If it’s true what they say and a good start is half the battle, then Legion, Rathmore, Kilcummin, Spa, Firies, Listry, Currow and Fossa have some serious scrapping to do.

For each of the above teams, another setback this weekend will officially kill off their 2019 Club Championship aspirations at the earliest possible stage. And although players and management won’t be talking about it just yet, they will all be acutely aware that a second loss would leave them contemplating a fate far worse than simply not winning the competition out.

If they fall short again in Round 2, relegation to a lower grade will all of a sudden become a very real prospect indeed.

Dr Crokes are one of the few East Kerry clubs to escape from last weekend with a positive result and they will be mightily relieved to have seen off old foes Legion after a back-and-forth game in the Park.

Legion led 0-16 to 1-12 in the 56th minute after Tom Moriarty kicked his third point of the afternoon but Tony Brosnan equalised shortly after with a free. The marauding Cian Gammell went for the jugular in the 60th minute but he was unfortunate to see his shot striking the post, and Brosnan had the last say in injury time when he kicked the winner from another placed ball.

Crokes will now be hoping to take another positive step towards the final when they host Rathmore on Sunday, while the Legion need to bounce back against group leaders Kerins O’Rahilly’s in Derreen.

Rahilly’s overcame a six-point half-time deficit to beat Rathmore on Sunday, 0-10 from former Kerry forward Jack Savage proving crucial for the Tralee club as they ran out 1-17 to 3-9 winners.

In Group 1, reigning All-Ireland Intermediate champions Kilcummin lost by the bare minimum to Kenmare in Lewis Road (1-12 to 0-16) and they now need to beat Austin Stacks away from home to stay in the hunt for the final.

Glenflesk will secure a place in the semi-final if they defeat Mitchels but the other East Kerry teams at this grade are facing an uphill battle to avoid elimination.

Spa’s first round defeat to Templenoe leaves them requiring snookers in Group 2, although victory over Glenbeigh/Glencar would keep them alive for another week at least. Currow, meanwhile, will need to beat St Mary’s at home to stay in the running.

Newly-promoted Beaufort are looking over their shoulder following tough losses to Glenflesk and John Mitchels and Éanna O’Malley’s men need a result against Desmonds to avoid the relegation playoffs.

Gneeveguilla are in a promising position in Group 3 after their impressive 1-13 to 1-11 win over Ballydonoghue and they can eliminate East Kerry rivals Listry by beating them at home this weekend.

In Group 1, Firies must beat Ballymac on Saturday night while in Group 4, Séamus Moynihan’s Fossa are also desperate for a result. After losing to St Pat’s by a goal last weekend, they take on St Senan’s on Sunday knowing that nothing less than two points will suffice.



Pic: Tatyana McGough/Fitzgerald Stadium.

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