Right, we’ve had our weekend off. Now it’s back to business, with the county’s next outing in this year’s National League taking place this coming Saturday evening. Our opponents in Division One Round 3 are Kerry, the venue is Austin Stack Park in Tralee and throw-in under the lights there is 7.30pm. The match is live on RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player.
Evening matches in Tralee at this time of year have a sense of an occasion about them. No matter where you are in the crowd, you feel close to the action and often close to the elements as well. When we last played there two years ago – a match Kerry won with an injury-time free – it was wet, windy and perishing cold but the place was still packed to the gills.
It’ll be a full house the next night too. Kerry will go into this feeling they owe us one, seeing as we beat them twice last year. The pounding we gave them at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park at the same stage in the League wouldn’t have upset them too much but our decisive win down in Killarney in the opening round of the Championship’s group stage in late May would certainly have stung, even if we then proceeded to undo all our good work by losing to Cork, thus enabling them to top the group.
The Cliffords are sure to line out for the first time this year for the Kingdom on Saturday night. They’ll field as strong a team as they can assemble for this one and you’d imagine, Sigerson Cup commitments for Rory Brickenden and Sam Callinan notwithstanding, we’ll do the same.
For different reasons, this is a game we’d both like to win. We’ll obviously wish to keep up our winning start to the campaign going while they’ll definitely want to avoid losing a second match this year at Austin Stack Park, having already been beaten there in the opening round by Derry.
Since that reversal, Kerry made short work of Monaghan up in Clones in Round 2 so they’ll be coming into this one feeling okay about themselves. All the while, of course, gurning about all that hurt.
So, what’s it to be on Saturday night? Can we record a third win on the bounce or will it another tough night for us in Tralee? What are the chances of a draw? Let’s close with a poll to test the waters on how you think this game will go.
How will we get on against Kerry?
- Lose (54%, 488 Votes)
- Win (33%, 299 Votes)
- Draw (13%, 121 Votes)
Total Voters: 908