Impossible to look past county champions
Dr Crokes vs. East Kerry
A BAD sense of déjà vu for James Sheehan considering he finds himself trying to get the better of Dr Crokes once again.
It's a challenge that's for sure. His hand has arguably been strengthened in somewhat this year, however, with the addition of the Gneeveguilla players. East Kerry caused Crokes some problems in the first 20 minutes of last year's meeting in Fitzgerald Stadium before the Crokes' class eventually told.
There was little to suggest that Crokes were in any way rusty with the manner in which they defeated Legion in Fitzgerald Stadium. However, one of their main stars that night, Jamie Doolan, is missing for this Sunday having departed for America and their recent loss to Kilcummin in the County League did ask a number of questions about their extended panel.
Eoin Brosnan is the Crokes' only injury concern ahead of the return of the inter-county contingent and with Gneeveguilla duo JP Brosnan and Michael B Murphy ruled out by East Kerry for Sunday, normal service should resume.
Liam Murphy and DJ O'Connor will hope to build on a good showing in the Losers Round against Kenmare District, while Jack Sherwood will be hoping to catch the eye of the Kerry management. Crokes should have too much, however, for their native district with the return of Cooper, Buckley, O'Leary and co likely to see them into the quarter-finals.
East Kerry won't lack motivation to get over the top dogs in the district (and indeed the county), but while it should be closer than last year, the safe money is that the result will be the same.
Verdict: Dr Crokes