Home com­forts to see Kil­cum­min through against Déise out­fit

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - SPORT - BY DAMIAN STACK

Kil­cum­min v Kil­mac­thomas (Water­ford) Sun­day, Novem­ber 11 Kil­cum­min, 1.30pm

THE odds are Kil­cum­min will book their pas­sage into the Mun­ster fi­nal on Sun­day af­ter­noon with a vic­tory over Water­ford side Kil­mac­thomas.

Prob­a­bly the best time to catch Kil­cuminn was in the first round of this com­pe­ti­tion given that they won their cham­pi­onship in May. The mo­men­tum was al­ways likely to be with the Clare side and so it turned out in Kil­rush on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

Now, how­ever, with that win in the back-pocket the East Kerry out­fit have mo­men­tum of their own to match what­ever Kil­mac­thomas bring to the ta­ble. That, plus home ad­van­tage, should be more than enough to see them through.

“We had Listry the week be­fore which is a com­pe­ti­tion [the O’Donoghue Cup] of its own, it’s a com­pe­ti­tion where Kil­cum­min haven’t pro­gressed in for a lot of years,” Kil­cum­min boss Wil­lie Ma­her told The Ker­ry­man on Tues­day af­ter­noon.

“So ev­ery game that comes at this stage is great, be­cause we won the in­ter­me­di­ate back in May and we haven’t played any cham­pi­onship foot­ball since which is a def­i­nite dis­ad­van­tage so last week­end and the Listry game.

“It was a sav­age bat­tle, it could have gone ei­ther way, we got the breaks and they had goal chances in the first half, but I thought once we got on top of them in the sec­ond half we pushed on, but it was a sav­age bat­tle, ten points to seven, any­thing could have hap­pened.

“I’d be ex­pect­ing some­thing sim­i­lar [against Kil­mac­thomas] that it’s go­ing to be win­ter foot­ball, we’re not all go­ing to be scor­ing what the Crokes are scor­ing any­way like.”

The Kil­cum­min man­ager ad­mits that as of early in the week the wasn’t overly fa­mil­iar with what Kil­mac­thomas might bring to the ta­ble.

“We don’t know a huge amount about them re­ally other than that they won it [the Water­ford in­ter­me­di­ate cham­pi­onship],” Ma­her said.

“They’re man­aged by Benji Whe­lan and he’s the next Water­ford se­nior foot­ball man­ager so he’s a se­ri­ous op­er­a­tor ob­vi­ously and I think that puts in them in the same ball­park as Kil­rush last week­end.

“Kil­rush had Der­mot Cough­lan coach­ing them and he’s gone to the Clare mi­nors so this man has trained The Nire as well the year they played the Crokes.”

The last time Kil­mac­thomas faced off against Kerry op­po­si­tion they came out the wrong side of a heavy beat­ing, go­ing down 1-23 to 0-3 to Ken­mare in the Mun­ster Ju­nior Club Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship. That was in 2012, so more than likely it won’t have much of an ef­fect on what hap­pens this week­end.

“I sup­pose re­ally in a given year you don’t know what team will come out,” Ma­her con­tin­ues.

“But Kil­mac­thomas were a se­nior club back the years. I’d know the area and it’s a fairly big area, I’ve of­ten been in Kil­mac­thomas, so it’s hard to gauge it re­ally.

“I wouldn’t know a lot about them, but that said if Benji Whe­lan who’s been in­volved with them and they’ve won the in­ter­me­di­ate they have to be re­spected.”

The en­tire parish of Kil­cum­min is buzzing this week as they get set to host their first ev­ery Mun­ster club cham­pi­onship fix­ture.

“It’s a big ad­van­tage,” Ma­her ad­mit­ted.

“But in fair­ness we’d a huge Kil­cum­min crowd travel the last day. I think they out-num­bered the home team and there was a great at­mos­phere go­ing across in the ferry and a bet­ter at­mos­phere com­ing home.”

Kil­cum­min’s in­jury sit­u­a­tion looks to be im­prov­ing ahead of this week­end’s visit of the Déise king­pins.

“Kieran [Mur­phy] came on with maybe fif­teen min­utes to go and no ill-ef­fect af­ter­wards and I’d say hope­fully we’d get a bit more out of him this week­end, but Kevin Mc­Carthy is a long-term in­jury and it doesn’t look like we’ll have him this side of Christ­mas.”

Even with­out Mc­Carthy it would be con­sid­ered some­thing of a shock were Kil­cum­min not to get the bet­ter of Kil­mac­thomas this week­end.

A likely meet­ing with Fer­moy in the Mun­ster fi­nal is theirs for the tak­ing, so long as they don’t take their eye off the ball with the fin­ish­ing line firmly in sight. Ver­dict: Kil­cum­min

Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin

Kil­cum­min’s Gary O’Leary who scored two points against Kil­rush last week­end

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