PREVIEW: Kerins O’Rahilly’s Fight For Senior Status Against Battling Milltown/Castlemaine

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Gavin O’Connor looks forward to the Kerins O’Rahillys v Milltown/Castlemaine, Castleisland Mart Senior Club Championship, Relegation Playoff Round 1 match at Farranfore, Sunday 2:30pm…

Barry John Keane in action in the 0-9 to 0-8 loss to Legion. Photo by Gavin O'Connor.

Barry John Keane in action in the 0-9 to 0-8 loss to Legion. Photo by Gavin O’Connor.

SENIOR championship status is on the line for both these clubs when the face off in Farranfore on Sunday.

The loser will play Kilcummin, who lost to Rathmore in the other relegation play-off to the decide who plays senior football in 2017.

Should this be O’Rahillys fate, a good County Championship run would will them from the ignominy of intermediate level competition next year.

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A lacklustre performance against Legion has the new management team of Micheal Quirke and Morgan Nix  facing into a relegation battle.

David Moran and Barry John Keane will be once again at the side’s disposal along with Tommy Walsh who has generated many column inches over the last few days following his shock departure from the Kerry senior panel.

Walsh can now fully focus his efforts on his club, free from the distraction of inter-county pressure, which can only be a good thing in Strand Road.

However, the Blues will be without the services of the club’s 2015 player of the year, Con Barrett, who has recently undergone surgery on his shoulder and will be out for at least a few months more.

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They face a Milltown/Castlemaine side who were knocked out of last year’s County Championship by O’Rahillys who played 45 minutes with 14 men and won (0-20 to 1-14)

Austin Stacks put the Mid Kerry club in this position by beating them in the quarter-finals (0-14 to 0-9).

Ever a tough nut to crack, Milltown/Castlemaine beat The Rock last year in a relegation play off that sent the 2014 Munster Champions in danger of dropping to intermediate level (only to survive at the expense of Laune Rangers).

So The Blues are very much aware that if Milltown get their tails up against you, they’ll be no pushover. Still the Tralee side has the fire power that should steer them away from relegation danger.

Verdict – Kerins O’Rahillys by 3

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