Limerick entertain Kerry in the Munster Senior Football Championship semi-final at the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday evening.
The Treaty men have always put it up to the Kingdom in the provincial series and many felt that they were unlucky not to win when the two sides clashed in last years championship. Traditionally Limerick have been strong around the middle of the park and while their forwards have not always delivered,they seem to raise their game at the sight of the green and gold.
Both sides go into this weekends clash missing some key players but Kerry have a stronger bench and will find it easier to rejig their side. The loss of John Galvin and Stephen Lucey is a huge blow to Limerick and has possibly ended any chances they had of causing an upset. Galvin has been one of the best midfielders in the country over the last decade and he would certainly have caused Kerry plenty of problems. Lucey is a solid defender who has given some outstanding performances against the Kingdom in recent seasons.
Tomas O’Se is a big loss to Kerry,as he was the player who dug them out of a hole in the corresponding fixture last season. When heads were down and they needed a leader,he raised his game and stepped up to the mark. Tommy Griffin has yet to return to full fitness and Paul Galvin is obviously not yet at full pitch,so it’s a depleted Kerry outfit that do battle this weekend.
Anthony Maher and Bryan Sheehan struggled at midfield against Tipperary and if John Galvin had been available for Limerick it would have made this a much more interesting match. As it stands, Kerry must be hot favourites to progress to a Munster Final meeting with Cork, and it is very difficult to envisage anything other than a comfortable victory for Jack O’Connor’s side.
Limerick (Munster SF v Kerry) – Brian Scanlon, Stephen Lavin, Shane Gallagher, Mark O Riordan, Pa Ranahan, Johnny McCarthy, Barry Fitzpatrick, Tom Lee, Jim Donovan, Seanie Buckley, James Kelly, Stephen Kelly, Ger Collins, John Cooke, Ian Ryan.
Subs – Ger Ryan, John Riordan, Mike Sheehan, Mike McCormack, Eoin Joy, Paul Kinnerk, Eoin Hogan, Eoghan O’Connor, John Mullane, Seamus O’Carroll, Liam Costello.
Kerry (Munster SF v Limerick): B Kealy; S Enright, M Ó Sé, T O’Sullivan; A O’Mahony, E Brosnan, K Young, A Maher, B Sheehan, Darran O’Sullivan, Declan O’Sullivan, D Walsh; C Cooper (captain), K Donaghy, K O’Leary.