IN a lot of ways, this year's Intermediate Final highlights what is wrong with the modern fixture calendar.
On the one hand one has the 2009 champions Spa, who played four competitive matches in this competition in the space of six weeks from April to May and then have had to wait a total of just under six months for their chance to get back on the road to Croke Park.
For five of those six months they did not know who their opponents would be as inter-county action held the Finuge and Ardfert semi-final up until early September. While they have had six weeks to prepare for Finuge, the challenge in keeping the player's appetite and interest up most have been a hard one for Timmy Fleming and his management team.
On the other hand Finuge have been hit by other commitments for their players, Lixnaw's advancement to the County Hurling Final along with Feale Rangers' involvement in the Senior County Championship meaning John Colbert has had only three weeks to get his charges focussed on arguably the second biggest prize in Kerry Football.
For the North Kerry side, they will be hoping that this will be third time lucky for them in two ways in particular. Firstly, that at the third attempt they will win an Intermediate Final having lost to Killarney Legion in 2005 and Gneeveguilla two years ago (the fact this is East Kerry opposition again in the final adds another dramatic coincidence to this decider) and secondly that they will finally overcome Spa in a Championship encounter.
Spa defeated Finuge in the 2009 Quarter-Final away from home, albeit with practically the last kick of the game and then last year in the First Round the East Kerry side got the upper hand on home turf. That provides them with the necessary motivation but also provides Spa with the necessary confidence.
Spa's Kerry Junior contingent has been the focal point of the club' s success over the few years and expect Andrew Garnett, Niall O'Mahony and Mike 'Stam' O'Donoghue to be the key players on the day.
Paul Galvin and Eamon Fitzmaurice will provide Finuge with the class, the Corridans Maurice and Pat with the grit and determination.
In a tight encounter, scoring could be the difference, if the Kerry manager provides the North Kerry side with a decent supply from full-forward then Finuge might finally get the job done.
The key to Spa's success is pace and if O'Mahony and O'Donoghue can open the Finuge defence up, the East Kerry side should claim their second Fenian Cup in four years.