HOLDERS Newcastle West take on Monaleen while Adare meet Fr Casey’s of Abbeyfeale in the semi-finals of the Limerick senior football championship next Sunday.
Newcastle West and Monaleen are first in action at Askeaton’s Páirc na nGael at 1pm, with Michael Sexton of Bruree in charge of the whistle.
Unbeaten in the group stages, Newcastle West have impressed greatly this season through stellar displays from Darren O’Doherty, James Kelly, Ian Corbett (captain), Shane Stack, Eoin Hurley, Cian Sheehan, Bryan Nix, and long-time campaigner Mike McMahon.
Jimmy Lee’s charges have been installed as favourites to progress towards an opportunity for a first-ever successful defence of the championship.
Monaleen sprung a minor upset in the quarter-final with victory over fancied St Kieran’s, but will need to show much improvement to repeat such heroics this time around.
Muris Gavin’s side, however, have plenty of stars in the likes of Donal O’Sullivan, Eoin O’Shea (captain), Pádraig Quinn, Brian Donovan, Darren Golden-O’Mahony, Shane Cusack, Donnacha O’Dálaigh, and the ageless Ger Collins.
The other last four tie, involving rivals Adare and Fr Casey’s of Abbeyfeale, throws-in at 4pm in Newcastle West (referee Johnny Murphy, Ballylanders).
Adare, under former county boss John Brudair, have been hit by injuries but offer ongoing value through Oran Collins, Cian Sparling, Shane Doherty, Paul Maher, Ronan Connolly, Joe Sweeney, Mikie Lyons, and Rob Bourke.
For John Colbert managed Fr Casey’s, stand-out performances have been the norm for Fiachra Cotter, Seán Kilbridge, Mark McCarthy, Eliah Riordan, Cormac Roche, Rory O’Brien, Martin Scannell, and Adrian Enright.
On form, and there is little to suggest otherwise, the pointers are towards a championship culmination clash of modern-day foes Adare and Newcastle West.
Fr Casey’s, however, are the dark horses of the remaining quartet as the Fealesiders bid for their first final appearance since 2009.
The final is pencilled in for early November. The winners of which will face either Cork or Tipperary opposition in the Munster Club championship.