Familiar foes Newcastle West and Adare meet in Limerick SFC final:

By John Keogh Limerick Leader Sport

NEWCASTLE West and Adare are set to face off for the third year in a row this afternoon when they do battle in the Irish Wire Products Limerick senior football championship final at the TUS Gaelic Grounds.

The Magpies are aiming for their third Fr Casey Cup in a row, while Adare are looking for their first senior crown since 2020. These two clubs have dominated the senior grade since 2017, winning all six of the last titles between them.

Newcastle have victories in 2019, as well as the last two years, while Adare have found themselves champions in 2017, 2018 and in 2020. The final last year was a tight affair, with extra time needed to separate the teams.

Jimmy Lee’s Newcastle West team come into the final with less questions to answer following their impressive semi-final showing against Monaleen in their last outing.

The Magpies had six points to spare in that victory and will be happy with where they are heading into Sunday’s decider. At the other side of the coin, Adare will not be happy with how they played in their last four clash with Fr Casey’s and will know that they will have to improve to have any chance of landing a fourth ever senior title.

Both sides cruised through the early stages of the championship, topping their respective groups with five wins from five but it is Newcastle West that are slight favourites with the bookies.

Newcastle have had several outstanding performers throughout the 2023 campaign with Iain Corbett, Emmet Rigter, Ruadhan O’Connor and Eoin Hurley all putting in top showings.

Adare have had the same from the likes of Paul Maher, Ronan Connolly and Jeffrey Alfred, but Hugh Bourke has arguably been the player of the championship so far.

Bourke will be hopeful of continuing his form from that semi-final win over their Abbeyfeale opponents that saw him score 1-6 in an all-action performance.

There is also a little extra spice on the sideline on Sunday as well with incoming Limerick boss Lee up against two men that will be part of his coaching ticket with the county side in John Brudair and Pat Donnelly with Adare.

Newcastle West have had to plan without star player Cian Sheehan all through the championship but have done brilliantly to reach this stage without such a key figure. Adare, have also had to pick without a full deck due to injuries but seem to have a full bill of health going into the final.

Today’s final is expected to be a tight affair with both sides rightfully believing that they could earn victory. Newcastle West are gunning for their seventh ever title, while Adare are aiming to make it a fourth ever title at this grade.