This weekend will see the clash of the group stages as the previous two winners of the competition Na Piarsaigh and current champions Patrickswell face off in the Gaelic Grounds. This game is sure to provide fireworks. Knockainey and Monaleen will be looking to build on their opening day draws while Cappamore and Adare will be looking to get their first points on the board.
Na Piarsaigh v Patrickswell
Saturday 13 May in the Gaelic Grounds @7.45pm
The glamour tie of the group stages sees last years champions Patrickswell take on 2016 All-Ireland Champions Na Piarsaigh in the Gaelic Grounds. The Well got their defence of to a strong start defeating Adare 0-16 to 0-14 last time out with late points from Aaron Gillane and Andrew Carroll sealing the victory.
Na Piarsaigh saw off the challenge of Cappamore with ease last time out, despite their injury list which includes William O’Donoghue, Alan Dempsey and Peter Casey.
Patrickswell will be looking to avenge the county final loss from a couple of years back while Na Piarsaigh will be looking to regain the crown they lost so early last summer. Na Piarsaigh’s injury woes could tip the balance in favour of Gary Kirby’s side.
Monaleen v Cappamore
Saturday May 13 in Caherconlish @7.15pm
Monaleen will be looking to build on the hard fought draw they earned against Knockainey last time out whilst Cappamore will aim to regroup after a heavy defeat to Na Piarsaigh.
These sides met in the Intermediate Premier Final last year with Monaleen coming out on top 1-17 to 2-11. Monaleen were also victorious last year in the round robin stage.
Monaleen know that a victory could almost secure their senior status for next year whilst nothing but a win will do for Cappamore who will be confident of causing an upset.
Adare v Knockainey
Sunday May 14 in Kilmallock at 3pm
Adare were narrow losers against the county champions last time out despite leading until stoppage time. The absence of John Fitzgibbon and Declan Hannon disrupting their chances, although both may figure this weekend.
Knockainey were unlucky not to take maximum points against Monaleen, with a late free equalizing for city side. These sides have met three times over the past few years with Knockainey recording a surprise win in 2013 whilst Adare picked up comprehensive wins that last two meetings.
Expect more of the same from Adare who will be looking to return to winning ways after their reversal against the Well.
Check out Matt O’Callaghan’s preview of group 2 below.