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PRO GAA Scene March 2nd 2016 2016-03-02 23:22:00

Opening win of the League for Kerry in Newry

Kerry footballers got their first points in this year’s AllIanz Football League when a vastly improved performance saw them easily dispose of a disappointing Down side in Newry on Sunday last (0-22 to 0-6).Kerry dominated the game for long periods and once they began to take their chances in the second quarter there was only going to be one winner. Indeed they could have improved their scoring difference even more had they taken some of the goal chances that came their way but all-in-all the Kerry management must have been quite happy with the performance given that the team that featured was a somewhat experimental one. There are of course greater hurdles ahead but nevertheless, this was a welcome victory and no doubt, Kerry followers everywhere were delighted to see Colm Cooper back on the field of play.

Donegal are next up in the Allianz Football League

Unbeaten Donegal are Kerry’s opponents in Round 4 of the Allianz League at the revamped Austin Stack Park on Sunday next where the second game in the double bill will throw in at 2:30. The northern outfit have been pretty impressive in their victories over Down (17points), Cork (10 points) and Mayo on Sunday last when they edged out the visitors by two points in Ballybofey. Kerry in contrast, were disappointing in their opening two games when Dublin could have been more comprehensive winners than the six point margin would suggest and on their home patch in Killarney, they were turned over by Roscommon.

The comprehensive nature of Sunday’s win away to Down will no doubt have taken some of the pressure off both players and management in the Kerry camp but all will be aware that the Kingdom will face a far different proposition on Sunday next. Injuries continue to plague the squad however with David Moran’s finger injury the latest setback but on the plus side Colm Cooper, Peter Crowley and Kieran O’Leary are back in the frame as are Bryan Sheehan, who had a hectic winter on Club duty and Kieran Donaghy who took an unforced break over the winter period.

It will be interesting to see will Eamonn Fitzmaurice and his management team stick with the same side that did duty in Newry. It would be generally acknowledged that Donegal are further down the line than Kerry in terms of preparation given Kerry’s later start due to a team holiday and no doubt we will know after Sunday’s game exactly where we stand in that regard. Donegal will hardly need any reminding that they were turned over twice in quick succession on the last two occasions the sides me and with some outstanding players on view on both teams, there is sure to be a bumper crowd in the new-look Tralee venue on Sunday. Kerry are away to Mayo in Round 5 in Castlebar.

Referee for Sunday’s game is Eddie Kinsella of Laois.

Allianz League Double Bill – Match arrangements

The Allianz Hurling and Football League double bill in Tralee’s Austin Stack Park on Sunday sees Kerry Hurlers play Wexford at 12:30pm and Kerry Footballers play Donegal at 2:30pm

Ticket Vans will be in operation for Sunday’s game

Sunday’s double bill is an all ticket affair. Tickets may be pre-purchased or are available on the day at the ticket vans which will be located in the main entrance Car Park. Stiles, including those at the Mitchel’s and Horan’s ends, will open at 11am.

There will be a designated stile for Season Ticket holders.

€5 discount for pre-purchased tickets for Sunday’s Allianz League game

A pre purchase discounted price of €10 applies for all of Kerry’s games in Division 1 Football and Division 1B in Hurling. Please note that the cut off time for the pre-purchase discount will be midnight on the night before the fixture (Saturday night at 12 for the Austin Stack Park Double Bill). Tickets purchased on match day will cost the usual €15. Admission for OAPs and Students is €10 on the production of valid I.D and Under 16s are free. Tickets can be pre-purchased from the usual sources including participating Centra and Supervalu stores throughout the county, online on www.gaa.ie, from Austin Stack Park and from the Kerry GAA Store in the Outlet Centre in Killarney.

Accommodation in the stand is on a first come first served basis and there will be a 36 page special souvenir programme on sale.

Keanes Supervalu Killorglin Minor Football League

The Keane’s Supervalu Killorglin Minor Football League continues this coming weekend with a full programme of twenty games down for decision. All games are fixed for Saturday at 4pm. A number of back games from Round 1 were played last weekend. The Leagues continue on March 12th, March 26th and April 1st.

St Brendans College win Corn Uí Mhuirí Final

It was all too easy for St Brendans as they won their first Corn Uí Mhuirí since 2010 and their 21st overall when overpowering High School Clonmel at Mallow on Saturday last. The Tipp side, conquerers of Rochestown in the semi final, were looking for their first win in the final since the inaugural final in 1928 but they were no match for the Killarney side in a one sided final. Two goals within 30 seconds of each other soon after the start from Evan Cronin and Michael Casey set the “Sem” on their way and a third goal before the break from David Clifford, left the winners leading by an almost unassailable twelve points margin at the interval, 3-10 to 0-6. A string of points on the restart ensured that there would be no fightback from the Tipp boys and two further goals from Donnchadh O’Sullivan and William Courtney were the icing on the cake for the new champions.

St Brendans now play St Benildus College of Dublin in the semi final on March 16th. The Hogan Cup final is scheduled for April 2nd.

Club Officer Development and Training Programme

The club officer training and development programme continued last week with the second of the planned two presentation nights taking place in IT Tralee. There was a great turnout with 76 club officers in attendance and the combined attendance at the two sessions has far exceeded the turnout in any other county that where the new national training initiative has been rolled out. Due to the huge interest, training Officer Tim Murphy has decided to run another session of the Induction and Module 1 courses in Cahersiveen on Wednesday 23rd March and after that a decision will be made on when the two remaining training modules will be held.

Under 21 Footballers in action on Wednesday next

It’s just over one week to Kerry’s opening game in the Cadburys Munster Under 21 Championship when the Kingdom take on Tipperary 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, Conor Keane, Liam Kearney, Marc O’Connor and captain Cormac Coffey and it is little wonder that the finalisation of a panel has been delayed as a result. 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. Still the camp is very upbeat and no doubt Jack will have the players available to him in tip top shape for Wednesday’s encounter.

New Look Austin Stack Park on view at Sunday’s double bill

Spectators will have their first glimpse of the newly revamped Austin Stack Park on Sunday next on the occasion of the Allianz Leagues double bill that sees Kerry take on Wexford in Hurling at 12:30 and Kerry footballers take on Donegal at 2:30pm. These improvements are of course ongoing and are dependent on funding becoming available. So what changes will be on view?

 New sand carpet pitch complete with new drainage system

 New 13m high goalposts, identical to those in Croke Park, have been fitted

 New electronic scoreboard

 Upgrading of the existing pitch flood-lighting system

 New capping beam stadium type perimeter fence including safety gates.

 Concrete terracing at Western (John Mitchel’s) end. Installation of roofed canopy will follow shortly.

 Implementing of the recommendations of the Slattery Report relating to Health and Safety issues to increase the capacity of the Austin Stack Park up to its maximum are continuing

Other improvements to other areas of the ground including entrances are planned in the medium to long term and the total cost of the proposed works will be in the order of €1m plus.

Kerry GAA sees these improvement works as a strategic investment underpinning the status of the venue not only as a premier playing surface but one which will be recognisable as the headquarters of the GAA in Kerry.

Credit Union Senior Football League

The launch of the Credit Union Senior Football and Hurling Leagues will take place Monday next March 7th when the various winners will be presented with their trophies and cheques in the Austin Stack Park Pavilion at 7:30. Chapter 23 of the Irish League of Credit Union s has been a valuable sponsor of the Leagues for the past thirteen years. In football, the Division 1 final from last season is still to be played and that will take place in Lewis Road on the opening day of the new League, March 20th, when Dr Crokes take on Austin Stacks, a repeat of the 2014 final when Stacks defeated the Killarney side after extra time last May. The following are the other Divisional winners; Division2: Templenoe; Division 3: Beaufort; Division 4: Ballydonoghue and Division 5: Renard.

The2015 Division 1 Hurling Final between St Brendans and Causeway is also down for decision as a double up with Round 6 of this year’s League on June 19th.

Kerry GAA Supporters Club AGM

The AGM of the Kerry GAA Supporters Club will take place in the Ballygarry House Hotel on Monday March 7th next at 8pm.

Munster Scór Finals

Best wishes to the following Kerry Clubs who will take part in the Munster senior Scór finals which will take place on Saturday next, 5ú Márta, ag Club Éire Óg, Ovens, Co. Chorcaí:

Rince Foirne: An Spá ; Amhránaíocht (Solo Singing):Gleann Fleisce – Eibhlín Ní Chróinín; Aithriseoireacht (Recitation/Storytelling): An Spá – Ray Ó Súilleabháin; Bailéadghrúpa (Ballad Group): Na Gaeil; Léiriú Stáitse (Stage Presentation): Fosadh; An Seit (Set Dance): An Spá. Go n-éirí go geal leis na Ciarraígh!

The Brothers Pearse Club (Cnoc na hEaglaise) Quiz Team will advance directly to the All-Ireland which will be held in the INEC (Cill Airne) on 2nd April.

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

Kerry Hurlers take on Wexford

Kerry are at home this Sunday again in round 3 of the Allianz hurling league when they take on Wexford at the refurbished Austin Stack Park. Note the early throw in time of 12.30p.m.

Admission on the day costs €15 but it is available at a reduced price of €10 if purchased online on www.gaa.ie , from the Kerry GAA offices in Austin Stack Park, from the Kerry GAA Store in the Outlet Centre in Killarney or at participating Centra or Supervalu stores around the county up to midnight on Saturday. Students and OAP admission is €10 on production of valid ID and Under 16s are free.

The remaining hurling league games are on Sunday week, 13th March v Clare (at Cusack Park, Ennis, 2.00p.m.) and Sunday, 20th March v Offaly (at St. Brendan’s Park, Birr, 2.00p.m.).

Great to see a Kerry hurler on a national team of the week – last week the website www.hoganstand.com selected Kerry full back, Bryan Murphy (Causeway), on its weekly selection – another positive for the growing recognition of the Kerry senior team at present.


St. Brendan’s Hurling Club will hold their annual juvenile awards presentations on this Saturday at Ardfert Community Centre from 7.30p.m. – 8.30p.m. It will be preceded by club registration from 6.30p.m.

Tralee Parnell’s are organising an Easter Hurling and 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


A hurling coaching Workshop for club coaches will be held at Causeway Comprehensive School on this Saturday, 5th March from 11.00a.m. to 1.00p.m. ‘Need for speed’, for Under 16 to Minor club coaches, will be conducted by Peter Casey, Clare Games Development Officer.