THE PICTURE IN the Kerry county senior football championship should become clearer after this weekend with the four quarter-final ties down for decision.
First up is the meeting of Laune Rangers and Rathmore, last year’s club senior champions, in Fitzgerald Stadium this afternoon at 3pm. Laune Rangers reached this stage by virtue of a 2-9 to 0-8 victory over local rivals Milltown-Castlemaine, and will look to current Kerry senior Peter Crowley, former Kerry senior Mike Frank Russell and attacker Pa Joy for inspiration.
Rathmore, who have former Limerick and Laois manager Liam Kearns amongst their coaching setup, have experience in defenders Tom O’Sullivan and Aidan O’Mahony while Michael O’Riordan, George O’Keeffe and Mark Reen are excellent attackers. They got the better of Legion by 1-12 to 2-5 in the third round.
The clash is a double-header at the Killarney venue with Kenmare facing St Kieran’s at 4.30pm. Kenmare needed a replay before getting the better of St Michael’s-Foilmore by 2-15 to 3-8 at the third round in Templenoe last week. Paul O’Connor, Thomas Morley and Paul O’Connor are vital figures in their outfit. Divisional outfit St Kieran’s dumped out Kerins O’Rahilly’s at the last round with 2-11 to 0-14 success thanks to superb displays by Aidan Breen, Seamus Scanlon and James Walsh.
The final game on the schedule today is this evening’s meeting of 2007 champions Feale Rangers and Dingle in Austin Stack Park at 7pm. Feale Rangers received a bye to this stage after their first round win over West Kerry in June and will build their challenge around Anthony Maher, Brian McGuire, Paul Galvin and Patrick Curtin.
Their opponents Dingle discovered a goal-scoring touch in their third round success against Kilcummin as they won by 5-5 to 0-11. Billy O’Connor and the Geaney’s – David, Paul and Mikey – will ensure they pose a threat up front.
The last quarter-final takes place tomorrow and is undoubtedly the glamour clash as Dr Crokes meet Austin Stacks in Austin Stack Park at 1.30pm. The clash is repeat of the 2010 final which Dr Crokes emerged successful in by 1-15 to 0-11 and the quarter-final tie last year when the Killarney club were narrow victors by 1-14 to 1-13.
The Tralee based Austin Stacks will be eager for revenge and will be buoyed by their third round success against South Kerry by 1-9 to 0-7. Kieran Donaghy is their obvious talisman but Brian Shanahan, Darragh O’Brien and Shane Carroll are also critically important to their challenge.
The defending champions Dr Crokes, chasing a third successive crown this year, boast an abundance of talent themselves in Colm Cooper, Kieran O’Leary, Eoin Brosnan, Johnny Buckley and Fionn Fitzgerald.