PREVIEW: Who Will Advance In The Kerry SHC This Saturday?

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Mike O’Halloran looks at the two knock-out games in the Garvey’s SuperValu Kerry Senior Hurling Championship this Saturday evening in Austin Stack Park…

Padraig Boyle scores from a free back in the 2017 clash between Causeway and Ballyduff. Photo by Dermot Crean

There are two games down for decision on Saturday evening, Ballyduff take on Causeway at 5pm with Kilmoyley pitting their wits against Crotta O’Neills at 7pm.

The weather at the weekend is forecasted to be poor and the fact that the first game is on during the game between Dublin and Mayo will surely have an effect on the attendance.

The Ballyduff Causeway game is a hard one to call and no matter how I call it, I will be caught between a rock and a hard place.

Ballyduff were poor against Crotta in the replay but came back to defeat Ballyheigue amassing a pretty substantial score.

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But, in fairness, Ballyheigue were not at their best and the true form of Ballyduff cannot be measured. Ballyduff have trained well since and come knockout time they fear no-one.

Causeway roared out of the blocks in their first game, only to be struck down by Lixnaw in their next encounter. Lixnaw looked impressive that day and Causeway supporters went away dejected.

Perhaps their dejection can now be tempered with some hindsight — Causeway were denied two goal chances by two brilliant saves from Martin Stackpoole and they missed a penalty.

Inconsistency has been their downfall in past seasons, but I give them a great chance against Ballyduff, based on the fact that they got a very stern test against the current champions.

Padraig Boyle captains Ballyduff while Bryan Murphy leads Causeway.

Action from the Crotta v Kilmoyley clash in 2017. Photo by Dermot Crean

Kilmoyley will face Crotta O’Neills in the second game. Kilmoyley will welcome back their captain Paudie O’Connor who missed the last game against Abbeydorney.

They seem to be improving and will certainly test Crotta — I like the look of their team with Tom Murnane marshalling them around the middle while the two Collins, Maurice O’Connor Jordan Brick and Joe McElligott are a pretty potent attack.

Crotta O’Neills have had more games than Kilmoyley with their drawn games and these games should stand to them.

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I think their preparations were hampered for the replay against St Brendan’s with so many of their players playing in the U20 final and with these players a little fresher for this weekend I’d expect them to put it up to Kilmoyley.

I hear they have some injuries, but they have impressive players in every line — Sean Weir leads from the back, Tomas O’Connor is solid at centre back, Donal Hunt and Barry O’Mahony are a dynamic midfield partnership.

Shane Nolan has been doing his bit up front as has Jordan Conway and between them they have racked up the most of the Crotta scores. But there lies one of Crotta’s problems — they don’t have enough scorers to augment the two boys.

Crotta will have to play to the last second to overcome Kilmoyley and if they get ahead they must drive on and build on the lead and not let it slip. Paudie O’Connor will lead out Kilmoyley with Sean Weir at the helm for Crotta O’Neills

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