Will Kilmallock Stay Perfect, 2020 Final Repeat, Intriguing Group Two Clash | SHC Talking Points

With the hurling championships returning with a bang, we look at some of the talking points before a pall is pucked in anger.

There are some mouthwatering ties that headline the return of the Limerick Senior Hurling Championship with games split between Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Thursday sees a battle of Patrickswell and Ahane who are deadlocked on two points as well as the meeting of table toppers Mungret St Pauls and Adare in group two.

Saturday pits Doon and Na Piarsaigh together in a repeat of the 2020 SHC final with plenty more intriguing contests to be played.

With the hurling championships returning with a bang, we look at some of the talking points before a pall is pucked in anger.

Can Doon build on round two display?

It has been well documented the injury struggles that Doon have had to deal with but if the second round showing against Patrickswell highlighted anything, it is the strength in depth at their disposal. Without their first choice six backs, including a couple of All-Ireland winners, Doon shuffled the pack and beat Patrickswell last time out, six days after the Well defeated the reigning champions.

But this time around, Doon will have Na Piarsaigh for company, a fixture that the Caherdavin men have dominated in recent years including a pair of comfortable county final victories in the last five years. They themselves have had to deal with injuries, notably William O’Donoghue but he looks set to return in the coming rounds.

6 October 2019; William O’Donoghue of Na Piarsaigh during the Limerick County Senior Club Hurling Championship Final match between Na Piarsaigh and Patrickswell at LIT Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Doon will also welcome a couple back but they will have to plan without the likes of Mikey O’Brien and Richie English for the remainder of the championship. The win over the Well means another win or two from their three games should be enough but if they are to qualify for the semis, a win on Saturday is crucial.

The same applies to Na Piarsaigh but they will look at a weakened Doon as a real opportunity to continue to get back on track following the round one set back. If they meet the Doon from the opening round, they will have far too much. However, if the East men can channel the performance from the second game, we could be in for a cracker on Limerick GAA TV.

Watch Na Piarsaigh v Doon

Kilmallock look to continue unbeaten start against pointless Kildimo Pallaskenry

Top meets bottom in another contest that will be streamed live on Limerick GAA TV as Kilmallock take on Kildimo Pallaskenry in Newcastle West on Friday evening at 6.45pm. The Balbec have been perfect thus far while KP are yet to get off the mark in their first year in Senior A. And on paper, it looks a lopsided contest.

Kilmallock were many peoples tip at the start of the season, owing to their county success in 2021 and the quality at their disposal, especially up top where they can call upon four All-Ireland winners in Oisin O’Reilly, Micheal Houlihan, Shane O’Brien and Graeme Mulcahy. The latter has missed the opening two rounds and will provide a huge boost on his return which could come on Friday.

16 August 2022; Shane O’Brien of Kilmallock celebrates after the Limerick County Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final match between Kilmallock and Doon at Bruff GAA Club in Bruff, Limerick. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Kildimo Pallaskenry on the other hand have had a challenging start to the grade, falling to two comprehensive defeats prior to the break. They would have looked at the Ahane game as one where they were best placed to take the spoils. But led by Tom Morrissey, Ahane dominated and it could be argued that KP were arguably better against Na Piarsaigh in round two, despite the one sided scoreline.

In Kyle Hayes, they have arguably the best club hurler in the country but many of their key men were in action over the last two weekends with the club’s senior football side. Nonetheless, Natal O’Grady and co will know that Friday presents another opportunity at points despite the quality of the opposition.

Watch Kilmallock v Kildimo Pallaskenry

At the same time Kilmallock will know that arguably their hardest tests lay in store in the final rounds and they will be keen to rack up as many points as possible prior to then in their quest to secure a semi-final berth.

Who will send out statement in group two?

There are three teams deadlocked on as many points after the opening pair of rounds in group two of the Limerick Senior Hurling Championship in Mungret St Pauls, Adare and Ballybrown. The latter duo played out a draw in the last round and this weekend sees Adare take on Mungret St Pauls.

It is a novel pair with the sides not meeting this century in championship action. Adare are in their first year down in group two while it’s a second senior campaign for the City men. Both were impressive in their first round outings but it would have been Adare that were happier coming out of the last set of games, earning a draw with group favourites Ballybrown while Mungret St Pauls were held by Garryspillane.

Mark Quinlan of Garryspillane takes on Mungret St Pauls’ Fintan Fitzgerald in the 2023 Limerick SHC

With the race for the top two promising to be as tight as last year where H2H was needed to separate the top teams, the result on Thursday could prove vital at the midway point of the group stages. Adare will look their experience in competing at the top tier but Mungret have had plenty of underage success and will be looking to those to lead them past the West outfit.

It’s an intriguing tie and with Ballybrown not out until the following evening, it is a huge chance for one of Adare or Mungret to lay down a marker.

County Senior Hurling Championship Round 3 Fixtures

Group 1

  • Patrickswell V Ahane, Thursday August 31st in Kilmallock at 6.45pm
  • Doon V Na Piarsaigh, Saturday September 2nd in Bruff at 6.45pm
  • Kildimo Pallaskenry V Kilmallock, Friday September 1st in Newcastle West at 6.45pm

Group 2

  • Mungret St Paul’s V Adare, Thursday August 31st in Askeaton at 6.45pm
  • Garryspillane V Monaleen, Friday September 1st in Caherconlish at 6.45pm
  • South Liberties V Ballybrown, Friday September 1st in Fedamore at 6.30pm

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