Wednesday, 08 February 2012 11:50
DAVITTS opponents in Sundays All-Ireland final, Milltown-Castlemaine, have already had more than their share of luck on their journey to the decider. On occasions, especially in the Munster championship, they were more than fortunate to win and are the first to admit they are lucky to be contesting the All-Ireland final.
But they are from Kerry and any team from this county who competes in an All-Ireland final will take a lot of beating. Davitts will be well aware of this and know they are in for a big slog.
Not a club noted for producing many players for the county senior side (the last player from the club to win an All-Ireland with Kerry was Willie Maher in 1986), they have nevertheless a long history and have won many club championships in all grades.
Such is the make-up of the senior club championship in Kerry that it must be noted a number of the team facing Davitts were on the Mid-Kerry senior team which contested the county final only to be beaten by Dr. Crokes.
In the Kerry championship they more or less had things all their own way and ended up winning the county title rather comfortably. In the final they defeated Waterville by 3-9 to 1-6.
It was in the quarterfinal of the Munster championship that they got their first biggest challenge when they faced the Clare champions Clondegad.
This was a game where they really got out of jail as they played second fiddle to their opponents for much of the game. Lady luck was more than on their side in this encounter.
The Clare side must be still wondering how they lost this game. Although the sides were level at half-time, 1-4 to 0-7, Clondegad were by far the better side. However, they conceded a soft goal when a Cathal Moriarty attempt for a point ducked under the crossbar.
Clondegad then missed a penalty late in the half but they continued to dominate in the second half and really had Milltown-Castlemaine on the rack. Despite having a goal disallowed they still led by two points with five minutes remaining. But again they conceded a second goal to lose the game by a point.
While the Kerry side were first to admit they were more than lucky to win this game it showed they are a side who never give up and battle to the end.
In the Munster semi-final they had three points to spare over a disappointing Newmarket side from Cork. In the final they proved too strong for Tipperary champions, Mullinahone, beating them by 1-14 to 0-6.
In the All-Ireland semi-final they faced Derry champions, Craigbane. Winning by a point, 1-7 to 1-6, they again struggled for long periods in the game and it was only in the final quarter, when trailing by four points, that they came back into the game when their opponents were reduced to 14 players. In the end they won by a point, but they once again showed they are a side who never give up and will battle all the way to the final whistle.
They are a good all round side with plenty of talent on the bench. Players like Damien Murphy, Joe Daly, Mike Burke, Colm Kearns and Ian Twiss are legends in the parish but on a given day they have numerous players who could be a match winner.
Like all Kerry teams they will be full of confidence and expect to take Davitts. But this could be one occasion they might be left licking their wounds.