We’ll admit to being taken somewhat aback by the comprehensive nature of Beaufort’s destruction of Kilcummin in Kilcummin last Sunday afternoon. It’s not that we didn’t think Beaufort were in with a chance of winning, it’s just that we never expected such a devastating display.
Whatever cover Éanna O’Malley’s men may have been hiding under has well and truly been blown in the wake of a seventeen point hammering of Kilcummin – 2-21 to 0-10. If forewarned is forearmed, then Rathmore certainly shouldn’t be taking anything for granted this weekend.
If Rathmore are going to win through to the intermediate final, then they’re going to have to do it the hard way against last year’s finalists, a fact that we probably glossed over a little too readily in the build up to the Kilcummin game.
Beaufort really are on a roll and when you see the quality in their ranks it’s easy to see why, with defenders of the quality of Ger Hartnett, Nathan Breen, and Jonathan Kissane. Experienced heads who know what it’s all about.
Kerry star Mike Breen and Ronan Murphy make for a competitive midfield combination, while up front guys like Seán O’Brien, Liam Carey, Pádraig Doona, Jack O’Connor and Ciarán Kennedy can quite clearly shoot the lights when required.
Beaufort’s is a nicely balanced side, Then again, so is Rathmore’s. There’s a reason they were pencilled in as favourites for this competition by so many of us. They negotiated the group phase with the absolute minimum of fuss and last weekend came through a tricky enough derby tie quite comfortably in the end.
It’s the sort of run to the semi-final stage you’d expect of a club that’s competed at senior level for as long as they have. Manager Derek Moynihan has real talent at his disposal. They look really solid at the back with guys like Dan Murphy, Darragh O’Rahilly, Cathal Murphy and Alan Dineen holding court (Dineen only started on the bench last weekend, but if fit should start).
Their midfield of Mark Ryan and Brendan O’Keeffe is impressive, while up front with guys like Paul Murphy, Mark Reen (scorer of 1-6 on the weekend), Chrissy Spiers, Aidan O’Mahony and Shane Ryan.
With all that do Rathmore have marginally more talent at their disposal? Probably yes, just about and for that reason, plus their status of pre-tournament favourites, we’re inclined to stick with them for this clash in the stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Assuming the weather is half way decent – and at the time of writing that’s what the forecast says – we should be in for a really good game of football on a pitch that’s made for it. No disrespect to the senior club final that follows, it could well be the case of the curtain raiser stealing the show from the main event.
If Beaufort can continue the sort of form they showed last weekend then they have absolutely no reason to fear a Rathmore side, who can’t say they haven’t been warned.