PREVIEW: Austin Stacks To Take First Step To Relegation Safety

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Gavin O’Connor looks at the Austin Stacks v St Michaels/Foilmore, SFC Relegation Play-off Round 2 match in Lewis Road, Killarney, Saturday 2pm…

ONE week shy of a year since Austin Stacks claimed Munster honours, Austin Stacks are faced once again with relegation after their deserved defeat to Milltown/Castlemaine in Round 1 of the controversial club relegation play-offs.

Continued below…

David Mannix kicked eight points against St Michael's/Foilmore in the opening round of th county championship back in May. Photo by Drmot Crean.

David Mannix kicked eight points against St Michael’s/Foilmore in the opening round of the county championship back in May. Photo by Drmot Crean.

After falling at the first hurdle the Rock have been faced with two more cruel days for club football. Should they get over St Michael’s Foilmore they will play the winners of the other relegation match, Ardfert and Laune Rangers.

It really is a precarious position, even though the other sides left have been probably the poorest performing senior club teams over the year, wintry football doesn’t allow for a whole lot of margin for error.

In the Milltown/Castlemaine match, Stacks were faced with a stiff breeze in the first half and could never really get their game going up against staunch resistance.

Austin Stacks and St Michaels Foilmore renew acquaintances in the county championship, after facing each other in the opening round way back in May when the summer was just beginning.

David Mannix kicked eight points in a turgid affair, which saw Stacks run out winners by 1-13 to 2-6 in a match where the South Kerry side were kept in it by two very fortuitous goals.

In the County League this year, though Foilmore have shipped a lot of scores in defeats to Kerins O’Rahilly’s and Dr Crokes, they put up a better fight against Stacks at home, the scoreline 0-17 to 3-14 to the Tralee side.

Still the league table does not make for happy reading. Foilmore had just a solitary win out of 11 matches, 10 defeats and a points difference of -67.

In the encounter back in May, Foilmore got every man they could behind the ball and tried to exploit Austin Stacks on the break, by getting high direct ball into the forwards.

It wasn’t the most imaginative style, but faced with such a mammoth gap in quality between the sides, their management really had no alternative. It worked in a sense because it kept the score down, but not the inevitability of the result.

Barring complacency, or a dose of swine flu in the Rockie camp, it’s difficult to see anything other than a Stacks win.

Similar words may have been used two weeks ago in Castleisland, but Milltown have got form of consistently sticking it to the big guns, Foilmore, on the other hand, are consistent in the hammerings they’ve taken.

I hope managers still don’t pin previews to dressing room walls (though, to be honest. I’d be honoured!)

Austin Stacks by 8 points

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