The two pre-season favourites for the Limerick SFC meet this weekend in the first of the SFC semi finals. Last years champions Monaleen square off with 2015 winners Newcastle West on Sunday in Kilmallock. On Friday there is a meeting between St Senans and Claughan in the Intermediate football in Mick Neville Park.
Newcastle West v Monaleen
Sunday September 24 in Kilmallock @3.45pm
In the senior game, both sides started their respective campaigns on fire, amassing a total of 16-53 between them in their opening two games. Monaleen would also win their third game but that was to be as good as it got as they could only manage a draw against Adare and were beaten by Drom in the final group game. The only solace for Monaleen is that those two sides have proved their worth and are in the other semi final.
Newcastle drew their third game with Ballysteen and were then shocked by Oola in the fourth round. However a final day victory over St Kierans meant a knockout place and indeed a semi final spot was guaranteed.
Monaleen will be confident in the fact they have a quarter final victory under their belt as they over ran Oola a fortnight ago. Yet, Newcastle have since won the County League title so there will be little to choose between the sides.
These teams played out the 2011 County Final with Monaleen coming out on top 1-12 to 1-7. There are number of players from the ’11 final that will be key on Sunday such as Ger Collins, Stephen Kelly and Iain Corbett. We got Matt O’Callaghans tackle in the weekends action.
Matt: “This is going to be very very tight. It’s between two of the Titans of Limerick football. I think there is a huge desire and hunger in Newcastle West to get back to the heady days of 2015 where they stormed to a first county title in 23 years…
“If they (Newcastle West) bring their A game on Sunday I think they might be crowned champions.”
With very little to choose between the teams, a draw is a strong possibility.
St Senans v Claughan
Friday September 22 in Mick Neville Park @8.15pm
On Friday evening, St Senans and Claughan meet in the Intermediate Championship semi final in Mick Neville Park with throw in at 8.15pm.
St Senans have been in imperious form and have five wins from five so far, topping their group and advancing to the semi finals. In their opening round game they beat their semi final opponents Claughan by two points to set the tone in the Intermediate championship.
Claughan to their credit regrouped and qualified for the quarter finals finishing third in the group behind Senans and Galbally. In the Quarter Final, Claughan got the better of favourites Mountcollins to set up the semi final clash.
Since relegation in 2012, Senans have reached two county finals and two semi finals, but have been unsuccessful in regaining their senior status. Claughan lost the 2012 and 2015 Intermediate finals themselves with neither team short of experience.
Matt: “This is going to be close as well but I think St Senans may just have enough to get over the line. But if Claughan were to do it, it wouldn’t be a major surprise.”