PREVIEWS: A Look At The Kerry SHC Games This Weekend

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The action in The Garvey’s SuperValu Kerry hurling Championship begins again this weekend with four games taking place over Saturday and Sunday in Austin Stack Park. Mike O’Halloran previews the ties…

Ballyheigue v Kilmoyley (Saturday 5.15pm)

Ballyheigue who lost to Crotta O’Neills in the first round open proceedings on Saturday evening when they take on Kilmoyley who were beaten by Lixnaw at the death by the minimum margin.

Ballyheigue, who are on a road to rebuilding their senior team, acquitted themselves better than most expected against Crotta, especially in the second half into the wind, bearing in mind that they were a man down.

At the time of writing I’m presuming that they will be without that player for this game.

Kilmoyley were lacklustre in their outing against Lixnaw in what to my mind was surely the poorest of the games in the first round.

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The game turned into a free fest for Daniel Collins and Kilmoyley struggled in a lot of areas of the field, of course Kilmoyley might point to the loss of Paudie O’Connor and Adrian Royle as the cause of some of their woes.

They will be fancied to overcome Ballyheigue after clearing the carburettor of the dirty petrol in the opening round.

If they can overcome Ballyheigue, one can expect a smoother running machine in the later stages of the competition.

Ballyduff v Crotta O’Neills (Saturday 7.15pm)

Ballyduff roared out of the blocks in their first outing leaving Abbeydorney grasping at shadows.

Their ability to find the man in space and their ability to mix their style of play from long balls down the middle to accurate passing make them very difficult to deal with.

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Ballyduff have one or two players who are not afraid to put up their hand to win ball the same cannot be said of Crotta they seem to rely on their first touch in the air to be with the hurley this gives the players who don’t contest the ball more time to challenge. Ballyduff will be without P.J. O’Gorman for up to six weeks.

Crotta have a lovely young star studded cast of hurlers who will definitely trouble Ballyduff especially if Ballyduff take them lightly also there was news last night that P.J. O’Gorman may miss the game through injury. Expect Barry O’Mahony and his teammates to put Ballyduff to the ultimate test.

St Brendan’s v Abbeydorney (Sunday 4pm)

On Sunday either St Brendan’s or Abbeydorney will face their final game of the championship.

Abbeydorney will need a huge improvement from their first day out to overcome St Brendan’s. It must be quite frustrating for O’Dorney supporters that they can’t make the breakthrough as they have some quality players in every line of the field.

They have an ability to score goals which usually augurs well, but perhaps they overcomplicate things in team positioning. They need to have faith in their own players and forget about the opposition.

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St Brendan’s will pose a big challenge as they face elimination from the competition and will bring all their fire power to the game.

St Brendan’s have loads of room for improvement as I think its fair to say some of their players were below par in the first round.

John Egan continues to impress up front but he will need more from his fellow attackers. St Brendan’s played out a high scoring tough county league game with Ballyduff on Friday evening and that encounter may help them over the line on Sunday.

Lixnaw v Causeway (Sunday 6pm)

Causeway who are now my favourites to go all the way in the championship will pit their power and massive fitness against Lixnaw.

Causeway are putting lots of points on the board in their games and lacked goals. They put that to right when they blasted three past Crotta in the county league. It is very hard to see beyond them on that outing.

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But I guess one writes off Lixnaw at your peril. I had thought that Kilmoyley would defeat Lixnaw in the first round but Lixnaw ground out a win even without their Kerry star John Buckley.

Lixnaw have Shane Conway in their arsenal but what happens if the likes of Tommy Barrett is is given responsibility to curb young Conway.

On a positive note for Lixnaw, Mike Conway made an appearance late on against Kilmoyley. Michael was moving well on Sunday in the county league but they will be without James Flaherty with Ricky Heffernan and Raymond Galvin also very doubtful. Lixnaw will find it very difficult to overcome the championship favourites.

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