Kilcormac/Killoughey begin Leinster quest with tricky home tie

Thursday, 2 November 2017

FOUR weeks after they won back the Sean Robbins cup, Kilcormac/Killoughey set out on their Leinster Club Senior Hurling Championship trail on Sunday when they welcome Westmeath champions Castletown-Geoghegan to O'Connor Park (2.00pm throw in).

The visitors have also had a four week break and how the teams have dealt with and managed this break will be a key factor on Sunday. From a K/K point of view, it was probably a good thing in terms of clearing up a few injuries but there is a risk that momentum can also be lost.

It will be their first voyage into Leinster since 2014 but they still have the majority of that team that won three Offaly titles in a row from 2012 to 2014 in their ranks.

Dan Currams is also set to be fit for the game. Currams surprised everyone on the day of the final by coming on midway through the first half to have a major impact on the game just weeks after a serious leg injury.

He is the type of player that K/K need and need firing. He has the capability of turning a game on its head as proven in the County final by pucking three superb points from play.

With Ciaran Slevin and Cillian Kiely now an established midfield pairing, K/K have a solid platform for attack. Damien Kilmartin has slotted in well at centre back while Jordan Quinn has been a real find at wing back.

While K/K go into the game as favourites, they will have their work cut out to get over a Castletown Geoghegan side that came through a tough championship in Westmeath to eventually beat Raharney in the final.

In Aonghus Clarke and Niall O'Brien they have two top class performers who on their day can mix it with the best of them and K/K will have to be on guard with not only those two but with their supporting cast also. Clarke is thought to be travelling at the moment but the possibility of him coming home for the game is not out of the question.

Liam Varley is also a top class defender and likely to line out at full back but should Currams start, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Varley follow him. They beat reigning champions Raharney in the final and it was their first senior hurling title in four years and their 13th in all.

Peter Geraghty picked up a hand injury in the County final win over St Rynagh's but he is expected to take his place with the four week break really benefiting the likes of him.

Home advantage will also be a help to the double K's. They are extremely confident playing in O'Connor Park and after going through the Offaly championship with a 100 percent record, the signs are that they will follow that through and move on to the next step in Leinster - a home game against the winners of Laois champions, Camross and Carlow's Mount Leinster Rangers.

Verdict: Kilcormac/Killoughey.



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