Last weekend’s Limerick SHC quarter-final action taught us a lot about the teams remaining in the championship.
The semi-finals have been confirmed in the Limerick Senior Hurling Championship, with Patrickswell and Doon joining Na Piarsaigh and Kilmallock in the final four.
However, the semi-final pairings are not the only thing we learned last weekend, as we saw both quarter-final winners pushed all the way by Senior B sides.
Both Patrickswell and Doon displayed qualities that make them worthy of their spot in the last four, and with that in mind, let’s take a look at the main Talking Points from the latest round of action.
The ‘Well pose a serious goal threat
Patrickswell were pushed all the way by Ballybrown, despite the scoreline reading otherwise. The Well hit four goals in their quarter-final victory, three of them coming in the dying embers of the game, and the late green flags paper over a patchy performance overall.
However, it does prove one thing, goals win games. And this Patrickswell side can score goals.
On a day when their intercounty stars were quieter than normal, Aaron Gillane and Cian Lynch still managed to pop up with goals in the closing stages. Tom O’Brien and John Kirby also raised green flags on Sunday, and the team possesses a number of goal scoring threats.
Eamonn Kelly’s men have scored 15 goals in their six games this year, averaging 2.5gpg, and it is this potent goal-threat that always gives them a chance, even in games they may underperform in.
Doon can perform without O’Donovan
Teams in the Limerick championships can sometimes pin their hopes on one player, a superstar. While Darragh O’Donovan is this calibre of player, he is not alone in this Doon charge.
In fact, the Limerick midfielder was rather quiet in his side’s quarter-final victory over Mungret St Paul’s, but Fergie O’Loughlin’s men were able to rally without him.
Adam English took centre stage in the TUS Gaelic Grounds, scoring a number of fantastic points, as well as an amazing solo goal. English was supported by the impressive Pat Ryan and Kevin Maher, who both added some fine scores as Doon marched on to the semi-finals.
While Doon will not be fancied by many to get over Na Piarsaigh, the fact that they ended Mungret St Pauls unbeaten run without O’Donovan at his best is a huge positive with the All-Star midfielder to the fore in previous outings.
Having the Limerick midfielder on top form, with the likes of English, Ryan and Maher ticking would be a tough challenge for any team, and all will be needed if they are to have any chance of beating the reigning champions.
Na Piarsaigh/Kilmallock should remain favourites
The big four have found themselves as the semi-finals for the sixth time in seven years, but based on what we have seen so far, Na Piarsaigh and Kilmallock should remain favourites to meet in a repeat of last year’s final.
Doon and Patrickswell were both pushed by Mungret and Ballybrown respectively, who are in no way poor sides, but I can’t help but feel Na Piarsaigh and Kilmallock would have made easier work of them.
Of course, anything can happen, but Na Piarsaigh have already swept Doon aside in the group-stage this year, while Kilmallock picked up a two point win over Patrickswell, and have been immense all year.
One of the best things about the Limerick SHC is that upsets can happen, but as things stand, a repeat of the 2022 final seems likely.
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