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Championship Preview: The Mexican Standoff

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With all sides dead level heading into the final game of the opening phase of the Club Championship, it all comes down to this for Rathmore, Legion, Kerins O’Rahilly’s and Dr Crokes.

It’s as close to a good old-fashioned Mexican standoff as you can get – without the unwelcome possibility of getting hit with a stray bullet.

Just like all those old westerns where enemies from multiple posses square off, draw their guns and face each other in one decisive moment, Saturday’s showdown will leave only one party standing.

A single mistake could be the difference between life (the final) and death (the dreaded relegation playoff).

It really is an incredible state of affairs and not one you’ll see too often in any competition in any sport. There is just no separating these four teams.

Crokes beat Legion. Legion beat Rahilly’s. Rahilly’s beat Rathmore. Rathmore beat Crokes. When the draw was made, Group 2 was nicknamed the Group of Death but ironically it’s the only group at any grade – Senior, Intermediate, Junior Premier or Junior – in which all four teams are still alive.

The permutations (which are listed in detail opposite), though fascinating, are enough to give Will Hunting a headache. One kick of the ball could be the difference between the final and potential relegation. Things probably won’t become clear until the very death.

One thing’s for sure: we’re in for high drama when these great old foes face off at 6.30pm tomorrow evening.

 

Rathmore v Legion

Last weekend, Rathmore managed what Legion couldn’t by beating the Crokes, while Legion managed what Rathmore couldn’t by beating Rahilly’s. In a way, that typifies the recent history of these two teams. While both have shown flashes of brilliance, and in Rathmore’s case they have even won some silverware, a lack of consistency when it comes to championship has been a problem.

These two East Kerry heavyweights know each other inside out by this stage and Legion came out on top of their most recent encounter when they defeated Rathmore in the opening round of last year’s County Championship. That away win gave the Derreen club a lot of confidence as Rathbeg is a notoriously difficult place to get a result. Winning there in consecutive games is a tall order but Stephen Stack will be encouraged by the character his side showed down the stretch in last Sunday’s victory over Rahilly’s.

Legion and Rathmore currently occupy first and second in Group 2 by virtue of their slightly superior points difference but that particular statistic will only come into play if more than two teams are level once the dust has settled – or if there are two draws on Saturday. Surely not?

Verdict: Draw.

 

Kerins O’Rahilly’s v Dr Crokes

Crokes were probably expecting a bit of a hangover after their All-Ireland bid came to an end, especially with the change in management and some experienced players standing aside, but, nevertheless, losing twice in quick succession will not sit too well with Kerry’s reigning club champions.

They also came mightily close to losing to Legion two weeks ago so things aren’t going very smoothly for Edmund O’Sullivan’s side at the moment. Another slip-up this weekend and they could easily be facing the unthinkable: a relegation playoff. Of course, the same can be said about every team in Group 2 but the very idea of the three-in-a-row county champions being demoted to Intermediate is startling in and of itself.

Rahilly’s had their opportunities against Legion last weekend but losing Jack Savage (red card) and Gavin O’Brien (injured) didn’t help their chances of securing two crucial points.

Kerry stars Tommy Walsh and David Moran (both injured) were forced to watch on from the sidelines and if they and O’Brien are unavailable for Saturday’s showdown, you’d have to say that it will very much be advantage Dr Crokes.

Verdict: Dr Crokes by two.

 

 

PERMUTATIONS

To make the final, Rathmore need to win and hope Dr Crokes beat/draw with Rahilly’s. If Rathmore lose, they will avoid the relegation playoff if Dr Crokes also lose.

To make the final, Legion need to win and hope Rahilly’s beat/draw with Crokes. If Legion lose, they will avoid the relegation playoff if Rahilly’s also lose.

To make the final, Rahilly’s need to win and hope Rathmore beat/draw with Legion. If Rahilly’s lose, they will avoid the relegation playoff if Rathmore also lose.

To make the final, Dr Crokes need to win and hope Legion beat/draw with Rathmore. If Dr Crokes lose, they will avoid the relegation playoff if Legion also lose.

If one game is a draw, the teams involved in the drawn game will finish 2nd and 3rd.

If both games are drawn, Rathmore and Legion will be level on points difference but Rathmore will advance to the final on points for. Legion will finish second. Rahilly’s and Dr Crokes will also be level on points difference but Rahilly’s will finish third on points for. Dr Crokes will finish fourth and play in the relegation playoff.

Pic: Micheál Burns (Dr Crokes), Paul Murphy (Rathmore), Tommy Walsh (Rahilly’s) and James O’Donoghue (Legion). Artwork by Adam Moynihan.

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Training day for junior rowers

By Michelle Crean Junior members of Muckross Rowing Club were delighted to take part in a training day recently to fine tune their skills for upcoming events. Beginner to Junior 18 members competed in 19 races. The 500m sprints were held in octuples, quads and doubles. “Taking part in this sprint regatta will help Junior […]

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By Michelle Crean

Junior members of Muckross Rowing Club were delighted to take part in a training day recently to fine tune their skills for upcoming events.

Beginner to Junior 18 members competed in 19 races. The 500m sprints were held in octuples, quads and doubles.

“Taking part in this sprint regatta will help Junior Members prepare for upcoming regattas which are hoped to take place this summer,” Shóna O’Sullivan said.

“Those racing were cheered on by their fellow team mates at the Garden Quays. The races were exciting to watch, especially the races that ended in a photo finish.”

The competitors refuelled with a barbecue cooked by Bernie and Seamus O’Sullivan, she added.

“Thanks to Bernie, Seamus, all coaches and committee members that helped this training session run successfully in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines.”

On the same day Seán Daly Chairperson of Muckross Rowing Club presented Jane and Lila Ryan with Honorary Associated Membership for their generous contribution of €500 to the club.

“Our rowing club are extremely grateful for their generosity.”

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Hike up Strickeen Mountain for air ambulance

  Locals and visitors are being invited to join a guided ascent of Strickeen Mountain on July 4 to raise funds for the Irish Community Air Ambulance. The hike, described as an easy to moderate climb and family friendly well be led by Killarney-based Irish Community Air Ambulance volunteer and tour guide Krzysztof Szwab. It […]

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Locals and visitors are being invited to join a guided ascent of Strickeen Mountain on July 4 to raise funds for the Irish Community Air Ambulance.

The hike, described as an easy to moderate climb and family friendly well be led by Killarney-based Irish Community Air Ambulance volunteer and tour guide Krzysztof Szwab.

It is expected that the 7.5km hike will take around three hours to complete and participants will benefit from the expertise of Krzysztof for a minimum donation €10 per person or €20 per family.

Strickeen Mountain is the eastern most peak of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and the hike will start from the Gap of Dunloe at 11am on the day.

As an added bonus fruit and water, donated by local supermarkets including Lidl, Aldi and Daly’s SuperValu, will be provided. The first 20 to register will receive a limited edition Irish Community Air Ambulance face covering snood.

“This is an ideal opportunity for someone who has never climbed this mountain, but wants to do it with the help of an experienced guide,” Donie Lucey, who is one of the Irish Community Air Ambulance’s chief fundraisers, said.

Further details are available from Donie on 086 854 5873 or from Krzysztof on 087 7589697 after 6pm.

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Golf club launches Summer Series competition

By Sean Moriarty Competitive golfing has resumed at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club marking another step towards normality in the locality. The O’Mahony’s Point course hosted an open singles event on Monday last and this competition will continue every Monday for the rest of the summer. Meanwhile the club’s ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series gets underway at […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Competitive golfing has resumed at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club marking another step towards normality in the locality.

The O’Mahony’s Point course hosted an open singles event on Monday last and this competition will continue every Monday for the rest of the summer.

Meanwhile the club’s ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series gets underway at the famed Killeen course this coming Wednesday (June 23). This series will continue every Wednesday for eight weeks and top five scorers on each date will qualify for a Grand Final which is scheduled for Sunday, August 22.

“We are delighted to launch the ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series. This is a singles stableford event taking place on the Irish Open course, Killeen,” said the club’s marketing manager Meg Dalton. “With over €8,000 worth of prizes to be won, this is an event not to be missed. The first opportunity to qualify for the grand final is Wednesday.”

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