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Kerry v Kildare: 7 things to watch out for

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All-Ireland Super 8s Group 1

Kerry v Kildare

Tomorrow at 6pm

Fitzgerald Stadium

  1. Fitzmaurice’s last stand?

The Monaghan game was billed as do-or-die for Eamonn Fitzmaurice but, in the end, he did neither. This time out it’s do-or-die again for the Kerry manager - but he could end up doing both. David Clifford’s last gasp equaliser in Clones afforded the Finuge man a stay of execution but anything besides a win tomorrow will eliminate Kerry and, in all likelihood, signal the end of his tenure.

Even if Kerry do win, their fate is out of their hands. It’s a perilous position for Fitzmaurice to find himself in and he’ll need a big performance from his team – and a favour from Galway – to make it through the weekend unscathed. 

  1. The keeper conundrum.

Legion’s Brian Kelly was drafted in to replace Shane Murphy up in Clones and while I felt it was harsh enough to drop the Crokes man in the first place, you couldn’t fault Kelly on the day. As strange as it was to discard your supposed number one keeper at this stage of the season, it would almost be even stranger to switch back again now. That’s not to say it won’t happen. If Fitzmaurice has shown anything throughout his tenure it’s that he’s not afraid to make big calls.

  1. A starring role?

Kieran Donaghy came in played the full game against Monaghan but up until the 74th minute he wasn’t utilised effectively. Unless Kerry are going to station Star in on top of the square send long passes in his direction, I don’t see the point in starting him - certainly not ahead of James O’Donoghue.

  1. He’s on fire.

David Clifford made his championship debut against Clare in June and the consensus was, yes, he’s class, but it’ll take time. Two short months later and he’s the main reason Kerry are still in the championship.

His numbers in the Super 8s have been frankly ridiculous. The Fossa teenager has scored 2-7 from 12 shots against Galway and Monaghan. He’s shooting 70% (7/10) on point attempts and 100% on goal attempts (2/2). It’s frightening stuff and Kerry fans will be hoping that his hot streak continues tomorrow evening.

  1. From Newbridge to nowhere

Kildare have been unable to carry the momentum from their memorable victory over the GAA (and Mayo) into the Super 8s and, following two defeats, they have nothing play for against Kerry. Having said that, Cian O’Neill, a former Kerry selector, will be desperate to avoid a hockeying in Killarney so you’d expect his charges to fight tomorrow.

  1. The permutations.

Their poor showing in the opening two games of the Super 8s means that Kerry now require snookers if they are to advance to the semi-finals. For the Kingdom to qualify, they need to beat Kildare, Galway need to beat Monaghan and there has to be a swing of six in the points differential between Kerry and Monaghan. (Apologies for all the ‘if’s in the next few paragraphs.)

For example, if Kerry beat Kildare by three and Galway beat Monaghan by three, Kerry will advance. If Galway beat Monaghan by five, Kerry only need to win their game by a point. But if, as expected, it’s a close game and Galway only manage to beat Monaghan by a single point, Kerry need to beat Kildare by five.

If the sides finish on the same points difference, it will come down to points scored. At the moment Kerry are on 33 and Monaghan are on 35. If the teams still can’t be separated, the team with the most goals will move on to the next round. Kerry currently have two. Monaghan have one.

The chances may be low but it’s not entirely unconceivable that Kerry and Monaghan might finish dead level at the end of play. If that happens, a play-off will be required

  1. The other game.

Of course, all the match-ups and tactics and permutations won’t matter a jot if Malachy O’Rourke’s charges go out and get a result in Salthill. A draw will suffice for both Galway and Monaghan and the conspiracy theorists will be out in force if that transpires.

Realistically, though, I doubt Galway will want to face Dublin in the semis. You might say that they’ll have to beat them at some stage anyway but I’m sure they’d rather get to an All-Ireland final than not.

Machiavellian scheming aside, I’ve been impressed by Monaghan so far and I think they have a real chance of pushing Galway close. There will be a lot of heads stuck in smart phones up in the terrace tomorrow evening at around twenty past seven.

Prediction: Kerry by six… but Galway and Monaghan draw.

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Life-long supporter to be honoured

By Michelle Crean There’ll be a very special launch tomorrow afternoon (Sunday) as one club dedicate a new boat to a loyal supporter. Muckross Rowing Club are inviting all members, past and present, friends and supporters to the boathouse for the boat launch at 2.30pm. “We are delighted to honour and name our new Janousek Coxed […]

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By Michelle Crean

There’ll be a very special launch tomorrow afternoon (Sunday) as one club dedicate a new boat to a loyal supporter.

Muckross Rowing Club are inviting all members, past and present, friends and supporters to the boathouse for the boat launch at 2.30pm.

“We are delighted to honour and name our new Janousek Coxed Quad, sponsored by the Cahernane House Hotel, after Kathleen Murphy, a dedicated supporter of our club,” Shona O’Sullivan from the club, who is also Kathleen’s granddaughter, said.

“Kathleen is always supportive of our club fundraisers and has been selling the Muckross Lotto tickets since day one. Every year Kathleen’s enthusiasm and love for the club is especially shown from the shore at Killarney Regatta, as she is all decked out in the yellow of Muckross.”

She added that Kathleen’s family are also very active members of the club and she enjoys listening to their stories from the boathouse and regattas.

“We hope to see you all there to honour and thank Kathleen, a life-long supporter of our club.”

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Killarney man wins most-coveted trophy in sheepdog trials

By Sean Moriarty Kilcummin farmer Tom O’Sullivan – one of the main organisers of last month’s Sheep Dog Trials in Fossa – has become the first Kerry man to win the biggest award in the sport. Tom is the chairman of the Killarney sub-committee and was a member of the 15-strong Irish team that participated […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Kilcummin farmer Tom O’Sullivan – one of the main organisers of last month’s Sheep Dog Trials in Fossa – has become the first Kerry man to win the biggest award in the sport.

Tom is the chairman of the Killarney sub-committee and was a member of the 15-strong Irish team that participated in the international sheepdog competition in Aberystwyth in Wales last weekend.

A total of 60 competitors, 15 each from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, contested the biggest event in sheepdog trials on Friday to Sunday last.

After getting through the qualifiers on Friday and Saturday, Tom and his dog Northhill Tess, fended off the challenges of the other top-15 qualifiers to win the International Supreme Champion award.

Not alone is he the first Kerry man to win the competition, which has been running since 1947, he is just the fifth Irishman to do so and the first from Munster.

“The qualifying course was similar to Killarney,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

However, Sunday’s final was much more difficult. His dog had to round up a flock of sheep at the left hand side of the course. Then Northhill Tess, under the guidance of Tom, had to round up a smaller flock and bring them to the same holding pen. When finished, five of the sheep were wearing red collars and Tom had to instruct his dog to separate them and bring them to a separate holding area.

“It is the biggest trophy in sheep dog trailing,” he added. “Everyone who trains a dog does so for this day. It is mind blowing. My family are very proud, they know the time and the work involved preparing for this.”

The standard at the Killarney event last month was evident in Wales last weekend. The Killarney winner, Peter Morgan and his dog Moss, ran Tom to a very close second.

His son Peter Og won the Young Handlers award and Team Ireland were declared the overall winners based on aggregate scores in the final 15.

Tom arrived home to Kilcummin on Monday night to a traditional homecoming bonfire.

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