PREVIEW: Limerick Senior Football Semi-Finals

This Sunday we will find out who will compete in the 2020 Limerick Senior Football Final with both semi-finals down for decision.

Ballysteen face Ballylanders on Sunday afternoon with the clash of Adare and Galbally later that evening.

Who will reach the final? Jack Neville previews the games below.

Ballylanders v Ballysteen

Sunday in Newcastle West at 1pm

Ballylanders and Ballysteen meet in the semi-finals in what is quickly becoming a real rivalry in Limerick GAA. The sides played out a classic in the 2018 quarter-final where Ballysteen overturned an eight point defiit before falling to a last minute Jimmy Barry Murphy goal. Ballysteen would gain revenge in the first round last year with a comprehensive 3-13 to 0-7 win.

Jimmy Barry Murphy kicks a score for Ballylanders in the 2020 Limerick SFC clash between Ballylanders and Galtee Gaels. Mandatory Creedit: Sport Action Photography

Neither have had a staightforward path to the final thus far but are here on merit. Ballylanders had a huge final quarter to overcome Galtee Gaels in the first round before losing out to Oola in their second game. They upset the odds in the quarter-finals as they beat Monaleen 1-8 to 0-9 to reach the last four. They last appeared in the final in 2018 where they lost out to Adare. Their last triumph came in 2014 when they beat St Pats.

Ballysteen on the other hand reached the knockout stages without picking up a win as they drew with Drom Broadford before losing to Newcastle West. They burst into life in the quarters when they overwhelmed pre-match favourites Fr Caseys 0-14 to 0-8 in Newcastle West to book their place in the semi finals. It is their first semi-final appearance since 2012 and just their third since they won the Intermediate championship in 2008. Their last appearance in the final came in 1964 when they won their only ever title.

James O’Meara of Ballysteen breaks through the Ballylanders rearguard in the 2018 Limerick SFC quarter final between Ballysteen and Ballylanders. Mandatory Credit: Sport Action Photography

It is generally close between the sides and it looks likely to stay that way this weekend.

Adare v Galbally

Sunday in Kilmallock at 5pm

The line up for the SFC final will be complete on Sunday evening when Adare meet Galbally. Adare will be hoping to reach a third final in four years while Galbally haven’t been in the decider since 1997, the last year they won the title.

The last times the sides met was in the 2014 championship where Adare picked up a final round 4-7 to 1-12 win to stave off the relegation final. Galbally would be relegated and would have to wait until 2018 to earn promotion back to the senior ranks.

The Galbally side celebrate their 2018 Limerick Intermediate Football Championship win over Rathkeale at the Ggaelic Grounds. Mandatory Credit: Sport Action Photography

Adare were relegated in 2015 but responded brilliantly to capture the Intermediate title at the first attempt before winning back to back senior titles.

Like the other semi-finalists, both have had their setbacks as they each lost their second group game, Galbally to Monaleen while Adare fell to Fr Caseys. However, both responded brilliantly in the quarter-finals to beat the favourites. Galbally lead from start to finish against last year’s finalists Oola while Adare avenged their 2019 semi-final defeat to Newcastle West.

Mikey Lyons get his pass away despite the attention of Stephen Brosnan in the 2019 Limerick SFC semi-final between Adare and Newcastle West. CREDIT: Sport Action Photography

Adare will come into the game as big favourites but Galbally will be hopeful of adding another upset victory to their 2020 résumé.

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