Milltown/Castlemaine look good

SCAN back over the recent history of the Munster Club IFC and a clear trend emerges.

This is firmly Kerry’s domain. Tomorrow, Milltown/Castlemaine attempt to become the sixth club from the county to claim the title in as many years. In contrast, Mullinahone are making history by merely being in contention as they have become the first Tipperary club to reach this decider.

They are worthy participants. Since emerging from Tipperary, they saw off the threat of Limerick champions Mountcollins in the quarter-final in Clonmel and then displayed impressive scoring power when travelling to the Fraher Field and overcoming Dungarvan at the semi-final juncture.

The loss of Paul Curran, who is on his honeymoon, at midfield is considerable, but his brother Niall is a key figure in defence as he possesses a wealth of experience from his time with the Tipperary senior footballers. Kyle Vaughan, Sean Curran, AJ Cronin and Paul Kelly are others who will give the Kerry champions plenty to think about.

For all that it’s difficult to look past Milltown/Castlemaine. They admittedly rode their luck in the Munster quarter-final as they struggled to overcome a tenacious Clondegad challenge, but their schedule at that time between divisional and club ties was certainly draining on the players.

They have enjoyed a three-week break now since their semi-final win over Cork side Newmarket and that should leave them suitably refreshed. Marcus Mangan has excelled at centre-back, while Mike Burke and Brendan Delaney form a resolute midfield partnership. An attack containing Ian Twiss, Gavin Wrenn, Shane Murphy and Cathal Moriarty can post enough on the board to propel them to an All-Ireland semi-final meeting with Derry champions Craigbane.

Verdict: Milltown/Castlemaine

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