TEAM | Limerick start a pair of League debutants for Division 2 return against Derry

Limerick were beaten by Cork in the McGrath Cup final last Friday night ahead of their return to the second tier of the League.

Ray Dempsey has named his Limerick side for the first round of the National Football League where they travel to Owenbeg to face Derry in Division 2 this Saturday at 3pm.

There is a league debut for Kildimo Pallaskenry’s Cathal Downes who starts for the fourth successive game under the Mayo native. Barry Coleman also makes a first-league start at corner back.

There is just one personnel change to the team that started the McGrath Cup final against Cork last Friday night with Sean O’Dea coming into the XV in the place of Jack Ryan who drops out of the squad. O’Dea starts at full back with Brian Fanning moving out to the wing.

Cillian Fahy is named at centre-back with Newcastle West duo Iain Corbett and Cian Sheehan partnered in midfield. Gordon Brown and Paul Maher continue on the wings in the forward unit with Downes named at full forward.

Hugh Bourke returns to the side where he is amongst the substitutes. The Adare native missed the club championship with injury and is a welcome return after playing a starring role under Billy Lee.

James Moluyneaux is named on the squad for the third successive game but still awaits a first start. Eoin O’Shea is another hoping for a league debut.

Iain Corbett and Donal O’Sullivan will act as joint-captains.

Saturday’s clash will benchmark Limerick’s return to the second tier for the first time since 2007. They take on a Derry side who just missed out on promotion in 2022 and went on to reach the All-Ireland semi-final as Ulster champions.

The sides last met in the Division 3 league semi-final in 2021 where Derry proved too strong with a 0-17 to 0-13 victory in Carrick on Shannon.

Limerick Team to Face Derry (NFL Round I)

1. Donal O’Sullivan   Monaleen

2. David Connolly Adare

3. Sean O’Dea   Kilteely Dromkeen

4. Barry Coleman   Rathkeale

5. Brian Fanning   Pallasgreen

6. Cillian Fahy   Dromcollogher Broadford

7. Michael Donovan   Galbally

8. Cian Sheehan Newcastlewest

9. Iain Corbett   Newcastlewest

10. Paul Maher   Adare

11. James Naughton St.Senans

12. Gordon Brown   Na Piarsaigh

13. Adrian Enright   Fr.Caseys

14. Cathal Downes   Kildimo Pallaskenry

15. Davy Lyons   Adare

16. Aaron O’Sullivan   Pallasgreen

17. Jim Liston   Gerald Griffins

18. Tony McCarthy Kildimo Pallaskenry

19. James Molyneaux Dromcollogher Broadford

20. Colm McSweeney Gerald Griffins

21. Eoin O’Shea Monaleen

22. Tommy Griffin Gerald Griffins

23. Killian Ryan   Mungret St.Pauls

24. Hugh Bourke Adare

25. Robbie Bourke   Adare

26. Peter Nash   Kildimo Pallaskenry 

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