PREVIEW: A Tight One To Call Between Last Year’s Finalists

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Mike O’Halloran looks forward to the repeat of last year’s final on Sunday when champions Kilmoyley take on St Brendan’s in the Garveys Supervalu Kerry SHC semi-final on Sunday in Austin Stack Park (throw-in 3.30pm)…

Kilmoyley St Brendans 2

Action from last year’s final between Kilmoyley and St Brendan’s.

Kilmoyley will put their title on the line, when they meet neighbours St Brendan’s this Sunday in second part of the double-header in Tralee.

Kilmoyley fell to Abbeydorney but are back on track, with a win over Lixnaw. That win was led by an injured Daniel Collins, who has had a couple of weeks to recover further from that injury.

Sean Dowling is also restored to the team, his presence at full back is a huge bonus for them. Seanie Murnane and Sean Nolan are solid hurling backs, Tom Murnane continues to impress, as does Dougie Fitzell at centre back.

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Paudie O’Connor was very impressive, with the Kerry under 21s on Saturday and Jordan Brick recovered his form against Lixnaw. Luke Fitzell, Maurice O’Connor and Sean Maunsell will all contribute to the Kilmoyley effort to retain The Neilus Flynn.

One of their stand-out men in the quarter-final was James Godley and he will need to be at his very best to curb the host of stars on the St Brendan’s team.

St Brendan’s have cruised through their side of the draw, putting up huge scores against Causeway and Ballyheigue. They welcome Cian Hussey back to form, and he has proved to be a very important cog in their forward division.

The St Brendan’s forward line includes the genius that is John Egan and for Kilmoyley to win, he has to be curtailed. Tim Hanafin, Kevin Skinner and Darren Wallace will keep the Kilmoyley halfback line interested.

Daithi Griffin and Stephen Leen form a lively midfield – Griffin is a master ball carrier.

Perhaps their strongest line is the halfbacks, which includes the best centre back in Division 1B of the National Hurling League  in Darren Dineen.

Eamonn Corridon and Kevin Orpen will assist in attempting to repulse Brick, Maunsell and Fitzell, while the Horgans Fionan and Rory will need to be at their best to shackle Maurice O’Connor and Joe McElligott.

The experienced Conor Flaherty will provide protection for Darren Delaney in the goal. I have a suspicion that Kilmoyley might just scrape this one, based only on the fact that St Brendan’s had an easy passage to the semis and have not been tested.

Kilmoyley also welcome back to fitness Robert Collins. I saw him play in a challenge last week he looked sharp. Expect a massive battle with St Brendan’s attempting to make up for the loss of last year’s final.

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