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PRO GAA Scene March 9th 2016 2016-03-09 23:15:00

Kerry defeat Donegal to collect two valuable AFL points

Kerry gained two very valuable Allianz Football League points when defeating Donegal after what was at times a rather fractious encounter before an attendance of 7,056 at the newly revamped Austin Stack Park on Sunday last. Having got the advantage of playing with the strong wind in the first half, it was a game that Kerry dominated for long periods and the five points winning margin reflected their superiority. Kerry's half time lead of 7 points to 3 looked precarious enough having to play against the elements in the second half and after Donegal had levelled the game on 7 points apiece within as many minutes minutes of the restart the writing did seem to be on the wall for Kerry. However, the home side knuckled down to the task and held Donegal to two scores for the remaining remainder of the game, a period Kerry dominated. Peter Crowley's wonderful goal gave the home-side breathing space and man of the match Donnchadh Walsh seemed to be everywhere, but the concession of a rather soft goal to Michael Murphy left Kerry supporters on tender hooks once more. What must have pleased Kerry management no end however was the way Kerry closed out the game thereafter and added on two insurance scores, the second a trademark point from Colm Cooper, to secure their second victory on the trot. The victory, as Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice put it, allows Kerry to look up rather than down and aim for a semi final spot, a target that is very achievable.

Kerry Head to Castlebar for Round 5 of the AFL

Following that heart-warming victory over Donegal on Sunday last, Kerry senior footballers head to Castlebar on Sunday next to take on Mayo where two more valuable League points are at stake. Kerry have not fared well against the Connaught county in the League in recent years, 2011 being the last time they achieved a victory and one has to go all the way back to 2005 for the last victory on Mayo soil. Mayo lost their opening game to Cork by 9 points and then went down to 2 point defeats to both Dublin and Donegal before coming good late on to defeat Monaghan last weekend.

The likes of Killian Young, Jonathan Lyne and Tommy Walsh are still nursing knocks and may not be available for selection and of course Alan Fitzgerald is ruled out due to suspension following his dismissal last Sunday for a retaliatory strike. The victory over Donegal is bound to have a positive effect on the Kerry players and has relieved the pressure somewhat following the disappointing losses to Dublin, and Roscommon in particular. However, Sunday’s encounter will be no easy task against a side fighting for survival.

The news that Mikey Geaney has recommenced training will no doubt be welcomed by the Kerry management who also await the return of Mikey’s brother Paul, Anthony Maher and James O’Donoghue.

Under 21 Footballers in action on Wednesday

Kerry open their Munster Under 21 Championship campaign on this Wednesday evening when the Kingdom take on Tipperary (7:30) in Austin Stack Park in the first game under the new floodlights at the newly revamped venue. Manager Jack O’Connor and his selectors Eamonn Whelan, Micheál O’Shea and Declan O’Sullivan have seen their preparations hampered by injuries to some key players among them Shane Ryan, Liam Carey, Liam Kearney, Marc O’Connor, Rob Ó Sé and captain Cormac Coffey . Other issues such as the long playing season and the All Ireland Club activity of Templenoe and St Marys have also been a hindrance as has the unavailability of pitches due to the atrocious weather conditions.

The Kerry team picked for duty contains just four of the side defeated by Cork in last year’s semi final game – Brian Ó Beagaloich, Cathal Ó Lúing, Micheál Burns and Jack Savage. Two more, Greg Horan and Eánna Ó Conchúir were introduced as subs in that game. Nine of the side won All Ireland Minor Medals in either 2014 or 2015 are included. The team is captained by Jack Savage of Kerins O’Rahillys. Tipperary are of course the reigning Under 21 champions having disposed of Cork in last year’s final and have been very successful at minor level in the province over the last three years. Certainly Kerry will know they have been in a game after this encounter.

Kerry have gone seven campaigns without adding to their haul of 25 titles, their last title at Under 21 level in the province coming in 2008 when they went on to All Ireland glory under the captaincy of Killian Young.

The winners of Wednesday’s game are at home to Limerick in either Thurles or Austin Stack Park in the semi final on Wednesday 16th March next.

Credit Union Senior Football and Hurling Leagues are Launched

The Credit Union Senior Football and Hurling Leagues were launched in Austin Stack Park on Monday evening. Speaking at the launch, John Long, Chairman of Chapter 23 of the Credit Unions, congratulated all the winners form 2015 and looked forward to another hectic year of activity on the playing fields. The chairman, addressing those present, referred to the similarities between the GAA and the Credit Union movement ;

“The Credit Unions share the same common ethos with the GAA of Community spirit and indeed Voluntary service, and both are at the hearth of many community successes. The Credit Union movement is a vibrant community based financial co -operative who strive to serve the financial needs of our members, (most of whom are also GAA members also), and particularly so at this period of difficult economic circumstances in Ireland, while Kerry GAA strives to provide positive leisure activities and indeed focus for the youth of our communities in the face of many challenges” he said.

The following Divisional winners from 2015 were presented with their winners cheques; Division2: Templenoe; Division 3: Beaufort; Division 4: Ballydonoghue and Division 5: Renard. Cheques were also presented to St Marys and Templenoe, All Ireland Intermediate and Junior Club champions respectively as well as to Pobal Scoil Chorca Dhuibhne, All Ireland Colleges Hogan Cup winners.

The 2015 Division 1 Football and Hurling Finals have yet to be played. Dr Crokes and Austin Stacks meet in the football final when they double up their Round 1 game on the opening day of the 2016 League on March 20th while in the hurling, St Brendans and Causeway is down for decision as a double up with Round 6 of this year’s League on June 19th.

Keane’s Supervalu Killorglin Minor Football League

The Keane’s Supervalu Killorglin Minor Football League continues on this weekend with Round 3 games down for decision at 4pm. So far, fixtures have been disrupted due to various colleges fixtures and the CCC are doing their best to re-fix those games.

Redevelopment of Austin Stack Park will be ongoing

Spectators at last Sunday’s Allianz Football and Hurling League games were able to see at first hand the ongoing improvements to Austin Stack Park, and, going by the feedback afterwards, they were very pleased with what they saw. Some people did question the absence of any type of official ceremony to celebrate the occasion but to borrow a phrase it was a case of “a lot done, more to do”!.

The new sand carpet pitch stood up well to the rigours of a double bill on a bad day and the new electronic scoreboard, which has yet to have a clock fitted, looked good, but by far the most favourable comments were in respect of the new boundary wall which looks well and is very spectator friendly. The new dugouts are a welcome addition for players while the new terracing at the Mitchels end was popular as shelter from the gale-force wind. The redevelopment of the stadium as a whole is ongoing of course and the next project is the roofing of that Mitchels Terrace.

Other medium to long term plans include the upgrading of the entrances and the Pavilion façade; concrete terracing to the south west of the current stand; concrete terracing of the scoreboard (Horans) end and new media facilities in the stand. All these enhancements are funding dependent of course but there has been a good start to the redevelopment and hopefully the momentum can be maintained.

Certainly the likes of Development Officer Tim Murphy, the Austin Stack Park Committee and the Austin Stack Park Finance committee, as well as numerous people, headed up by supreme groundsman, Vincent Linnane, who worked tirelessly until late on Saturday night to everything ship-shape can take a bow for a job well done.

Sneem-Derrynane in Munster Final

Best wishes to county Novice Shield winners Sneem-Derrynane who take on Cork’s Kilmeen in the final of the Munster Junior B Club Championship final at host Club Knockaderry in South Limerick on Sunday next at 1:45.

Kerry GAA Supporters Club AGM

The AGM of the Kerry Supporters Club took place on Monday night last in the Ballygarry House Hotel where the following officers were elected:

President: Gerry Brosnan

Vice Presidents: Gerry O’Leary, Maurice Dowling, Mike Allen, Noel Brosnan, Kevin Lynch, Tom Rohan, Jim Wrenn, Carmel Mansfield, Mark Doran, Tim Leahy, Dan Dwyer.

Chairman: Donal O’Leary

Vice Chairman: Pat King

Secretary: John King

Treasurers: Leanne Ryan, Martin Leane

Registrars: John O’Connell

PRO: Martin Leane

Committee Members: John Joe Sugrue, Jimmy Shanahan, Denis Reen, Karen McAuliffe, Kit Ryan, Bridie Howard, Grainne Howard, Brendan Mc Carthy, Triona Brassill, Elaine O’Connor, Bernard Lynch, Noreen Lynch and Jimmy Fitzgerald.

Munster Scór Finals

Just one Kerry winner at the Munster Scór finals in Ovens on Sunday last where Spa Figure Dancers danced their way to an All Ireland Final appearance and now join Churchill Quiz team who had already qualified for the final.

There was no luck for Glenflesk (Solo Singing), Spa (Recitation), Na Gaeil (Ballad Group), Fossa (Leiriú) and Spa (Set Dance).

The All-Ireland Finals will be held in the INEC (Cill Airne) on 2nd April.

Hurling News with Tommy O’Connor of the PR & Marketing Committee

Kerry Hurlers come up short against Wexford

The Kerry senior hurlers fell well short last Sunday against Wexford in round 3 of the Allianz hurling league, going down heavily by 2 - 25 to 0 - 8. They now go to Ennis on this Sunday, 13th March for what is going to be a very difficult assignment with joint table toppers, Clare. The match will be played at Cusack Park with a 2.00p.m. throw in

Minor Hurlers open their campaign

The Kerry minor hurlers will open their competitive year on this Saturday, 12th March when they play Dublin away in Round 1 of the Leinster minor hurling league, venue to be confirmed, time 2.30p.m. Team captain for the Leinster league will be Colin Sheehy (Lixnaw). The management team is: manager John Hennessy (Ballyduff), trainer John Barry (St. Senan’s) and selectors Jerome O’Sullivan (Crotta), Eamon Fitzgerald (Causeway) and John Healy (Ballyheigue). Ger McCarthy is the Co. Committee liaison officer for the team.

Senior Hurling Leagues

The Credit Union Co. Senior hurling league Division 1 (Nicholas Scollard Cup) gets underway on the weekend of 27th March. Round 1 fixtures are: Crotta v Abbeydorney; Ballyduff v Lixnaw; Causeway v Ballyheigue; St. Brendan’s v Kilmoyley.

Division 2 will have a later than usual start this year, due to commence on 2nd May. It is divided into 2 sections: 1A involving Kenmare, Kilgarvan, Abbeydorney and Ballyheigue; 1B comprises Lady’s Walk, Kilmoyley, Causeway, Lixnaw, St. Brendan’s and Crotta.

Competitive senior hurling for 2016 is due to begin this Saturday, 12th March with Round 1 of the North Kerry senior hurling league.


St Pat’s East Kerry Hurling Club will hold their Annual Table Quiz on Friday, 18th March. Venue is Kilcummin G.A.A. Clubhouse where proceedings commence at 8.30p.m.Table off 4 adults €40. Juvenile teams of 4 welcome - cost €20 per team.

Tralee Parnell’s are organising an Easter Hurling & Camogie Camp at the I.T. Tralee North Campus from Tuesday, 22nd to Thursday, 24th March inclusive. Cost is €25 and it is open to children between 7 – 14 years of age. Further details at http://traleeparnellshurling.blogspot.ie