As we approach the midway point in this month for clubs, it’s judgement day for two of East Kerry’s main Intermediate hopefuls.
Intermediate Club Championship (Group 4)
Glenflesk v John Mitchels
Sunday at 2.30pm
Things are looking up for last year’s beaten finalists Glenflesk after they secured another crucial two points by beating Desmonds 2-15 to 2-7 in Castleisland, but it will all be for nought if they come up short in Sunday’s showdown with fellow table-toppers John Mitchels in Glenflesk.
Mitchels have a far superior points difference thanks to consecutive blow-outs over Beaufort and Desmonds so nothing less than a win will do for new manager Paud O’Donoghue and his charges.
Glenflesk trailed by a point with nine minutes to go in the first half of their clash with Desmonds last weekend but promising youngster Patrick Darcy popped up with a goal to swing the tie in their favour. Some accurate kicking from the ever-reliable Darragh Roche kept the opposition at bay and when Darcy goaled again with five minutes to play, the game was won.
The visitors eventually ran out eight-point winners, 2-15 to 2-7.
Great credit must also go to the Glenflesk rearguard who limited the hosts to just three points (two from play) in the entire second half.
If the opening two weekends of football are anything to go by, John Mitchels are likely to pose a far more serious threat.
The Ballyseedy club built up a commanding 0-11 to 0-2 lead by the halfway stage of their clash with Beaufort as Alan O’Donoghue, Wayne Duggan, James Sheehy, Shane O’Connor, Thomas Kearns and Michael Kelliher all found the target. Mitchels continued to dominate into the wind in the second period and although late Beaufort goal added a touch of respectability from their point of view, the Tralee men romped home with nine points to spare (0-17 to 1-5).
This result coupled with their opening round annihilation of Desmonds certainly indicates that Mitchels are the form team in this year’s Intermediate but Glenflesk have also turned a few heads so Sunday’s Group 4 decider has all the makings of a classic.
The return of Jeff O’Donoghue, who was forced to sit out the Beaufort game, is a major boost for St Agatha’s and with key forwards Darragh Roche and Brian O’Donoghue also moving well, they will fancy their chances of toppling the current group leaders.
Home advantage could be the difference.
Verdict: Glenflesk by two.
Intermediate Club Championship (Group 2)
Glenbeigh/Glencar v Spa
Saturday at 6.30pm
Spa must be sick of the sight of Templenoe. The small club from the south eliminated them from last year’s Intermediate by defeating them in the final round of the group phase and this year they could be the cause of Spa’s downfall once again.
Templenoe emerged victorious in last weekend’s Group 2 opener between the pair (3-12 to 1-16) and although Spa aren’t quite out of the running just yet, they now find themselves in an unenviable position.
Nothing short of four points from four will do from here on in and while you would expect them to handle Laune Rangers in Round 3, it’s this weekend’s match-up that could be the problem.
Ivor Flynn’s team will travel to Glenbeigh on Saturday evening to take on a decent Glenbeigh/Glencar side who made light work of close rivals Laune Rangers in their first game of this year’s championship. With former Kerry captain Darran O’Sullivan pulling the strings, Glenbeigh/Glencar will fancy their chances – especially at home – but Spa can take heart from their last trip to the seaside.
A year ago, almost to the day, the Killarney club travelled west to take on the same opposition in Division 1 of the County League (also on the back of a defeat to Templenoe) and they managed to come home with the spoils after a fine 2-13 to 1-12 win.
In recent weeks, Spa started well against Templenoe and finished well against Legion. They will need a more complete performance this weekend to keep their championship aspirations alive.
Verdict: Spa by three.
Pic: Séamus Healy.