PREVIEW: Who Will Emerge From The Kerry SHC Semi-Finals Next Sunday?

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Mike O’Halloran previews the two Garvey’s Supervalu Kerry Senior Hurling Championship semi-finals next Sunday in Austin Stack Park…


The opening game will be between Lixnaw and Causeway and this promises to be an intriguing encounter as both teams had a rehearsal earlier in the competition where Causeway came away with the spoils.

Causeway have looked impressive this year both in the league and championship and seem to be the stand out team in the last four.

I have no inside track as to the health of their squad, but there are rumours that their full back Muiris Delaney may not be able to line out.

Muiris was doing quite well in what was a new position for him and if he is unable to play, perhaps Evan Murphy will take the number three shirt. Evan was very impressive for the Kerry Under 21s last Saturday.

A big name who is also supposed to be a doubt is former Kerry and Limerick keeper Tadhg Flynn. His influence on Causeway has been massive over the past few years.

Billy Lyons also appeared for the under 21s and looked sharp so Causeway have options at the back.

Up front they welcomed back Keith Carmody from injury the last day and he looked as sharp as ever, he will probably be joined by the new kids on the block Gavin Dooley and Dan Goggin.

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Don’t be surprised if you see two generations of the Dooley’s in the inside line at some stage during the game after John Mike’s display in the intermediate championship recently.

Jason Diggins fresh from captaining the Kerry under 21s will probably take the number seven shirt, Jason Leahy and Brandon Barrett will most likely operate around the middle.

Lixnaw were not at their best in the first encounter against Causeway, but they looked like a different outfit when they came from behind to defeat St Brendans with Shane Conway putting ten shots between the posts.

There is talk that Jeremy McKenna is injured and if he is he will be a big loss to Lixnaw as his work rate against St Brendans was immense.

A big plus for Lixnaw is the return to hurling of Michael Quilter he was outstanding the last day and will certainly pose a stern test to the Causeway inside line.

Johnathan Sills was off form in the game against St Brendans I’d expect him to have his mojo back to face Causeway.

Pat Corridon started the last day in place of John Griffin and was very influential as was John Griffin when he came on.

Young Shane McElligott also earned his stripes that day and chipped in with a point, Raymond Galvin is now given the role of “finisher” as he did not start against St Brendans.

Up front, the Conways and James Flaherty are augmented by another young gun Brian McAuliffe and the experienced Ricky Heffernan. Darragh Shanghai captains Lixnaw, probably from centre back. I expect this to be a close one with the usual caveat of if’s.

If Lixnaw can get goals, they are in with a huge chance, if Causeway can prevent too many frees and can muster the same fire and energy they have had for the last two games they can win.

I wonder will the longer lay off between games for Causeway have an effect in their readiness Lixnaw have had tests in between that may be a factor.

Causeway by a point or two.


In the other semi-final the champions Ballyduff face Kilmoyley, as is the story coming from Ballyduff over the past couple of years they are struggling and may not be as strong as before, but they are still the team to beat come championship time “inside in town”.

There are a number of injury concerns for Ballyduff with PJ O’Gorman struggling to be fit, he is pucking around but is that enough to claim a starting position.

Liam Boyle will most likely be his replacement should he not make it Pjs loss would be hard to counter.

Jack Goulding is carrying a hand injury, Padraig Grady is also not at full health but expect Padraig to play even if he has only one leg.

Paud Costello captains the team he is immense at the back and the rock of the Ballyduff defence.

Jack O’Sullivan is a new star on the Ballyduff side, in his first season in the senior championship as a starter he won a Kerry Hurling All Star.

No piece concerning Ballyduff can go without containing the Boyles. While Liam may be in goals, Aiden will operate at the other end and is quite a handful especially if you decide to get into an arm wrestle with him and always good for a goal or two.

Michael Boyle, to my biased opinion, is the best hurler in Kerry at the moment and without his input Ballyduff does not tick.

His brother Padraig is lethal from frees and open play, a big game will be needed from all the Ballyduff boys to overcome the Kilmoyley challenge, as with Causeway the long period between games may not be to their advantage.

Kilmoyley for their part are hot on the heels of Ballyduff in championships won. They will line out without Adrian Royle and Paudie O’Connor two very influential players.

Tom Murnane returned for them against Crotta O’Neills and he is a welcome addition. John B O’Halloran is a big presence in goal and is settling in there, James Godley will probably wear the number three geansaí.

Robert Collins and Dougie Fitzell will probably flank Tom Murnane (at least on the programme), Donal Kennedy was quite impressive the last day as was Jordan Brick.

Expect Sean Maunsell to use his paw to grab some balls from the air a run at the Ballyduff defence.
Maurice O’Connor will be lively up front, maybe we could see a starting position for Kieran O’Regan after he impressed against Crotta and to my mind turned the game for Kilmoyley on his introduction.

Oh and did I mention Collins, what can one say about Daniel that hasn’t been said before what new adjective can one invent to describe his influence on this team and Kerry hurling.

The Kilmoyley manager Shane Brick is one of the greats of hurling, but I think he may have to wait another year to manage a team in a county final.

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