Sport: Can Kerins O’Rahilly’s Beat South Kerry?

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KERINS O’RAHILLYS make the trip down south to face South Kerry in Cahersiveen in round 1 of the Super Valu Senior Football County Championship this Sunday at 2.30pm.

Barry O’Shea’s charges have been promising so far in the league  this year which currently sees them unbeaten and top of division one, ahead of Crokes and Stacks.

County Championship is a whole different ball game though, as Division 2 strugglers Laune Rangers showed last week.

Preparations have been difficult, a good few lads are in college, so it’s been a bit disjointed,” said the former All-Ireland winner and Kerins O’Rahilly’s manager Barry O’Shea.

“It’s going to be very difficult because we have lost a lot of guys this year,” said O’Shea.

From the team who beat Austin Stacks last year in the league final, they are missing five vital, experienced campaigners in Mike Quirke, Shane Brosnan, Brian Moran, Barry John Walsh and John O’Connor.


Barry John Keane in league action against St Micheals Foilmore in Strand Road recently.

“We won’t know what team we’ll put out until the night before the game, we still have a few niggles and a few things to iron out,” he said.

“We’ve a lot of young lads on the team this year and they’ll find out what its like to go to down the likes of these places in the championship.”

In the 2008 semi-final the two sides faced off in a saga of games which saw O’Rahillys come through after two drawn matches and extra time. That was the last time the Blues got to the championship final which they lost to Mid Kerry after another replay.

The Strand Road side have a good record down in Cahersiveen – last year they knocked the men from the South out of the championship down there in round three by a scoreline of  1-10  to  2-9.

“That result is irrelevant now really because we have a totally different team, but if you’re not confident of winning a game it’s pointless going down there.” said O’Shea.

The build up to this game has been low key, a large part of the reason why must go to the fact the losing side will get a second bite of the cherry. So this weekend’s match is not seen as important as a straight knockout game like in previous years, right?

“Maybe for some people, but not from our own point of you. I guess it’s unfair really. The divisional sides don’t face the prospect of relegation from the county championship, whereas if we lose a game we’re staring down the barrel of a gun,” said O’Shea.

The nature of the beast means it’s hard to know what way a divisional side is going to perform in an opening round game.

But still, with O’Rahilly’s losing so many from the first team which reached the semi-final last year and beat South Kerry along the way, it’s hard to see them replicate that again.

Verdict: South Kerry by four points

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