Forwards ruled the roost in Round 1 but the adverse weather conditions meant that backs and midfielders were the big points-getters in the second round of the Killarney Advertiser Fantasy Club game in association with Gaelic Plus.
The wet ball tends to lead to better defence than offence and that was very much the case in the Kerry Senior Club Championship last weekend. In fact, seven of the eight sets of backs earned bonus points for holding the opposition to fewer than 15 points. The eighth team, Templenoe, were denied this bonus (and their victory) due to a last-gasp goal against Kenmare. This is in stark contrast to Round 1 when only three teams held their opponents to 15 points or fewer.
So it was the backs and, to a lesser extent, goalkeepers and midfielders who did the bulk of the damage for this week’s top managers and we have some new names at the top of the leaderboard after an exciting round of action.
LEADING THE WAY
The forwards may not have been firing on all cylinders but that didn’t stop five managers from breaking the 200-point barrier (two reached this milestone in Round 1). Unsurprisingly, all five find themselves towards the very top of the updated table.
A tally of 200 by John Crowley from Kenmare Shamrocks has shot him up the leaderboard from fifth to joint top where he is joined by Rathmore stalwart Conor Healy, who scored 202. Graham O’Connor from Castleisland is just one point back in third with Cian Foley (Kilcummin) and Alan Kelly (Dr Crokes) in fourth and fifth.
There is an air of controversy surrounding the manager currently occupying sixth spot. Killarney Legion and Kerry star James O’Donoghue was granted late entry to the competition when it was discovered that he had forwarded his team to the wrong email address. Satisfied that his case was genuine and after consulting with fellow participants on Instagram, his entry was accepted ahead of Round 2.
Competitors were left questioning their act of kindness, however, when it emerged that O’Donoghue had scored 216 points in Round 1, a score which put him in first place on the leaderboard. He subsequently posted a less imposing score of 159 in the second round but he is still in sixth place and well in contention.
DJ Murphy, who led the competition after the first week, has slipped to seventh, just ahead of myself in eighth. Philip O’Connor of Dr Crokes and Gavin Moriarty of the Legion round off the top 10.
After an impressive performance in Dingle’s victory over Legion, All-Star defender Tom O’Sullivan was the highest scoring player of the week. In addition to the points he earned for starting (1) and winning (3), Sullivan scored two points from play (18) and he also got a bonus as Dingle conceded under 15 points (8). His overall total of 30 is the second-highest score posted in the competition to date.
His teammate Matthew Flaherty also scored big with 21; four of the top five managers in the league have both of the Dingle men in their team.
Karl Mullins of Kerins O’Rahilly’s (27) was just behind Sullivan in the Round 2 scoring charts. He also notched two points from play and his side conceded under 15 but, as Rahilly’s lost, he didn’t pick up the three-point win bonus.
Legion No. 1 Brian Kelly was by far and away the top keeper of the weekend as he scored three points from placed balls and kept a clean sheet to register an impressive tally of 21.
At midfield, Kevin O’Sullivan of Kenmare Shamrocks scored 1-1 to earn a whopping total of 27 points and David Moran (17) also made the Team of the Week by scoring two points from play against Crokes.
Dingle’s Conor Geaney (21) was the top-scoring forward of Round 1 with Tony Brosnan and Killian Spillane (20 each) also doing well.
The chasing pack will be hoping to make up some ground on the leaders heading into the the break for the Kerry SFC. Only four of the eight teams will still be involved thereafter: two in the relegation playoff and two in the final.
The number of players each manager has at his disposal will be key, so the contenders will be keeping a very close eye on this weekend’s results.