Legion hoping to halt Brendan’s voyage

Killarney Legion v St Brendan’s
Saturday at 5.15pm
Austin Stack Park

Story so far Legion got the better of near neighbours Kilcummin in Round 1 before powering to an impressive victory over a talented West Kerry outfit in Round 2. That 2-15 to 2-9 win back in Annascaul has given supporters cause for optimism but Stephen Stack’s men will face an even sterner test in Tralee tomorrow evening.

Brendan’s, whose first 15 is made up of players from each of their five clubs (Na Gaeil, St Pat’s, Churchill, Ardfert and John Mitchels), defeated an understrength East Kerry team in the first round but they came unstuck the following week against South Kerry. Séamus Murphy’s team bounced back against Shannon Rangers in Round 3 with James Duggan (2-3) to the fore in an easy win.

Top scorers Legion: Conor Keane (1-11). St Brendan’s: Diarmuid O’Connor (2-5), James Duggan (2-5).

Possible XVs Legion: B Kelly; D O’Doherty, D Sheahan, C Gammell; P O’Connor, D Sheahan, J Lyne; P Lucey, S Keane; J O’Neill, J O’Sullivan, B Maguire; J O’Donoghue, C Keane, T Moriarty.

St Brendan’s: E O’Brien; T Kearns, K O’Dwyer, T Wallace; F Barry, A Barry, P Kearney; J Barry, D O’Connor; J Duggan, D Griffin, B Barrett; D O’Callaghan, N Sheehy, I Parker.

Odds Legion 8/11 – St Brendan’s 11/8 – Draw 15/2

Verdict Legion by one.


Old rivals meet again

Dingle v East Kerry
Saturday at 7pm
Austin Stack Park

Story so far There’s certainly no love lost between these two. Dingle and East Kerry met three times in last year’s championship and although they split the series evenly, Dingle had the last laugh when they hammered their divisional counterparts in an ill-tempered semi-final replay. Clifford brothers Paudie and David both received their marching orders that day, which will be remembered for the ugly incident which saw a Dingle selector striking Dara Moynihan in the face.

Neither the selector nor Moynihan (injured) will be on the field this time out, though sparks are likely to fly regardless.

Last year’s beaten finalists are tipped by many to run the Crokes close again in 2019 and they have already defeated two other supposed contenders, Austin Stacks and Kerins O’Rahilly’s, in the opening rounds.

East Kerry, meanwhile, have been buoyed by the return of star forward David Clifford, who kicked eight points in their Round 3 extra-time victory over Strand Road.

Top scorers Dingle: Paul Geaney (1-5). East Kerry: Darragh Roche (1-10).

Possible XVs Dingle: D Uosis; M Ó Baoighill, TL Ó Súilleabháin, P Ó Conchúir; A Ó Conchúir, TS Ó Súilleabháin, M Ó Flaitheartaigh; L Ó Conchúir, B Ó Súilleabháin; S Durrant, M Ó Géibheannaigh, P Ó Dubháin; C Ó Géibheannaigh, P Ó Géibheannaigh, C Ó Bambaire.

East Kerry: J Devane, C O’Donoghue, S Courtney, N Donohue; D O’Donoghue, J Sherwood, P Warren; L Kearney, S Cronin; R Buckley, P Clifford, B O’Donoghue; D Clifford, D Roche, E Cronin.

Odds Dingle 8/13 – East Kerry 13/8 – Draw 15/2

Verdict East Kerry by one.


Can Kieran’s cause an upset?

South Kerry v St Kieran’s
Sunday at 2pm
Fitzgerald Stadium

Story so far It has been smooth sailing thus far for the 2015 champions. The men from the south defeated Shannon Rangers and St Brendan’s in Rounds 1 and 2A of this year’s competition and they are firm favourites to make it three wins from three and advance to the last four. They are back-boned by their chief scorer Bryan Sheehan and fellow county men Killian Young and Mark Griffin.

Kieran’s, however, have been threatening to cause a major upset for a number of years now. They had a very useful game against Kilcummin on Sunday last which they won 0-21 to 1-13. Any team that can kick 21 points can hold their heads up high. In the first round game they had a narrow 0-12 to 0-9 victory over Mid Kerry. (Words: Eamonn Fitzgerald.)

Top scorers South Kerry: Bryan Sheehan (1-8). St Kieran’s: Edmund Walsh (1-15)

Possible XVs South Kerry: P O’Sullivan; F Clifford, K Young, P O’Sullivan; B Sugrue, M Griffin, R Wharton; B Sheehan, G O’Sullivan; B O’Sullivan, Denis Daly, C O’Shea; B O’Dwyer, Daniel Daly, C Keating.

St Kieran’s: S Ó Ciardubháin; J O’Connor, L Lyons, M Reidy; L Brosnan, B Leonard, M Hickey; S Scanlon, A Donoghue; P O’Connor, A Breen, S Horan; E Horan, E Walsh, A Barry.

Odds South Kerry 1/4 – St Kieran’s 7/2 – Draw 10/1

Verdict South Kerry by three.


Reigning champs favourites to advance

Dr Crokes v Kenmare Shamrocks
Sunday at 3.30pm
Fitzgerald Stadium

Story so far The reigning champions have a newish look about them in this year’s championship but it has been a case of business as usual for the four-in-a-row-chasing Crokes.

New manager Edmund O’Sullivan, who took over from Pat O’Shea after the All-Ireland Club final defeat in March, has converted experienced forward Brian Looney into a wing back while the introduction of youngster Mark O’Shea at midfield has worked well so far.

With a couple of new faces in the backs and Tony Brosnan firing an all cylinders following his summer in the States, the Crokes have made light work of Rathmore and St Kieran’s en route to the quarters.

Kenmare were unlucky not to get the better of Kerins O’Rahilly’s on the opening day but they kept their head above water in this year’s tournament by beating Rathmore in the losers’ round. It looked like their year was over when they trailed by 2-4 to no score against West Kerry a fortnight ago but they showed great fighting spirit to turn it around and eventually prevail with three points to spare.

Top scorers Dr Crokes: Tony Brosnan (1-18). Kenmare Shamrocks: Seán O’Shea (1-19).

Possible XVs Dr Crokes: S Murphy; D Naughton, M Moloney, F Fitzgerald; M Potts, G White, B Looney; J Buckley, M O’Shea; M Burns, D Shaw, G O’Shea; T Brosnan, D Casey, K O’Leary.

Kenmare Shamrocks: R O’Shea; D Crowley, D O’Shea, T O’Sullivan; D O’Connor, D McCarthy, J McCarthy; K O’Sullivan, D Hallissey; M Crowley, S O’Shea, S O’Leary; T Murnane, P O’Connor, S O’Brien.

Odds Dr Crokes 1/5 – Kenmare Shamrocks 9/2 – Draw 10/1

Verdict Dr Crokes by five.