Newcastle West travel to Thurles with Munster Final spot at stake

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James Kelly and Darren O’Doherty, in action here against Darragh O'Brien of Austin Stacks, are key members of the Newcastle West team.

LIMERICK Senior Football champions Newcastle West take on Clonmel Commercials this Sunday in Semple Stadium in a bid to reach the Munster Club Final for the first time since 1987.

Newcastle West face a Clonmel Commercials outfit that saw off Cork kingpins Nemo in the quarter final, and are heavily fancied to book a spot in the decider against either Kerins O’Rahillys (Kerry) or Éire Óg Ennis (Clare).

It is the second year in succession that Newcastle West are on the hunt for a Munster title. Last season they reached the semi final stage with victory against The Nire, but were well beaten by Kerry’s Austin Stacks in the last four.

They needed extra time to earn their sixth ever Limerick crown against Adare earlier this month and will fancy causing an upset on Sunday. With the evergreen Mike McMahon at full forward and Iain Corbett pulling the strings in the middle, they can cause problems for any team.

Clonmel put in a huge performance against Nemo and have a varied history at provincial level. Their only Munster title came in 2015 where they beat Newcastle West en route and have reached four other finals, losing most recently in 2019.

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However, they could be without star player Jason Lonergan who put in a man of the match display with 0-6 over Nemo. It remains to be seen if he has delayed his proposed move to the USA for work. The Tipperary champions have plenty of other scoring options with both Colman Kennedy and Sean O’Connor serious threats in the full forward line. 

Newcastle West are unbeaten the 2022 season, navigating their way through the Limerick SFC Championship with victories over Monaleen, Oola, Galbally, Claughaun, Fr Casey’s, Monaleen (semi final), and after extra time against Adare in the decider.

The underdogs tag suits the Magpies who will use every angle they can to reach the provincial decider. 

Elsewhere in Munster Club action, Na Piarsaigh face off against Tipperary’s Ballina in the Intermediate grade and Castlemahon face the daunting task of playing David Clifford’s Fossa of Kerry in the Junior Championship semi final.

Na Piarsaigh are looking to get over last week’s Munster Club Senior Hurling semi final loss by reaching the provincial Intermediate Football Final when they play Tipperary opposition in Kilmallock this Saturday.

The Caherdavin side reached the last four by beating Waterford’s Roanmore in the quarter final. It has been a positive year for the Mike Lynch managed side after they returned to the senior grade in Limerick after being relegated in 2021.

Na Piarsaigh could be bolstered by some of their hurlers’ availability after that defeat to Ballygunner, but it is likely that Lynch will be calling from the panel of players that have gotten the team this far.

Arguably, the most intriguing game is the Castlemahon v Fossa game in the Munster Junior Football Championship on Saturday in Quaid Park, Coolyroe. David and Paudie Clifford will be the star attractions for Fossa but Castlemahon’s Seamus and Sean Flanagan could rival them in that regard.

Seamus is more noted for his work with the Limerick senior hurlers but played a starring role in Castlemahon’s quarter final win. Fossa will be firm favourites and should advance to the final.