PREVIEW: Stacks To Play Crokes For 2014 County League Title

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Action from Austin Stacks v Waterville in the county league last weekend.

Action from Austin Stacks v Waterville in the county league last weekend. Photo by Mike Quinn.

Credit Union Senior Football Division One Final

Austin Stacks v Dr Crokes

Connolly Park, 7pm

DUE to Austin Stacks incredible run through the Munster club championship in 2014, last year’s scheduled league final against Dr Crokes had to be postponed.

It was decided at the start of the year that instead of having a one off match for the title that this year’s league fixture between the two would double up as the final.

It’s quite possible – once their paths don’t clash on  the way – this Saturday we could be witnessing a dress rehearsal for this year’s county championship final.

Playing for a trophy, there is a little more on the line than can usually be expected at this time of year.

Both sides have dominated Kerry football over the past five years. Crokes have held the upper hand with their four in a row county championship, before Stacks swooped in for what the Killarney men might call “our year off”.

For Crokes, a year without Gooch meant a year without the Kerry crown they had come a bit too accustomed to wearing. Colm Cooper has returned now, refocused and re-energised. It’s hard to not back them to glory once more.

Austin Stacks will, of course, think otherwise, they are a side who revelled in the underdog tag last year. A Dr Crokes team with the favourites tag is more motivation to go and prove themselves all over again.

Build up for this has not been ideal for the Rock. They lost they’re midfield partnership of Greg Horan and Wayne Guthrie to the US for the summer, along with young defender Conor Jordan and goalkeeper Darragh O’Brien.

Crokes, on the other hand, have bolstered their stellar line up of Fionn Fitzgerald, Kieran O’Leary and Dathi Casey with the return of the aforementioned Cooper and the continued improvement of young attacker Micheal Burns.

Between the two sides, Crokes have the better league form winning all their games thus far.

In the club championship, Crokes destroyed St Micheal’s Foilmore by 36 points. The freakish scoreline giving us an indication that they are not messing about and feeling too merciful this campaign.

You just feel coming into this match, Crokes will want it more. Coupled with the loss of those four Stacks players and the head of steam Crokes are picking up it’s difficult to not see them win.

In no way though is this a forecast for the season.  The Stacks are resilient and will find an edge to challenge again for top honours and unlike this Saturday’s match, hopefully in the ‘proper’ year.

Verdict – Dr Crokes by 5 points   

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