Friday 19 January 2018

Best of friends one day with Kenmare, best of rivals the next in Kerry

Kenmare and Kerry forward Sean O'Shea Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Kenmare and Kerry forward Sean O'Shea Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Colleagues on Sunday, rivals on Monday.

That's the extraordinary situation that the footballers of Templenoe and Kenmare find themselves in as the Kerry football championships reach their conclusion.

Kenmare District's return to a county final for the first time since 1987 has been fuelled by Templenoe's rise from a Division Five side in 2011 to the top flight this year - they finished third.

Kenmare have lost their Division One status but they have been harvesting an impressive crop in recent years, with All-Ireland minor-winning forward Sean O'Shea and Kerry senior Stephen O'Brien driving forces.

Together they have been lighting up the premier competition in Kerry under the Kenmare District banner and will meet Dr Crokes in Sunday's final in Fitzgerald Stadium (3.30).

But the following week they're back in Killarney for their intermediate final head-to-head.

It may leave potential celebrations on Sunday night a little awkward but it underpins the progression in that corner of the county.


Templenoe are the reigning All-Ireland junior champions and are backboned by the Spillane brothers, Adrian and Killian - sons of former Kingdom centre-back Tom - Tadhg Morley, who broke on to the Kerry senior team this year, and Gavin Crowley, a defender who has been making strides too.

Pat Spillane Jnr, son of legend Pat, is also involved, while their cousins, Kevin and Tom O'Sullivan, play with Kenmare.

Kenmare District is traditionally made up of four clubs, Kenmare, Templenoe, Tuosist and Kilgarvan, but Kilgarvan aren't currently contributing any players.

The starting 15 comprises players from Kenmare and Templenoe, with four Tuosist players among the replacements.

Supporters of Templenoe are assured five consecutive weeks in Killarney with the intermediate semi-final and final on top of the Kerry county quarter-final, semi-final and final.

Divisional sides have a strong recent record. South Kerry are reigning champions.

When Kenmare District claimed the title in 1987 after a replay it took a last-gasp goal from Eugene McCarthy within 13 seconds of a restart after Dr Crokes had pushed ahead by two points to clinch it. They'll hoping history can repeat itself this weekend before they point swords towards each other.

Irish Independent

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