Na Piarsaigh back on top as Mungret St Pauls continue their ascent | SHC Power Rankings #6

After their round one slip against Patrickswell, Na Piarsaigh have responded like champions with four successive victories.

The group stages of the Limerick Senior Hurling Championship have come to a close with six teams remaining in the hunt for the Daly Cup.

Kilmallock and Na Piarsaigh are safely through to the semi-finals while the quarter finalists Mungret St Pauls, Ballybrown, Patrickswell and Doon will be in action this weekend.

At the other end of the table, Kildimo Pallaskenry must regroup on their return to group two next year while Garryspillane’s tenure in the senior championship came to an end at the hands of South Liberties last Thursday.

Round Five Power Rankings

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

With the final six in the books, we present the latest instalment of our power rankings.

Garryspillane drop to bottom spot as they suffer relegation to the premier intermediate ranks following defeat to South Liberties. The Bouncers were far too porous in the relegation shoot out, conceding seven goals to end their five year stint in the top tier.

Finish the campaign with just a point, that coming against the group winners Mungret St Pauls.

The first move up the rankings for South Liberties is a crucial one as they stave off relegation. They left their best for last to overpower Garryspillane last Thursday, hitting the net seven times to prolong their stay in senior.

After losing a number of players to injury, retirement and immigration, there will be a chance for the group to recover as they prepare for a 14th successive year at the top table.

15 October 2022; Barry Nash of South Liberties during the Limerick County Senior Club Hurling Championship Semi-Final match between Na Piarsaigh and South Liberties at John Fitzgerald Park in Kilmallock, Limerick. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Monaleen’s season came to an end with defeat to Adare with their chances of progression ruled out in the penultimate round. Overall it has been a successful reintegration into the senior ranks for Eoin Brislane’s men and they will be one to watch next year.

A late Monaleen goal quashed their quarter-final hopes as they missed out on the quarters by just a pair of points. Will rue not closing out the contest against Ballybrown in the second round where they had chances.

The West men will be disappointed not to return to the top tier at the first time of asking and will face huge competition in that quest next year.

Battled valiantly against Patrickswell with their relegation already assured and led at the interval. Eventually succumbed to the ‘Well’s firepower. A season of learnings from the City side who will fancy their chances of an immediate return to group one.

Following the round one win over Kildimo Pallaskenry, Ahane will be disappointed to see their season come to an end without picking up another point. Fell to a depleted Doon side as they never really got into their rhythm.

Tom Morrissey tries to escape the clutches of Darragh O’Donovan and Eddie Stokes in the Limerick SHC. Credit: Tom Beary

In their third year at the top table, they have fared well but have missed the chance to kick on.

Being in a quarter final will do little to dampen the disappointment in Ballybrown that they missed out on promotion once again. Against their city rivals Mungret St Pauls, they couldn’t hold on to a healthy half time lead, succumbing to a 55th minute goal.

Have the talent to play in group one but are resigned to the second tier for the third successive year for 2024.

Will have the chance to make amends when they take on Patrickswell this Sunday and they will be desperate for a result agains their neighbours.

The surprise packet of the championship continue their ascent up the rankings after guaranteeing group one hurling for next season. They are the only undefeated team in the championship and will take huge confidence into their clash with Doon on Sunday afternoon.

Their youthful side has grown in each contest and they will be confident of taking another scalp this weekend. It is a free hit for the City outfit who have achieved their number one target of promotion at just the second time of asking.

It’s been far from a vintage year for Doon this year but here they are, back in the knockout stages against all the odds. Without the majority of their first choice back line for the entire championship, the East side have picked up three wins to finish third in the top tier.

The defeats, albeit heavy ones, came against the bookies favourites and the longer the championship goes on, the more dangerous they will get.

Couldn’t shake off Ahane until the final minutes of their contest but will take enough from that game to back themselves against Mungret in the first championship meeting of the sides this century.

Pat Ryan goals for Doon in their Limerick SHC clash with Ahane. Credit: Tom Beary

Got the job done against Kildimo Pallaskenry after a spirited offering from the relegated outfit with goals from John Flynn, Jordan Higgins and Aaron Gillane. Finished fourth in the group but could have been straight into the semis had Kilmallock done them a favour.

Nonetheless, Patrickswell look the most difficult team to rank. On their day they are a match for any side in the county and further afield with three Hurler of the Years to choose from. The supporting cast play their part but sometimes the City men struggle to find their form.

Will be heavily favoured to come through Ballybrown this weekend which could set up a repeat of their instant classic with Kilmallock from round four.

After holding top spot for four successive weeks, Kilmallock drop to second after their maiden loss of the season. Were well and truly second best against Na Piarsaigh in the final round but will take solace in the fact that they were qualified for the semis prior to throw in.

Still, it stretches their losing streak against the reigning champions who they will hope to meet once again. Undoubtedly have the talent to go all the way and will have a break to assess where exactly they are after the defeat.

The pre championship favourites remain the team to beat at the conclusion of the group stages. After their round one slip against Patrickswell, they have responded like champions with four successive victories.

Dominated their closest rivals to ensure a semi-final berth and have done it all without William O’Donoghue. Their form looks ominous for the chasing pack.

19 September 2020; David Dempsey of Na Piarsaigh during the Limerick County Senior Hurling Championship Final match between Doon and Na Piarsaigh at LIT Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

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