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2012 Munster Club SFC team-by-team guide

Here’s a look at the teams in contention for this year’s senior club football crown in the southern province ahead of the opening clashes next Sunday in Clonakilty and Quilty.

Action from last year's meeting of Dr Crokes and Kilmurry-Ibrickane.
Action from last year's meeting of Dr Crokes and Kilmurry-Ibrickane.
Image: INPHO/James Crombie

Fixtures

Nov 4th: Quarter-finals – Castlehaven (Cork) v Dromcollogher-Broadford (Limerick), Clonakilty; Kilmurry-Ibrickane (Clare) v Dr Crokes (Kerry), Quilty.

Nov 18th: Semi-finals – Castlehaven (Cork)/Dromcollogher-Broadford (Limerick) v Stradbally (Waterford)/The Nire (Waterford), Cork/Limerick venue; Kilmurry-Ibrickane (Clare)/Dr Crokes (Kerry) v Clonmel Commercials, Tipperary/Kerry venue.

Dec 2nd: Final

CLARE – Kilmurry-Ibrickane
How have they reached this stage? Kilmurry-Ibrickane defeated St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield in the Banner county final recently by 0-10 to 0-4 to claim their fourth county title in five years.

What’s their track record at this level? The West Clare club have a decent pedigree having contested three of the last eight Munster finals with silverware being acquired in 2004 against Stradbally and in 2009 against Kerins O’Rahilly’s. In 2010 they lost out in the All-Ireland club final against St Gall’s and still retain the core of that team.

Any inter-county stars of note on the pitch? Enda Coughlan and Martin McMahon were both of the Clare senior squad this summer that contested the Munster final against Cork.

Which young gun should we keep an eye on? Niall Hickey caught the eye in the county final with a man-of-the-match display in attack as he popped over three points. Hickey is still U21 and is a younger brother of team defenders Darren and Shane.

Who’s calling the shots on the sideline? Former Clare manager John Kennedy, a man well-versed in Kerry football from a playing and management capacity, is at the helm.

The odds on a title win? 11/2.

CORK – Castlehaven
How have they reached this stage? Last Sunday in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Castlehaven won their first county senior football title since 2003 with a 1-7 to 0-9 final victory over divisional outfit Duhallow. The success helped atone for last year’s final loss to UCC.

What’s their track record at this level? Castlehaven lost their last game in the Munster club championship against An Ghaeltacht in 2003. But prior to that they have excelled winning provincial honours in 1989 against St Senan’s (Kilkee), in 1994 against Clonmel Commercals and in 1997 against Fethard.

Any inter-county stars of note on the pitch? Mark Collins was a Cork senior footballer this year while Damien Cahalane was on the Cork senior hurling squad. Midfielder Dermot Hurley is a former Cork senior footballer while David Limrick and Seanie Cahalane won All-Ireland U21 football medals with Cork in 2007.

Which young gun should we keep an eye on? Brian Hurley is an extremely talented forward who was on the Cork minor team that reached the 2010 All-Ireland final and this year won a Munster U21 medal with Cork.

Who’s calling the shots on the sideline? Club stalwart James McCarthy is in charge with former Cork footballers Niall Cahalane and John Cleary amongst those acting as selectors.

The odds on a title win? 11/4.

Castlehaven’s Mark Collins in action in last week’s county final. Pic: INPHO/Ken Sutton

KERRY – Dr Crokes
How have they reached this stage? Dr Crokes were comfortable victors in last Sunday’s county final against Dingle by 2-13 to 0-8, to ensure they reigned supreme in the Kingdom for the third successive year.

What’s their track record at this level? Dr Crokes have four Munster crowns to their credit and their 1991 success paved the way for an All-Ireland triumph in 1992. In recent years they won the final in 2006 against Waterford’s The Nire, lost the 2010 decider to Cork’s Nemo Rangers but bounced back to win last year’s final against third-level outfit UCC.

Any inter-county stars of note on the pitch? The Killarney-based club are backboned by a bunch of players who have represented Kerry at various levels.This year Eoin Brosnan, club captain Kieran O’Leary, Johnny Buckley and their talisman Colm Cooper all lined out for the Kingdom in the senior grade.

Which young gun should we keep an eye on? He may be a diminutive figure but corner-forward Chris Brady is a bag of tricks in the Dr Crokes attack. He lined out for the Kerry U21 team that contested this year’s Munster final against Cork.

Who’s calling the shots on the sideline? Noel O’Leary is in his first campaign as team boss with Vince Casey and Malachy Walsh assisting him while newly appointed Mayo coach Donie Buckley has been doing work on the training ground this year.

The odds on a title win? 4/11.

LIMERICK – Dromcollogher-Broadford
How have they reached this stage? For the third time in five years Dromcollogher-Broadford are the kingpins in Limerick after last Friday night’s final replay win over Newcastlewest by 0-12 to 0-10 after extra-time.

What’s their track record at this level? The Limerick club have plenty experience and in December 2008 enjoyed their greatest afternoon when they became Munster champions after a final victory over Kilmurry-Ibrickane.

Any inter-county stars of note on the pitch? Centre-back Eoin Barry and midfielder Seanie Buckley were both part of Maurice Horan’s Limerick senior squad this year while long-serving duo Jason Stokes and Micheal Reidy are not shy on inter-county experience either.

Which young gun should we keep an eye on? Corner-back Cillian Fahy bucks the trend in a team founded on experience as the 17 year-old has slotted neatly into their defensive ranks this year.

Who’s calling the shots on the sideline? Mike Fahy is the team manager with Jerome Stack and Ben Noonan his right-hand men.

The odds on a title win? 14/1.

Dromcollogher Broadford captain Patrick Donnelly lifts the cup after last Friday’s Limerick county final. Pic: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

TIPPERARY – Clonmel Commercials
How have they reached this stage? Clonmel Commercials will automatically be the Premier representatives on the Munster stage this year as their opponents in next Sunday’s county final, Thomas McDonagh’s, are a divisional outfit.

What’s their track record at this level? Clonmel Commercials last featured in the Munster championship in 2002 and prior to that they’ve encountered bad luck in losing four finals – in 1994 to Castlehaven, in 1990 to Dr Crokes, in 1971 to UCC and in 1966 to East Kerry.

Any inter-county stars of note on the pitch? Defender Donal Lynch, midfielder Aldo Matassa and attacker Michael Quinlivan were all part of the Premier senior squad this year. While Evan Comerford, Seamus Kennedy, Ian Fahey, Quinlivan, Colman Kennedy and Jason Lonergan all featured in Tipperary’s historic All-Ireland minor triumph last year.

Which young gun should we keep an eye on? Quinlivan is an outstanding talent who is still eligible for U21 football for the next two years. His attacking abilities were showcased in last weekend’s county semi-final win over Loughmore-Castleiney as he fired home two brilliant goals.

Who’s calling the shots on the sideline? Former Tipperary goalkeeper Philly Ryan dons the bainisteoir bib with Martin ‘Blossom’ Quinlivan, a former Waterford United netminder, a selector.

The odds on a title win? 12/1.

WATERFORD – Stradbally
How have they reached this stage? Honours were only claimed in the Waterford decider last Saturday night with a victory after a replay by 1-8 to 0-10 over The Nire. Substitute David Grey was the hero as he notched the match-winning point.

What’s their track record at this level? Stradbally have huge experience having won eight of the last 12 county titles, but 2004 was the only year they reached the decider in that time frame with Kilmurry-Ibrickane overturning them. Previously in 1980 Stradbally lost the decider to Cork’s St Finbarr’s.

Any inter-county stars of note on the pitch? Stradbally’s Tony Grey is a regular fixture in the Waterford senior defence while Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh is another talented footballer who is better known on an inter-county stage for his exploits with the county’s hurling side.

Which young gun should we keep an eye on? Stradbally’s team is largely founded on experienced campaigners but watch out for attacker Robert Ahearne who has a penchant for grabbing goals.

Who’s calling the shots on the sideline? Pat Curran is the Stradbally manager.

The odds on a title win? Stradbally are ranked at 16/1 to sweep to provincial glory while The Nire are the outsiders at 33/1.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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