East Kerry hold more aces to re­tain county mi­nor ti­tle against St Bren­dans

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - SPORT - BY JA­SON O’CON­NOR


St Bren­dans v East Kerry

Saturday, Oc­to­ber 14 Austin Stack Park, Tralee Throw-in at 4pm Ref­eree: Sean Joy

MUCH like last year, the 2017 County Mi­nor Foot­ball Fi­nal comes after a bit of a gap to the semi-fi­nal stage but sees East Kerry back in de­fence of their ti­tle against a St Bren­dans side they ac­tu­ally beat at the semi-fi­nal stage last year. It hasn’t been a straight run back for East Kerry how­ever, los­ing on the first night to St Kier­ans, how­ever it should be noted that loss was in the ab­sence of David Clif­ford in the af­ter­math of the in­jury the Mi­nor Player of the Year picked up in the Mun­ster Mi­nor Fi­nal.

Team man­ager Sea­mus Moyni­han says that it has not been easy to pre­pare for Saturday’s en­counter.

“There’s a lot of fix­ture con­ges­tion for the play­ers at the mo­ment be­tween club, schools and even Third Level matches so we’re try­ing to work around all that. Los­ing to St Kier­ans the first night wasn’t part of the plan but it did get use a chance to re­view the panel in more de­tail with an ex­tra match,” the East Kerry Mi­nor boss said.

Fol­low­ing that loss, East Kerry had big wins over Austin Stacks and Mid Kerry be­fore get­ting the bet­ter of St Kier­ans in a re-match at the semi-fi­nal stage.

They con­ceded some late goals which will be of con­cern to them against a St Bren­dans side who them­selves started brightly against Ken­mare Dis­trict in the semi-fi­nals with three goals be­fore hav­ing to tough out a three point win in the end.

Man­ager Mark Bourke be­lieves that the gap is too long be­tween the semi-fi­nal and Fi­nal stage.

“Ideally I think it should be the week­end after the All-Ire­land Fi­nal be­cause at this stage play­ers’ minds are start­ing to switch to schools and col­leges games and it’s a very un­fair sit­u­a­tion and forc­ing them to choose be­tween us and their schools in the buildup. East Kerry are very strong again this year and have tal­ent all over the pitch. They won’t have any fear of com­ing over to Austin Stack Park hav­ing played there al­ready this year,” the St Bren­dans man­ager said.

Bourke rates their sec­ond win of the cam­paign over Firies as their best per­for­mance so far com­ing after they opened with a win over West Kerry the first night with sub­se­quent wins over Din­gle and their semi-fi­nal op­po­nents bringing them here.

A bro­ken hand for Dan Gog­gin rules him out for Bren­dans how­ever as East Kerry are re­port­ing no ma­jor in­jury prob­lems. Diar­muid O’Con­nor, Ryan O’Neill, Fer­gal Barry, Sean Don­nel­lan, Ja­son Mor­timer, Jack Myers and Michael Kel­li­her will pro­vide some good en­ergy for St Bren­dans but Sean O’Leary, Chris O’Donoghue and Cian Gam­mell give East Kerry a mas­sive back­bone in de­fence with Pa­trick War­ren and Sean Do­herty also key fig­ures fur­ther up the pitch and an at­tack where David Clif­ford’s first cousin Paul O’Shea from Kil­cum­min looks promis­ing.

They will be fan­cied to re­tain the Frank King Cup for the dis­trict and win a third County Mi­nor ti­tle in five years in the process but St Bren­dans have the abil­ity to make it very dif­fi­cult for them on Saturday.

VER­DICT: East Kerry

East Kerry’s 2016 mi­nor team cap­tain David Spillane and Man of the Match award re­cip­i­ent Daniel Breen with then County Board chair­man Pa­trick O’Sul­li­van after last year’s County Mi­nor Foot­ball Fi­nal. On Saturday East Kerry are bid­ding to re­tain their ti­tle when they play St Bren­dans

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