Limerick footballers shaping up for McGrath Cup Final slot

Iain Corbett who has been ruled out of the Tailteann Cup game against Longford.

A PLACE in the McGrath Cup Senior Football final is on offer to the winners of Limerick and Tipperary who meet at Templetuohy on Saturday (throw-in 2pm). 

With both teams having already accounted for lowly Waterford, the victors will emerge as Group B representatives. 

Still in contention from the other group are All-Ireland winners Kerry, Cork, and Clare, with the final pencilled-in for next Wednesday night. 

The Ray Dempsey management era for Limerick commenced on a bright note with a runaway win over Waterford at Mick Neville Park in Rathkeale.  

While the headline grabber was Cathal Downes of Kildimo/Pallaskenry with a brace of goals, others who caught the eye included David Connolly of Adare, Dara Noonan (Gerald Griffins) and Rathkeale’s Barry Coleman, along with regulars Cian Sheehan (Newcastle West), Pallasgreen’s Brian Fanning, and Adrian Enright (Fr Casey’s). 

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With a prized final berth at stake, Dempsey will be keen to name his strongest possible team for the visit to the premier county. 

Former All Star nominee Michael Quinlivan is a notable absentee for Tipp, owing to work commitments, while AFL performer Colin O’Riordan has returned to Australia.

Limerick were last winners of the McGrath Cup in 2020, courtesy of a comeback 0-20 to 0-16 win over Cork at the Gaelic Grounds. It will be recalled that the now-departed Danny Neville (Ballysteen) led from the front, knocking over a match-winning seven points in a true man-of-the-match performance. 

Still very much around from that team are joint captains Donal O’Sullivan (Monaleen) and Iain Corbett (Newcastle West), Adare’s Paul Maher, Cillian Fahy (Dromcollogher/Broadford) along with Kildimo/Pallaskenry pair Tony McCarthy and Peter Nash. 

Limerick have won the McGrath Cup in 1985, 1987, 1991, 2001, 2004, 2005, and three years ago.

Limerick’s opening fixture in the National League is away to Derry at the end of the month, before a mouth-watering tilt against Dublin at the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday February 5.