PREVIEW: Mouthwatering Final In Prospect But Will Lixnaw Or Kilmoyley Prevail?

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Mike O’Halloran gives his verdict on the biggest day in Kerry hurling this Sunday at 3.15pm in Austin Stack Park…

James Godley clears with Jeremy McKenna watching in the Lixnaw v Kilmoyley championship tie earlier this summer. Photo by Dermot Crean

Kilmoyley take on Lixnaw on Sunday in the Garvey’s SuperValu Kerry senior hurling final.

Kilmoyley just got passed Ballyduff in the semi-final and have been building steadily under the influence of one of Kerry’s greatest hurlers Shane Brick.

I did not see them being able to beat Ballyduff but they managed the Ballyduff forwards and came up with the goods up front, with Jordan Brick, Maurice O’Connor and Joe McElligott tagging on points for fun.

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Daniel Collins did not score from play that day but he was influential all the same even though by all accounts he was not at full fitness. His brother Robert was on the scoreboard and played out of his skin.

James Godley was as solid as a rock at fullback and John B O’Halloran is quite a presence between the sticks. Kieran Regan is having quite an influence on this year’s championship.

Lixnaw blew away the challenge of Causeway who were my favourites to raise the new Nelius Flynn Cup which was presented to the Kerry County Board last Friday night by the Flynn family from Causeway.

Lixnaw came out with a five point win in the semi-final, but their Achilles heel may be that they are over dependant on Shane Conway to provide most of their scores and unless they can muster scores from the rest of their forwards, they may be in bother against Kilmoyley.

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There is no doubt about the prowess of their defence, they are both tight and resilient.

Martin Stackpoole is brilliant between the sticks and is also an astute game starter with his puck outs.

Mike Quilter Stephen Power and Pat Corridon are a teak tough last line of defence, Darragh Shanahan is playing a captains role at centre back and Gerard Stackpoole will probably be presented with the task preventing the ball getting into Sean Maunsell’s hand.

Jordan Brick will have to deal with the power of Brendan Brosnan and prevent him from attempting his long range point efforts.

John Griffin is mentoring Shane McElligott well around the middle, there is still a doubt about the fitness of Jeremy McKenna, Lixnaw will be hoping to have him healthy to curb the influence of Dougie Fitzell.

Ricky Heffernan usually plays well in big games but he will probably face up to a certain Tom Murnane, a task that is never easy.

Another young gun in the Lixnaw attack is Bryan McAuliffe. He will certainly have to augment the Conway in the scoring stakes, he will have his work cut out against Robert Collins.

The Lixnaw inside line of the two Conways along with James Flaherty will test Sean Nolan and Sean Murnane. James Flaherty was helped off injured in the semi-final so if he is not fit, expect Colin Sheehy to fill that spot.

Kilmoyley’s greater spread does make them slight favourites but you can never rule out Lixnaw in a final. Kilmoyley to join Ballyduff at the top of the championship leader board.

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