THERE is no doubt that football - and hurling - in and around Kenmare is on the up and up.
Kenmare Shamrocks are County Junior Football champions, the club's hurlers are County Intermediate champions, and Templenoe are flying high in Division Four of the county league.
Now, Kenmare District has the chance to become county minor champions, an accolade, if it happens, that would be a massive achievement, according to manager Michael Crowley.
It seems like a very long time ago since Crowley's charges set out on their championship quest - July in fact - and their first taste was not so sweet.
Ever since, this minor team have been impressive and at times very impressive as they carved their way to Saturday's title decider. However, given the success of teams from within the district, getting the squad together has been far from plain sailing.
"Up until a week ago it was hard to get the players together. Many of them were tied up with the Kenmare junior team that won the county final so they were tied up with them," explained Michael Crowley. "We've been trying to do as much training as we can; our panel is fairly small. The good thing was that last year most of them was playing with the school's team so they are used to playing with one another, so that's probably our biggest bonus."
Michael's sons, Gavin and Brian, are just two stars of a side that also contains the Spillanes from Templenoe. At the moment, the management team are sweating on the fitness of a number of key players.
"Injury-wise, we're waiting on a few fellows. At the moment Adrian Spillane, Cian Hallissey and Gerry Harrington are our biggest worries. We'll do a fitness test on those next week and if we get two out of three back we'll be doing okay. We'll give them every chance that we can," said Michael.
Looking back on their first outing, the Kenmare District manager mused that there wasn't a whole lot between the sides and still reckons that that fact remains.
"I thought in that game there wasn't too much between the teams. There was a lot of wind and rain, difficult conditions. We had a lot of possession in the first half and they had a lot of possession in the second half. They got the goals to beat us that day," he said. "That was our first day out. We haven't changed personnel that much though we have made positional changes. The more you play the more you're going to improve".
"Footballing-wise we would be on a par; they had three Kerry minors this year and we had three Kerry minors this year. Both teams have very good footballers but the one thing we would fear is their physical size. I'd be hoping for a nice dry day on an open pitch, that Fitzgerald Stadium might suit us," he added.
"I hope that our lads will step up to the mark the next day. You never know with minors. It would be a massive boost for us, to win a minor final would be absolutely massive."