All-Ireland winners return to action as Limerick Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship kicks off

It is the first of three successive rounds for the Premier Intermediate Championship which sees all eight teams compete against each other in a round robin format.

A number of Limerick’s All-Ireland winning champions will return to the field this weekend with the Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship kicking off this Thursday evening.

For David McCarthy it is just a four day turnaround with Glenroe opening the championship against last year’s intermediate champions Na Piarsaigh.

David Reidy (Dromin Athlacca) and Nickie Quaid & Fergal O’Connor (Effin) have a slightly longer break with their sides out on Sunday evening.

It is the first of three successive rounds for the Premier Intermediate Championship which sees all eight teams compete against each other in a round robin format.

The Limerick PIHC has arguably been the most competitive championship since its inception in 2014 with a number of teams coming from the blue to earn promotion to the top tier.

Every Limerick Premier Intermediate Champion

  • 2022 Monaleen
  • 2021 Mungret St Pauls
  • 2020 Kildimo Pallaskenry
  • 2019 Blackrock
  • 2018 Garryspillane
  • 2017 Murroe Boher
  • 2016 Monaleen
  • 2015 Bruree
  • 2014 Bruff

Monaleen were last year’s champions and became the first side from the county to claim the All-Ireland title at the grade. They are replaced in the championship by Na Piarsaigh’s side who triumphed in the Intermediate championship. Blackrock also return to the grade they won in 2019 after falling to relegation from the senior ranks.

The Rockies begin their campaign against Dromin Athlacca on Sunday evening. In the senior grade, Blackrock failed to pick up a win last year while Dromin Athlacca just missed out on the knockout stages in the PIHC, finishing a point outside the top four. They will be buoyed by David Reidy’s inter county form with the clubman starting his first All-Ireland final over the weekend.

The other game on Sunday evening pits Newcastle West against Effin. Both teams reached the last four in 2022 with each beaten by the eventual finalists. NCW were bested by Bruff while Effin fell to the champions Monaleen. Nonetheless, it was a successful return to the grade for Effin after claiming the 2021 Intermediate title. They followed in the footsteps of NCW who they succeeded as champions as the West outfit have reached the last four in both of their campaigns in the second tier so far.

Con Hayes Newcastle West

Kicking off the championship as mentioned above are Glenroe and Na Piarsaigh on Thursday evening in Hospital. The City outfit earned their place in the championship with an impressive intermediate campaign last year following a pair of final losses. They will have to juggle with their first side operating in the senior ranks as they look to defend their title. However, the Caherdavin’s men production line shows little sign on stopping as they are backboned by several young stars. Glenroe, after reaching successive semi-finals, will be disappointed with their 2022 as they left it too late for a last four charge finishing just outside the play-off places. One of the more fascinating ties of the first round no doubt.

Bruff and Cappamore meet on Friday evening in Caherconlish. Bruff will be looking to go one step further than 2022 when they were beaten by the eventual All-Ireland champions in the finale. They will be without star man Sean Finn who had to watch on from the sidelines after suffering an ACL injury as Limerick claimed a fourth successive All-Ireland title. It is a meeting of the last two finalists, Cappamore losing to Mungret St Pauls in 2021. However, they couldn’t build on that and finished last year’s campaign, second from bottom with just a pair of wins to go with five defeats.

Four games with no clear favourites in any, the most competitive championship in Limerick hurling promises to live up to the billing once again, starting in Hospital on Thursday night.

Limerick Premier Intermediate Championship First Round Fixtures

Thursday July 27th

Glenroe v Na Piarsaigh; 7pm in Hospital

Friday July 28th

Bruff v Cappamore; 7pm in Caherconlish

Sunday July 30th

Dromin Athlacca v Blackrock; 7pm in Kilmallock

Effin v Newcastle West; 7pm in Ballyagran

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