Home comforts to see Kilcummin through against Déise outfit
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.
Kilcummin’s Gary O’Leary who scored two points against Kilrush last weekend Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin