Dr Crokes do not need to win the Kerry SFC final to earn the right to represent the county in Munster - a draw will suffice.
Four-in-a-row chasing Crokes play East Kerry in the county decider this Sunday (Austin Stack Park, 3pm), with the Kerry champions due out in the Munster club championship on Sunday week.
Divisional teams are not permitted to compete in the provincial or All-Ireland club series so East Kerry, irrespective of how they fare at Austin Stack Park, will not be going forward to represent Kerry in Munster. Crokes, however, are not guaranteed Munster involvement by virtue of being the last remaining club team in the county championship.
Unlike in Cork where Glen Rovers have been sent forward to represent the county in the Munster club hurling championship despite coming up short to Imokilly in the Cork decider, Kerry operate a system whereby if a club team does not come out on top in the county championship, then the winners of the Kerry club championship, a separate competition run off earlier in the year, go forward to Munster.
The match protocols for this Sunday, however, are not winner on the day so as to determine whether it is Crokes or club champions Austin Stacks competing in the Munster semi-final on Sunday week. If the Kerry county final is deadlocked at the end of normal time, no extra-time will be played or penalties taken. Instead, Crokes will look forward to a Munster semi-final against either Nemo Rangers or Newcastle West, with the replay of the county final taking place once Crokes’ Munster campaign is at an end.
When the Kerry CCC decided back in early September that the county final would be staged one week before the Kerry champions were due out in Munster, it was intimated the county final would be winner on the day, and certainly would have been had two clubs reached the decider.
In 2015, the Kerry county final between Legion and South Kerry ended level first day out. But instead of playing the replay 24 hours before the Kerry representatives were scheduled to face Nemo Rangers in the Munster semi-final, the county board nominated Legion, as opposed to club championship winners Dingle, to represent the county. The replay between Legion and South Kerry was then fixed for a later date.