The third round of the Limerick SHC took place over the weekend with each of the twelve teams in action.
With the hurling championship returning over the weekend, just one side maintained their perfect start to the season as Na Piarsaigh made it three from three.
The six times champions blew Patrickswell out of the water to further their status as SHC favourites. Outside of that, Doon and Kilmallock made distance between them and the rest of the chasing pack with awesome displays in their respective wins.
In group two, four teams are deadlocked on four points after KP upset the odds against Ballybrown. The fourth round takes place this weekend and a number of sides could put one foot in the knockout stages with victory.
And ahead of this weekend’s action we rank the twelve teams in the fight for the Daly Cup after a trio of rounds.
12. Blackrock (=)
Still pointless after three rounds. It has been a tough season for Blackrock but they will be buoyed by the fact that they pushed South Liberties all the way the last day out. Kildimo Pallaskenry and Mungret St Pauls are up next and they will need at least one win to maintain their senior status. A loss against Mungret on the final day will mean relegation regardless of this weekend’s results.
11. Mungret St Pauls (-4)
Consecutive defeats has the Premier Intermediate champions in immediate danger of relegation. Led by two with time running out, the City side conceded six on the bounce against the Bouncers the last day out to leave them second from bottom where a win would have put them in the driving seat for promotion. Two wins could still be enough but they’re really up against it.
10. Adare (-3)
The manner of their performance against Kilmallock will be very worrying for the West side as they were dominated from start to finish in Ballyagran. There were few if any positives to take from the game for the Adare men who lost by 18-points to give them a scoring difference of -24 after three games.
Looking likely that their relegation battle with Ahane will go down to points difference which they currently trail.
9. Ahane (-3)
Similarly to Adare, thoughts of the knockout phase will have to be put to one side as they bid to retain their Senior A status. Currently level on points with Adare, with a superior scoring difference of -21. Were well beaten by Doon at the weekend and have scored just one goal thus far, conceding eight including five against Doon. With Kilmallock and Na Piarsaigh to come, it’s hard to see where they can add to their total thus far.
8. Garryspillane (+3)
A second successive win has kicked Garryspillane into life and they hold their promotion hopes in their own hands with two huge games to come. If they can defeat Ballybrown and Kildimo Pallaskenry then they will be guaranteed a quarter-final spot. Their win over Mungret St Pauls followed a first over Blackrock in round two after a single point defeat to South Liberties in round one.
However, that result could prove costly if it comes down to head to head and why the East side just pip them in the rankings.
7. South Liberties (+3)
Responded to a poor performance in round two with a hard fought win over Blackrock. But given the Rockies form thus far, it wasn’t the most inspiring result. Nonetheless, South Liberties got the job done and have a large say in their knockout hopes. Mungret St Pauls are next with Ballybrown to come in the final round and two more wins would likely be enough for last year’s quarter-finals.
However, their early season form has been patchy and will be up against it, especially in that final round game.
6. Patrickswell (-1)
The team that reached last year’s final look a shadow of themselves thus far and suffered a second heavy beating at the weekend. The loss of Cian Lynch would impact any county team not to mind a club side but there is more at play than just his absence. The ‘Well were overwhelmed by Na Piarsaigh last time out and things don’t get any easier with Doon next up.
Could be in a situation where their final round clash with Adare will be a straight shootout for that last quarter-final spot.
5. Kildimo Pallaskenry (+3)
The story of the weekend was John Chawke’s last minute winner that sealed a second successive win for Kildimo Pallaskenry while also downing the previously imperious Balllybrown. The City derby lived up to the hype but it was last year’s County Cup champions that prevailed to put themselves in pole position to qualify from the group. Two more wins will guarantee a quarter-final spot and a promotion play off.
They just trail Ballybrown, given their longevity at the senior ranks and superior scoring difference but KP are the form team in the second group.
4. Ballybrown (=)
Defeat was their lot in round three but it could be a blessing in disguise for the Clarina outfit who were everyone’s pick to make it out of the group. Often a defeat can refocus the side and that will be the hope for Harry Gleeson’s men who had 20+ wides in Askeaton on Saturday.
Nonetheless, the pressure is on the team to pick up victories in their final set of games to ensure a top two spot. Next up is Garryspillane who themselves will be buoyed by the weekend’s results. A second successive loss would be disastrous but Ballybrown will still be fancied.
Yet, even at fourth in this list, the gulf to the top three is vast.
3. Doon (=)
Still seeking a first ever Limerick SHC title, the pieces seem to be falling into place for Doon who hit five goals in their sixteen point win over Ahane last time out. That helped them onto four points with their quarter-final spot all but assured. Adam English returned from injury over the weekend and provides a timely boost ahead of their meeting with Patrickswell.
A win this weekend will set up a final day showdown with Kilmallock where the winner would be assured of a semi-final spot. With class all over the field, the men from the East will be brimming with confidence after a bright start.
2. Kilmallock (=)
Despite winning the county title in 2021, it is hard to remember a performance, not only from Kilmallock, but any team that could have matched what they produced last Thursday night as they dominated Adare. The Balbec were slick in everything they did, holding a 17-point lead at the break which resulted in a 3-26 to 0-17 victory.
After the defeat to Na Piarsaigh in round two, the display was the perfect response from the champions. A win against Ahane this Sunday will set up a mouthwatering tie with Doon in the final round.
Still, the reigning champions have to be second to one team.
1. Na Piarsaigh (=)
There has been nothing to suggest so far that Na Piarsaigh are still not the team to beat in the Limerick SHC. The only team, in either group, with a 100% record, the ease at which they disposed Patrickswell will be particularly pleasing to Kieran Bermingham and worrying for the chasing pack.
What’s more, they have beaten all the semi-finalists from the last five seasons so far with Adare and Ahane waiting.
Expect the Caherdavin to seal their semi-final spot this weekend.