Limerick footballers begin league campaign with home game with Antrim:

By John Keogh Limerick Leader Sport

LIMERICK’S senior footballers begin their Allianz Football League Division 3 campaign against Antrim this afternoon at Mick Neville Park in Rathkeale.

It’s the first competitive fixture for manager Jimmy Lee and his backroom team since they were appointed in the off-season. Limerick were beaten by Kerry and Tipperary in the McGrath Cup pre-season competition but the real action gets underway this weekend.

The visit of Antrim is the first of seven games in Division 3 of the league, which Limerick return to in 2024 following relegation last year from Division 2. Down, Sligo, Westmeath, Clare, Wicklow and Offaly are Limerick’s other opponents in the division.

Lee had a training panel of 47 during the McGrath Cup and will be whittling that down ahead of the beginning of the league. There was a lot of experimentation during their defeats to both Kerry and Tipperary but the returns of Tommie and Bob Childs to the panel are a big boost.

However, they are down 17 players from the 2023 panel with the likes of Donal O’Sullivan (retired), Brian Fanning and Cian Sheehan (travelling) big losses to Lee for the year. Hugh Bourke is also currently not with Lee’s panel that was announced during the week but Danny Neville’s return for the first time since 2021 is a big coup.

Limerick and Antrim last met in the 2022 league with the Treatymen coming away from Corrigan Park winning on a 2-9 to 0-11 scoreline.

Antrim had a poor league last year but put in a much better performance in the Tailteann Cup, topping their group and reaching the semi-final where they lost to Meath by two points. The game has a 12.30pm start in Rathkeale.

Lee has named two leagu debutants in his starting team – Brian O’Sullivan and Emmet Rigter, while nine players could make their debuts from the bench. The full panel for the game is as follows:
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LIMERICK: Aaron O’Sullivan (Pallasgreen); Tony McCarthy (Kildimo-Pallaskenry), Sean O’Dea (Kilteely-Dromkeen), Brian O’Sullivan (Newcastle West); Colm McSweeney (Gerald Griffins), Bob Childs (Galtee Gaels), Paul Maher (Adare); Tommie Childs (Galtee Gaels), Cathal Downes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry); Iain Corbett (Newcastle West), Emmet Rigter (Newcastle West), Cillian Fahy (Drom-Broadford); Barry Coleman (Rathkeale), James Naughton (St Senan’s), Peter Nash (Kildimo-Pallaskenry).

SUBS: Jeffrey Alfred (Adare), Andrew Meade (Rathkeale), Tommy Griffin (Gerald Griffins), Shane Doherty (Adare), Eoin Hurley (Newcastle West), Daniel Daly (Monaleen), Joe Sweeney (Adare), Aaron Neville (Newcastle West), Shane Costello (Adare), Jamie Baynham (Monagea), Jim Liston (Gerald Griffins).