Hurling: Who’ll Emerge From Sunday’s Feast Of Championship Hurling?

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rsz_mike_ohalloranOur hurling writer, Mike O’Halloran, looks at the feast of Garvey’s Supervalu Kerry Senior Hurling Championship hurling action on the way this Sunday…

Crotta O’Neill’s v Kilmoyley, Causeway 1.30pm

Kilmoyley are riding high at the top of the County Hurling League and are seeking to get over the hurdle posed by Crotta, in an attempt to get to another final where they would hope to learn from last year’s defeat to Lixnaw.

Kilmoyley surprised everybody last year with the challenge they mounted in the championship, when most people thought they were depleted due to emigration, retirements and the loss of Shane Brick.

But they defied the odds in reaching the final with a complete team performance. Kilmoyley led by dual star Daniel Collins and fellow county men Adrian Royle and Dougie Fitzell will attempt to overcome a Crotta O’Neills team under the baton of the maestro Shane Nolan.

Shane Nolan may be the conductor, but surely Sean Weir will be the lead violinist and orchestra leader. Weir can pull the strings to put it up to Kilmoyley but without more help up front and resolute defending at the back, Crotta will struggle to overcome Kilmoyley.

Another factor is the pitch. Will the confines of Causeway suit Shane Nolan? Only seventy minutes of caman wielding will decide.

A draw here.

Abbeydorney v St Brendan’s, Causeway 3pm

In the second part of the double bill, Abbeydorney will take on St Brendan’s.

I reported on St Brendan’s V Ballyduff game a couple of weeks ago for on a night where St Brendan’s won the 2014 County League at their ease with John Egan scoring 1-15 and playing without College star Kevin Hannafin.

St Brendans Darren Delaney 1

St Brendan’s Darren Delaney could be vital on Sunday. Photo by Mike O’Halloran

While it is very hard to look beyond St Brendan’s in this one -with the array of stars they can draw on from the firmament of county stars including Egan, Darren Dineen, Rory Horgan never mind the dual star David Griffin brilliant goalie Darren Delaney and young up coming star Eric Leen – there is always a big game in Abbeydorney and they will give it every ounce of energy they have to gain victory.

Abbeydorney are awaiting the availability of one or two of their stars who are away but in Cork import Darragh O’Brien, the experienced Aiden Healy and Kieran Dineen they have big men to call on.

Up front, Abbeydorney have one of the top young forwards in the county in Stevie O’Sullivan, the county underage star has an eye for goal and Abbeydorney will need goals to overcome St Brendan’s.

St Brendan’s feel they “left a championship after them” last year and Pat O’Driscoll and his management team will leave no stone unturned to get to a final.

Ballyduff v Causeway, Kilmoyley 6pm

Fans were texting me during the week saying that it is unfair to have to go Kilmoyley for this game and pay another entry fee, but all games are played at neutral venues so there seems to be no alternative to this situation.

Causeway seem to have all the aces in this game, given that they have a whole plethora of county stars including the Murphys – Stephen and Brian, Colum Harty, Keith Carmody and dual star Brandon Barrett, Paul McGrath will provide the accuracy from placed balls.

So they seem to have a very strong hand. They face a Ballyduff team that is not going too well and as late as last week, were still awaiting the return to training of a few of their stars.

The Boyles and Gradys will lead the charge, in young Eoin Ross they have quite a prospect, Jack Goulding is on the Kerry minor football panel so it will be interesting to see if he is allowed to play.

The loss of PJ Gorman who is recovering from a cruciate injury, brings Joe Bunyan in as net minder and he is quite an asset to Ballyduff both as a ball stopper, but more so as a play starter with his strategic puck outs and pin point clearances to his team mates.

Ballyduff scored 4-15 against Lixnaw recently, so the potential to defeat Causeway is there.

Another factor in the mix might be the fact that Causeway have replaced a very experienced management team with a complete new set up and sometimes it takes a year or two for the new management team to get on message with the team and bed in.

The tighter pitch in Kilmoyley should suit Ballyduff better. The Round Tower Boys to just shade it.

One Comment

  1. Mike mccarthy says:

    Isn’t kilmoyley pitch the widest in North kerry by a mile so how it could be called ” tight” beggars belief spoken like a true Ballyduff man