Kil­gar­van ea­ger for Mun­ster’s Ju­nior test af­ter county In­ter­me­di­ate ti­tle

The Kerryman (Tralee Edition) - - SPORT - BY JA­SON O’CON­NOR

THE first of two trips to west Lim­er­ick be­gin for Kil­gar­van this Satur­day when they travel to Tour­na­fulla to take on the Lim­er­ick Ju­nior Hurling Cham­pi­ons in the First Round of the Mun­ster Ju­nior Club Hurling Cham­pi­onship.

The Ken­mare Dis­trict club are also due to travel to Knock­aderry for their In­vi­ta­tional Foot­ball Tour­na­ment the fol­low­ing week­end to take on The Nire of Water­ford as Kerry’s Novice Cham­pi­ons.

Kil­gar­van’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Hurling event is a reg­u­lar oc­cur­rence at this stage but this year sees them take part on the 10th an­niver­sary of reach­ing the fi­nal of the com­pe­ti­tion in 2008 where they lost to even­tual All-Ire­land win­ners Dripsey of Cork.

There is a lot more ex­cite­ment and hope about the cam­paign this time though ac­cord­ing to their man­ager Mickie Fo­ley.

“The age pro­file of the team is the big thing. This is a very young side we have, not like the side a decade ago where we were re­ly­ing on play­ers touch­ing 40. The av­er­age age of this team is 21 and in that we have four or five play­ers who are 18 or 19. We re­ally are hop­ing to give a good ac­count of our­selves this year,” their man­ager said.

Their en­try into the com­pe­ti­tion this year comes by virtue of be­ing Kerry In­ter­me­di­ate win­ners and not solely based on win­ning the South Kerry Hurling Cham­pi­onship like has been usu­ally what hap­pens when one of the se­nior North Kerry sides wins the In­ter­me­di­ate grade.

“It def­i­nitely is way bet­ter to go into this hav­ing won the In­ter­me­di­ate as it gives you a lot more con­fi­dence. Shane O’Sul­li­van is the one player we are miss­ing though as he is in Amer­ica.

“We have Donal O’Sul­li­van, Gearóid Fen­nessy, Christo­pher Cree­don, Liam Twomey and Daniel Casey play­ing third level Foot­ball matches this week, so we are hop­ing they all come through those okay be­fore Satur­day,” Fo­ley said.

Kil­gar­van de­feated Lady’s Walk, Kil­moy­ley and Cause­way to win the In­ter­me­di­ate this year as they were vic­to­ri­ous over Dr Crokes in the South Kerry Hurling Fi­nal with their place in Mun­ster al­ready se­cured.

Their op­po­nents Tour­na­fulla won a much-pub­li­cised county de­cider with neigh­bour­ing Kilmeedy in the Treaty County to qual­ify for this event as Fo­ley is happy with how prepa­ra­tions have gone in ad­vance of Satur­day.

“We had a very good chal­lenge match with Ballinhas­sig of Cork re­cently and although we didn’t get to see the Lim­er­ick Fi­nal be­cause the South Kerry Fi­nal was on the same day, we know that they have good for­wards that are very fast.

“See­ing Lix­naw win does give you con­fi­dence about your own sit­u­a­tion and we are go­ing up there with ev­ery in­ten­tion of try­ing to win.”

Kerry hurling wins have been achieved in Lim­er­ick in the re­cent past, Bal­ly­duff de­feat­ing Bally­brown in Kil­mal­lock in the In­ter­me­di­ate in 2012 and Kil­moy­ley also get­ting the bet­ter of Monaleen in the Gaelic Grounds two years ago in the same grade.

No Kerry Ju­nior hurling rep­re­sen­ta­tive have won a match out­side of the county, with Kil­gar­van’s wins in the 2007 and 2008 com­pe­ti­tions at home still stand­ing as the only time matches have been won by a King­dom side full stop in this com­pe­ti­tion.

There is a big in­cen­tive on of­fer here though with home ad­van­tage in the semi-fi­nal against Bal­li­nameela of Water­ford the prize if they can win on Satur­day.

There’s a con­fi­dence and mo­men­tum gath­er­ing about the Ken­mare Dis­trict side that they can pull off a big shock on Satur­day.

How­ever, they still have to do what has not been done be­fore at this grade in a Kerry side man­ag­ing to win out­side of their own turf.

Ver­dict: Tour­na­fulla

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.