Relegation Playoff Preview: “We’re Shooting In The Dark” Says O’Shea

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Jack Savage surveys his options at the match on Saturday between Kerins O'Rahilly's and Legion in Killarney. Photo by Dermot Crean

Jack Savage surveys his options against Legion in Killarney in the Club Championship this year. Photo by Dermot Crean

Kerins O’Rahilly’s v Kilcummin
Senior County Championship Preliminary Relegation Playoff –
Castleisland, 2pm.

THEIR crosstown rivals might be taking the headlines over the past few weeks, but Kerins O’Rahilly’s will contest a match of major importance on Sunday as they attempt to retain their senior status.

If they do lose to Kilcummin, they will get a second bite of the cherry the following week against Currow, but that is a situation Kerins O’Rahilly’s team manager, Barry O’Shea does not want to be in.

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“Games are better than training and we have not had any, we’re shooting in the dark really,” said O’Shea.

“Most of players are back now, but we haven’t been able to prepare very well, because we haven’t had too many games, so when guys came back they went straight back to college” he said.

“The team that loses has another shot, but we don’t want it to come to that,” said O’Shea.

Thankfully for the blues, the two men who picked up All-Ireland medals for Kerry, David Moran and Barry John Keane, along with Kerry minor, Cormac Coffey, are fit and ready for action. One of last year’s Kerry minors, Jack Savage, will also line out and add to the list of talent.

It has been a lost year for O’Rahilly’s. The club was rocked by the departure of eight players in the summer to America, this left the side with the improbable task of mounting a credible county championship challenge.

The return of Tommy Walsh in a few months time is a timely announcement which will no doubt focus players minds on a brighter future.

O’Rahilly’s county championship story this year began with a tough away draw down in South Kerry and ended in defeat. That game was followed by another loss at home to Feale Rangers, which put the Strand Road side staring relegation down the barrel of a gun.

It was good fortune that the blues’ league record was so good before the loss of their inter-county men and those who left to play football in America.

There is a sense of the unknown about this one with Kerins O’Rahilly’s having played so little over the last few months and really without a full strength side since June.

Complacency could play its part as well, as both sides would be expected to beat Currow should they falter on Sunday.

Verdict: Bouyed by the success of their inter county players and that little bit of extra talent, Kerins O’Rahilly’s to win by two.

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