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Monday 18 December 2017

Odds are Stack-ed against The Nire

AUSTIN STACKS V THE NIRE (Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Tomorrow, 2.0, Live TG4)

THE bare, naked facts of this one don't tally well for The Nire; a Kerry team versus a Waterford team in football.

Indeed, Kerry's most successful team aiming to break a 38-year between Munster football titles against a club from an county yet to win one.

Which is true, but also a slightly glib interpretation of tomorrow's decider.

Because had Cratloe and all their vesty, duel-y youth come through extra-time in Fraher Field in the semi-final, we'd be painting them into tomorrow with a big chance.

And there's a lot to like about the Nire.

Chiefly, but not exclusively, the excellence of young Conor Gleeson (1-2 from play against Cratloe, a goal versus Ballylanders and a five points in the county final) and Jamie Barron, the man who kicked the winner in a thriller of a semi-final.

classic

Not to mention old Deise hands in Thomas and Maurice O'Gorman and Waterford senior hurler, Liam Lawlor.

And you couldn't really argue (not that they'll mind) that this year's Kerry Championship, post Sam Maguire and shorn of Dr Crokes, was a particularly classic competition.

Or that Austin Stacks are particularly bejewelled with county-grade talent, Kieran Donaghy aside.

Which isn't to run down their achievement.

They beat a mid-Kerry team containing Darran O'Sullivan, Donnchady Walsh and Pa Kilkenny well in the county final and while they may have been in the Kerry wilderness for the past 20 years, having ended that particular succession, they'll hardly allow the Nire to stand in their way of ceasing another.

ODDS: Austin Stacks 4/9, Draw 7/1, The Nire 12/5

VERDICT: Austin Stacks

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