Monaleen keep a grip on crown

CHAMPIONS Monaleen remain on track to defend their title.

The city side secured a dramatic 0-10 to 0-10 draw with Fr Caseys in the final round of the group stages on Saturday in Mick Neville Park in Rathkeale to advance to the quarter-finals.

After an indifferent campaign to date, Monaleen needed to better the result of last season’s beaten finalists Adare to ensure they progressed. With Monaleen drawing, Adare lost to last season’s intermediate champions Galbally. After the final games in the group stages, Newcastle West and Fr Caseys top the two groups and move directly into the semi-finals.

In the quarter-finals, St Patrick’s will face Dromcollogher-Broadford and Ballylanders take on Monaleen.

Backed by the wind the champions led 0-7 to 0-2 at half time, with Peter Russell and Barry Fitzpatrick scoring two points each.

Two pointed frees from former Limerick captain Muiris Gavin also eased Monaleen into a strong advantage.

They stretched the lead to seven points on the change of ends, but then Fr Caseys came roaring back. Donagh Kelly set the ball rolling with two great points and then sub James Riordan added three more.

Another sub, Derry O’Connor, kicked two late points as it looked like the Abbeyfeale men would deny Monaleen the point they needed. But the champions held out and the draw was also good enough to maintain Fr Caseys’ place on top of the group.

Elsewhere in this group, St Patrick’s were 2-11 to 1-9 winners over Pallasgreen.

They were 0-6 to 0-5 in arrears at half time but a Conor Kavanagh penalty saw them gain the lead.

John Mullane points opened a gap before Aidan Shanahan replied with a goal for Pallasgreen. The win was sealed by a late Mullane goal.

Galbally were 2-9 to 2-7 winners over Adare, who had led 2-4 to 2-3 at the break.

In Group Two, Newcastle West finish top after a 1-9 to 1-6 win over St Senans. The winners had a 1-2 to 0-2 half-time lead thanks to Sean McAuliffe’s goal. Maurice Fitzgerald found the net for St Senans but it wasn’t enough.

Shane and James Kelly and Thomas Quilligan also kicked points in the second half as the winners progressed to the semi-finals.

Ballylanders finished second by virtue of their 0-18 to 2-9 win over Ballysteen.

They were 0-11 to 0-2 in front by half time and held on despite goals from Matthew O’Meara and Brendan Hayes. Jimmy Barry Murphy ended with five points for the winners with Kieran O’Callaghan, Eoin Walsh and Mark O’Connell kicking two points each.

The final side progressing is Dromcollogher-Broadford, who defeated St Kierans 2-12 to 2-4. They led 1-9 to 0-1 at the interval with Ray Lynch goaling. Jason Stokes added a second goal to all but seal the win, although two Anthony Molyneaux penalties kept them on their toes.

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