare (-3)
  11. Garryspillane (=)
  12. South Liberties (=)

12. South Liberties (=)

Another defeat for South Liberties but they still have safety in their own hands. Missing plenty of players throughout the year, a result on the final day would signify a successful season of sorts.

However, will need their best performance by a distance to see off Garryspillane.

11. Garryspillane (=)

Conceding 3-22 against Ballybrown was never going to suffice for the Bouncers who are now in real relegation danger. Will point to four goals scored against one of the best teams in the division but will need to shore up the rearguard for their winner takes all clash with Liberties.

10. Monaleen (-1)

Were outclassed by a Mungret St Pauls side that are just further down the same track as Monaleen. The loss of Mark O’Dwyer early on was a huge loss and Andrew La Touche Cosgrave showed what they were missing after a promising cameo in the second half.

Their quarter-final hopes were put to bed by the result but they will still be happy with their maiden campaign back at the grade regardless of the final round result.

9. Adare (+1)

Did what they had to do against South Liberties but were far from convincing despite the lopsided nature of the scoreline. Half of their goals came in injury time but still it was a case of job done from the West outfit who are still in the hunt for a quarter-final berth.

Need results elsewhere to go in their favour but still have work to do in terms of scoring if Mungret do beat Ballybrown.

8. Kildimo Pallaskenry (=)

Kildimo Pallaskenry couldn’t keep their safety bid alive into the final round as their stint in the top tier will come to a premature end following a fourth successive loss. Will rue plenty of missed chances against Doon, hitting a number of frees wide and seeing two golden chances saved by Tomas Lynch.

Just a bridge too far for the City side who will take learnings from the campaign.

7. Ahane (-1)

Led the reigning champions at the half in their fourth round contest but couldn’t maintain that after the restart as Na Piarsaigh pulled clear. Still reliant on Tom Morrissey for scores but know they have a huge chance at a first quarter final in four years when they play a depleted Doon in the final round.

Will fancy their chances of upsetting the odds and capping a promising group stage.

Dan Morrissey is hooked by Oisin O’Reilly in the 2023 Limerick SHC. Credit: Tom Beary

6. Mungret St Pauls (+1)

The CIty side continue to hit the right notes and move up the rankings, securing a first SHC quarter final berth this century in the process. Dominated Monaleen from start to finish to ensure a top two finish and don’t appear to have any weaknesses across the squad.

Brian Begley’s men had a huge spread of scorers and will be a danger in the knockout stages. However, their ultimate ambition will be promotion and they still must better Ballybrown in the final round if they are to do that.

5. Ballybrown (=)

Ballybrown remain undefeated but still haven’t confirmed their quarter-final berth. They know a win on the final day will be enough to secure their place in the top tier and in this year’s quarter-finals but face a tricky opposition in Mungret.

The concession of four goals against Garryspillane will be a worry for the Clarina outfit but they have the firepower to cause any team trouble, group one included.

Their clash with Mungret will be a must watch.

Aidan O’Connor takes on Eoin O’Doherty in the 2022 Limerick SHC clash between Mungret St Pauls and Ballybrown. CREDIT: Wanda Dwane

4. Doon (=)

Ensured their senior status after a few iffy moments against Kildimo Pallaskenry where they had to battle hard. Showed their class down the stretch where Darragh O’Donovan was imperious. Missing some of their key leaders in defence but the longer the championship goes on the more they will back themselves.

Still face a difficult task in guaranteeing a quarter final spot.

3. Patrickswell (-1)

They have been defeated by Kilmallock last time out but the game itself showed that there is minimal between the teams at the top of the SHC. Cian Lynch and Aaron Gillane highlighted their class with goals from the top drawer and they could have easily secured a draw late on.

Into the quarter-finals, the City side will be pleased with their campaign thus far but know there’s more in the tank once they enter the knockout stages.

2. Na Piarsaigh (+1)

After a slow start in the opening pair of games, Na Piarsaigh were back to their best in the second block of contests, winning both with relative ease. Ahane pushed hard in the first half but were no match for the Caherdavin outfit after the restart.

A place in the knockout stages is already secured and they can top the group with a win in the final round where they will be hoping to reintegrate All-Star William O’Donoghue who has missed each game so far.

Still the bookies favourites.

1. Kilmallock (=)

Kilmallock’s Oisin O’Reilly scores under pressure form Ahane’s Dan Morrissey in the 2023 Limerick SHC. Credit: Tom Beary

Four from four as they hurled their most difficult assignment yet. Had to call upon Graeme Mulcahy to see them home against Patrickswell but handled the pressure well with the game in the melting pot.

Their forward line continues to sparkle and throughout the field, the Balbec are very balanced. So far so good but the most difficult challenge awaits in the shape of Na Piarsaigh.

Nonetheless, they have their semi-final spot already secured so will take it as a free hit at the champions.

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