Big two to remain dominant
Published 20/11/2013 | 05:36
NO change of residence Jack Murphy.
After last Sunday's South Kerry Final St Michaels / Foilmore can lay claim to being the most successful side in the district at the minute – with four wins in seven stagings.
Granted St Marys' three-in-a-row from 2009 to 2011 was an impressive feat, but having defeated the Cahersiveen side in the semi-finals of the competition in the last two years, St Michaels / Foilmore are top of the pile at present.
Last Sunday saw a new opponent for them in the decider in the form of Dromid Pearses and while the memory of the club's successful year in 2011 might be going away from Dromid, they still would have been anxious to wrap up a tough year with some silverware.
The first half went as well for them as they could have hoped, trailing by only a point at half-time with their opponents not exactly firing on all cylinders. However they might regret not walking away from the heated exchanges as both sides came off the pitch. It probably wrote St Michaels / Foilmore's team talk during the break and had to have more purpose about them in the second half.
It's hard in this era of mass defending to praise individual defensive performances, but Mark Griffin, Brian Galvin and Adrian O'Connell were very solid for their side in their defensive duties. Indeed so many of St Michaels / Foilmore's scores came from turnovers and counter-attacks from Dromid Pearses possession last Sunday.
Eanna O'Connor lived up to expectations with his Man-of-the-Match performance, but his brother Cian also caught the eye with two good second-half points.
While Declan O'Sullivan was named at full-forward for last Sunday's final, he operated around the midfield and centre-back area. That's probably a strong indication of the numbers Dromid have lost to have to put their marquee player in such a position.
Even though five of Dromid's six starting forwards got on the score sheet, they lacked a threat of real class that would have penetrated the St Michaels / Foilmore defence a lot more dangerously.
Even though Dromid's solitary success in the competition (2004) is still a recent enough memory, this is the third South Kerry Final that have lost since that memorable day for the club nine years ago.
This wasn't as disappointing for the club as perhaps the losses to Valentia (2005) and St Marys (2011) were, but it is looking like being a tough number of years ahead for the club in terms of trying to reclaim serious silverware at both district and county level.
St Michaels / Foilmore will be the first to tell about the amount of South Kerry Finals they lost themselves before they finally made the breakthrough back in 2007. Much like waiting long enough for a bus to come, more do arrive when you finally get the first one under your belts.
The jury is still out on the club in terms of will they be a realistic long-term player at senior level in Kerry Football. They have been a mainstay in Division 1 since 2008 and whatever about county or club Championship level, they should be good enough to be in the top flight for another few years yet if they maintain the standard that they are at.
Last Sunday's match mightn't be the most memorable, but it can be classed as the day St Michaels / Foilmore showed just how much of an advantage they have over their fellow South Kerry sides at present.
St Marys probably remain their biggest threat , but for the Dromids, Skellig Rangers and Watervilles the task of taking the Jack Murphy Cup outside of either Ballinskelligs, Foilmore or Cahersiveen for the first time in eight years in 2014 looks a very difficult one.