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2024 Munster Senior Cup Final Preview

2024 Munster Senior Cup Final Preview

2024 Munster Senior Cup Final Preview

Some 16 months after Kerry Football Club kicked their first football, the club have the chance to add the first piece of silverware to the Mounthawk Park trophy cabinet on Monday night.

2024 was the first chance Kerry FC had to compete in the provincial tournament. A competition steeped in history and heritage, one that was held in high regard by the Kerry faithful. The 2023 season came about too quickly for the League of Ireland new boys to compete in the competition, given the license was granted just 3 months out to the start of the First Division campaign.

So, 2024 was to be a new era for the Kingdom and just 12 days into the new year, Kerry FC made their debut in the competition, welcoming Avondale United of the Munster Senior League to a bitterly cold Mounthawk Park where the Christmas lights had barely been safely restored to the attic. The Cork outfit, who were in the middle of their season, were always going to prove to be a stiff test for Kerry FC who were just getting into preparations for the new season. In fact, it took until the 77th minute for Kerry to find the breakthrough. Daniel Okwute’s low drive into the bottom left corner was all that separated the sides but Kerry marched on to the quarter-final.

And it was to be another difficult test for the Kingdom in the last 8. A tough quarter-final draw for Kerry FC saw the league newcomers face the back-to-back Munster Senior Cup Champions Cobh Ramblers on the February Bank Holiday Monday. A beautiful day and the end of some torrid winter weather was welcomed by both the players and supporters in Mounthawk Park.

In a very evenly contested game, the match had a real cup feel to it as opposed to a pre-season friendly vibe. It was to be a debut to remember for Victor Udeze. The man who put pen to paper on the morning of the game was the one to dethrone Cobh Ramblers in the Kerry sunshine. A cross from Daniel Okwute in the 68th minute was tucked home by Udeze on his debut and was enough for the Kingdom to book their place in the competition’s semi-final in Kerry’s debut year in the tournament.

So we reach the semi-final stage and just the small task of hosting the SSE Airtricity First Division leaders Treaty United for a place in the showpiece final. It was to be the second meeting of the sides in 4 days, Treaty winning in the league on the Friday previous to stay top.

But Kerry were to take the Munster Senior Cup spoils on a wet Monday night in Mounthawk Park. In a game that Kerry looked line winning from the outset, they went in 3-1 up at the interval thanks to goals from Ronan Teahan and a Sean McGrath double.

Kerry started the second period strong and Daniel Okwute’s goal early in the half had the Kerry supporters in dreamland as Kerry’s first senior final was on the horizon.

And since March, that horizon has gotten closer and closer and the Cup Final now takes centre stage this coming Monday evening, June 24th. SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division side Waterford FC are Kerry’s opponents in the showpiece that kicks off at 19:30 in the home of the Munster FA, Turners Cross. The Deise are flying high since their promotion to the top tier in 2024, sitting 4th in the league and level on points with Shamrock Rovers at the midway point. Kerry have faced Waterford 4 times already in the clubs short history, all in the 2023 SSE Airtricity Men’s First Division season, where the kingdom only managed to pick up a single point against the Munster side.

2024 Munster Senior Cup Final

Kerry FC v Waterford FC
Monday, June 24th
Turners Cross, Cork – 19:30 Kick Off

Previous Meetings

Waterford FC Wins 3 | Draws 1 | Kerry FC Wins 0

Did you know?

  • This is Kerry FC’s first-ever opportunity for a piece of silverware in the club’s 16-month history, not a bad feat for the LOI newcomers!
  • Kerry’s Graham O’Reilly is the only player across both sides to have played a senior League of Ireland game for both clubs
  • This will be Kerry FC’s first-ever cup tie played away from Mounthawk Park. In all 3 MSC games to date, the kingdom were drawn at home while in 2023, Ringmahon Rangers and Drogheda United both came to Mounthawk Park in the Sports Direct Men’s FAI Cup!

Injury Update

Valerii Dolia and Kennedy Amechi are the two injury worries ahead of the Munster Senior Cup Final for Kerry FC this weekend. Dolia limped off during the warm-up last time out against Longford Town and was due to go for a scan early this week. More positive news from Kennedy Amechi, who is likely to return for the fixture. Antonio Tuta is also absent for the game.

‘What They Said’

Conor McCarthy – ‘Our full focus is on the Cup Final now, that might be the boring answer but that’s the way we’ve been since January. We go out to try and win every game, be it a pre-season friendly or a cup final, we go there to win. Waterford is the next game in front of us, we go out and try to win, simple as that. The fans will be crucial as ever, the club have put on a supporters bus which is great, the new bypass to Cork has cut down the journey time, we need everyone there to get behind us on Monday night’

James Sugrue – ‘It’s been a fantastic competition for us to be in. It was great in the early stages of the season, it got confidence into fellas from an early on which is great. We treated it with respect and the reward for that now is playing Waterford in the final in Turners Cross. It’s a big game for us, obviously, we haven’t been in this sort of situation before, but I think that element of the sort of fear factor of the whole thing. Just go out and play for 90 minutes and we will see where we are then

Ethan Kos – ‘Confidence is definitely high in the group. 3 home wins on the bounce was great and the couple of away games were very narrow defeats. So we know where we are at, we believe in our abilities and we are looking forward to it. We go into it like any other game, of course, it’s a big occasion and it’s a tough opposition, but that’s on us now to rise to the occasion and deliver for our supporters’

Graham O’Reilly – ‘We are a well-grouped team now, we are around each other 5 days a week. We are taking this as another game. For me, if I do get a chance I’ll be giving it 100% to win that trophy. We treat it as a cup final, actually, we treat every game we go into as a cup final, so preparations are no different’.