Kilmallock and Patrickswell meet this Sunday in the Limerick Senior Hurling Championship final at the TUS Gaelic Grounds.
It is a first final between the sides in almost thirty years as two of Limerick’s most successful sides go head to head. Patrickswell lead the roll of honour with 20 titles, their last coming in 2019. While Kilmallock seek a first win since 2017 to add to their 11 titles.
Between them the sides have eight of John Kiely’s All-Ireland winning panel with five All-Stars set to be on show on Sunday.
With so much talent on display, who would make a combined XV?
Take a look below.
Barry Hennessy (Kilmallock) v Brian Murray (Patrickswell)
An All-Star 14 years ago, Brian Murray has rolled back the years for the ‘Well this summer with his save on Mark Connolly keeping his side alive in the quarter-final win over Adare. A couple of expert stops against Na Piarsaigh ensured their progress to the final with Murray arguably in the form of his life. But Hennessy shades this battle with his long range free taking a huge bonus for the Balbec this year.
Full Back Line
Liam English, Mark O’Loughlin, Dan Joy (Kilmallock) v
Seanie O’Brien, Nigel Foley, John Flynn (Patrickswell)
Much has been said of the Patrickswell rearguard but in spite of the criticism, they have conceded just one goal this year, against Na Piarsaigh in the semi-finals. On the other end, Kilmallock have been porous at the back. And while employing Aaron Costello at midfield has its obvious benefits, he is arguably the best defender among the sides and for this purpose he will move back to the corner. Seanie O’Brien has proved himself at the highest level, usually picking up the opposition’s danger man while Dan Joy put the shackles on Pat Ryan in an impressive semi-final showing.
Paudie O’Brien, Ciaran O’Connor, Philip O’Loughlin (Kilmallock) v
Tom Nolan, Diarmuid Byrnes, Josh Considine (Patrickswell)
Diarmuid Byrnes is the easiest choice on the team and is in the running for SHC player of the year following on from his All-Star calibre performances for Limerick. Beside him, Josh Considine has slotted in well at wing back having featured in midfield in their previous SHC win. Philip O’Loughlin‘s performance in the semi-finals earned huge praise with the Kilmallock captain deservedly making up the rest of the half back line.
Aaron Costello & Robbie Hanley (Kilmallock) v
Mark Carmody & Calvin Carroll (Patrickswell)
Robbie Hanley is close to recapturing the form that saw him earmarked to dominate the midfield area for years back in 2017. Featuring in the matchday squads in back to back All-Ireland finals, there is no doubting his talent.
And while he hasn’t been named at midfield for his club this year, Cian Lynch is the best middle third player in the country, no exceptions.
Micheal Houlihan, Oisin O’Reilly, David Woulfe (Kilmallock) v
Kevin O’Brien, Cian Lynch, Jason Gillane (Patrickswell)
Micheal Houlihan is the championships top scorer chipping in with 1-41 in just four games this year. Was relatively quiet against Doon but almost single handily dragged them past Ballybrown, clipping over 0-16 in the process. Beside him, Oisin O’Reilly is in the form of his life winning man of the match in his past two outings, contributing 2-16 from play in four games. Kevin O’Brien makes up the line with his return to the side in the semi-final coinciding with a man of the match performance.
Full Forward Line
Graeme Mulcahy, Gavin O’Mahony, Kevin O’Donnell (Kilmallock) v
Tom O’Brien, Aaron Gillane, Patrick Kirby (Patrickswell)
Aaron Gillane picks himself as one of Ireland’s best forwards. As does Graeme Mulcahy who has been eerily consistent for Kilmallock over the past decade, winning three county titles and a Munster title in that time. Tom O’Brien has been one of the standout players in the championship this year, heavily featuring for the ‘Well when their backs were against the wall as he makes up the XV.
Split: 8 Kilmallock, 7 Patrickswell
Combined Kilmallock / Patrickswell XV
Seanie O’Brien, Dan Joy, Aaron Costello
Josh Considine, Diarmuid Byrnes, Philip O’Loughlin
Robbie Hanley, Cian Lynch
Micheal Hoilihan, Oisin O’Reilly, Kevin O’Brien
Tom O’Brien, Aaron Gillane, Graeme Mulcahy