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PRO GAA Scene March 15th 2016 2016-03-16 20:24:00

Kerry defeat Mayo in Allianz League

Kerry recorded their first win on Mayo soil since 2011 when a much improved second half performance saw them gain three League wins on the trot at McHale Park last Sunday (2-13 to 0-14). Kerry got the better start but Mayo hit back to dominate most of the first half and it took a goal by Johnny Buckley after fine work by Darran O’Sullivan and Colm Cooper to put a kinder look on the scoreboard at the break at which stage Kerry trailed by just a single score, 1-3 to 0-7.

Kerry came out in the second half with all guns blazing however to outscore the home-side by 1-10 to 0-7 and they did so despite being reduced to fourteen men after the dismissal of Kieran Donaghy on a second yellow in the 54th minute. By that stage Kerry had got their second goal when Donnchadh Walsh pounced after a mix up in the Mayo square and Eamonn Fitzmaurice will be particularly happy with the way Kerry responded when a man short matching mayo score for score till the end.

A semi final place is now a very achievable target with Kerry having responded very positively to the opening League losses to Dublin and Donegal. There is a break in the League until March 26th when Kerry travel to Clones to take on Monaghan and Kerry wind up their campaign with a home game against Cork in Austin Stack Park.

Credit Union Senior Football Leagues Commence

The Credit Union Senior Football Leagues swing back into action this coming weekend with action in all five Divisions. The Leagues commenced way back in 1971 when Austin Stacks, John Mitchels, Kerins O’Rahilys, Waterville, Kenmare, Desmonds, Laune Rangers and Keel played in the inaugural League with Waterville defeating Laune Rangers in the final.

The following year, it was decided to form three leagues, Senior, Towns Cup and Junior and in 1973, the Leagues really took shape in the format we now know them with three divisions. The leagues have stood the test of time since and are the envy of most counties. Promotion and relegation methods have changed over the years, but, as was the case last year, a three up and three down policy applies again this year.

The Leagues are once again sponsored by Chapter 23 of the Irish League of Credit Unions who commence their 14th year as sponsors.

Division 1

Pride of place this weekend goes to the meeting of Dr Crokes and Austin Stacks in Lewis Road (1pm) a game that doubles up as the 2015 Division 1 final. It will be recalled that the sides also met in the 2014 final last year when Stacks won a thriller after extra time. Dr Crokes have swept all before them in Divisional Leagues this year and seem to have been refreshed by the return of Pat O’Shea to the helm. Austin Stacks once more under Stephen Stack, were disappointed not to retain their championship title last year and will be hoping to get the year off to a positive start. Games between these two sides rarely fail to give value for money and Sunday’s game should be no different.

Sunday will also be a big day for All Ireland Junior Champions Templenoe who play their first ever game in Division 1 away to John Mitchels, while the other promoted side, Kenmare entertain Milltown-Castlemaine in their first game back in Division 1 since 1989.

Division 2

Finuge, St Michaels-Foilmore and Waterville were the three sides relegated from Division 1 last year while Beaufort, Listry and An Ghaeltacht were promoted from Division 3. Gaeltacht renew rivalry with Laune Rangers in Killorglin while All Ireland Intermediate champions St Marys, many people’s favourites for promotion, travel to Finuge. Rathmore are another side who were in the shake up for promotion last year and they open their campaign against St Michaels-Foilmore.

Division 3

Tarbert, Currow and Gneeveguilla made the drop from Division 2 last year and they will be joined by Ballydonoghue, Dromid Pearses and St Senans who make the step up from Division 4. Currow entertain Gneeveguilla who are now trained by Seanie O’Leary who has previously trained Currow. Ballydonoghue, Division 4 champions last year, have a home fixture against Brosna while another promoted side St Senans face a tough opening game at Ardfert.

Division 4

Ballymacelligott, Na Gaeil and Skellig Rangers were the sides relegated from Division 3 last season and they will be joined by neighbouring clubs Renard and Valentia and also by Moyvane. Two sides who came to Division 4 from opposite directions meet in Renard when last year’s Division 5 champions entertain fellow South Kerry side Skellig Rangers while Moyvane make the long trip to take on fellow promoted side Valentia. Meanwhile, John Evans takes his Fossa side to Lispole and it will be interesting to monitor the East Kerry side’s progress under the former Roscommon manager.

Division 5

Cordal, Cromane and Castlegregory are the new teams in Division 5 and they are joined by Rathmore “B” who have entered a team in the senior league this year while Kilgarvan will not be entering a team. Ballyduff and Rathmore B played their opening round game last weekend a game Rathmore won on a score of 2-11 to 1-8.

One of the many issues facing Division 5 clubs is the long distances they face when on the road. This weekend for example, Ballylongford travel to Sneem to take on Sneem-Derrynane while Knocknagoshel make the long journey to Tuosist.

Under 21 Footballers in action on Wednesday

Kerry Under 21 footballers, winners over Tipperary in a quarter final tie last Wednesday in Austin Stack Park, return to the Tralee venue this Wednesday evening to take on Limerick in the Munster semi final (7:30). Last week’s game was certainly no classic with Tipperary playing ten and twelve players behind the ball and Kerry, who played for 40 minutes with fourteen players following the dismissal of Matthew O’Sullivan, did well to survive by the minimum margin (0-11 to 1-7) following a late Tipperary rally.

That experience is bound to stand to the home side who have been plagued with injuries to key players such as Shane Ryan, Liam Carey, Liam Kearney, Marc O’Connor, Rob Ó Sé and captain Cormac Coffey. The side that took the field against Tipp contained 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 were included.

Manager Jack O’Connor and his selectors Eamonn Whelan, Micheál O’Shea and Declan O’Sullivan will be hoping to guide their side to their first Munster final appearance in this grade since 2012.

The winner of Wednesday’s game will play either Cork or Waterford in the final on April 7th.

Keane’s Supervalu Killorglin Minor Football League

The Keane’s Supervalu Killorglin Minor Football League continues on this weekend with a number of back games down for decision while Round 4 will be played on Saturday March 26th. So far, fixtures have been disrupted due to various colleges fixtures and the CCC are doing their best to re-fix those games.

St Brendans in Hogan Cup semi final

St Brendans College Killarney travel to Nenagh on this Wednesday to take on St Benildus College from Dublin in the semi final of the Hogan Cup and they will be attempting to reach the final for the first time since 2010 when they were defeated by St Colemans Newry. The “Sem” previously won the Hogan Cup in 1969 and 1992.

Meeting of Health and Wellbeing Officers

A meeting for all Club and District Board Health and Wellbeing Officers (formerly named ASAP Officers), will be held in Austin Stack Park on Monday evening the 21st March starting at 8pm sharp. It is important that all clubs and District Boards would be represented at this meeting. The format of the meeting will include an update on new initiatives and information on the role of the club Health and Wellbeing Officer. Members of the County Health and Wellbeing Committee will also make a short presentation, outlining their initiatives. Suggestions and questions from clubs will be welcome and there will be question and answer session to facilitate this.

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

Senior Hurlers go down to Clare in AHL

The Kerry senior hurlers suffered another heavy defeat last Sunday against Clare in round 3 of the Allianz hurling league, going down by 2 - 28 to 1 - 8. They now go to Birr on this Sunday, 20th March for another tough test against Offaly. The match will be played at St. Brendan’s Park with a 2.00p.m. throw in

Minor Hurlers in Leinster MHL action

The Kerry minor hurling team lost to Dublin by 2 – 15 to 1 – 15 on Saturday last in round 1 of the Leinster minor hurling league. Played at the DCU grounds, Kerry led for most of the game, were ahead by 0 – 8 to 0 – 6 at half time but a Dublin rally saw them take the lead in the last quarter and come out 1 goal winners. Shane Conway scored 11 points from frees and Eric Leen scored the Kerry goal in the 62nd minute. The team lineout was: Adam O’Sullivan (Crotta), Brian McAuliffe(Lixnaw), Liam Mullins (Lixnaw), Gary Carey (Causeway), Thomas Quinlan (Crotta), Barry O’Mahony (Crotta), Gearoid Fennessy (Kilgarvan), Niall O’Mahony (Abbeydorney), Tomás O’Connor (Crotta), Micheál McCarthy (Kenmare), Colin Browne (Crotta), Eric Leen (St. Brendan’s), Colin Sheehy, capt. (Lixnaw), Shane Conway (Lixnaw), Maurice O’Connor (Kilmoyley), Subs used: Brandon Conway (Crotta), Philp Maunsell (Kilmoyley) and Darragh Goulding (Ballyduff ).

0n this Saturday, 19th March they play Laois in Round 2, Laois venue to be confirmed, time 2.30p.m.

Credit Union Co. League

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.


St Pat’s East Kerry Hurling Club will hold their Annual Table Quiz on this Friday, 18th March. Venue is Kilcummin G.A.A. Clubhouse where proceedings commence at 8.30p.m.Table of 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 next, 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

Lixnaw Hurling Club will hold their medal presentation night at Lixnaw Community Centre on Thursday week, 24th March at 8.30pm. The minor and Under 16 hurlers will be presented with their Co. and North Kerry championship medals respectively while the Club Person of the Year and the Hall of Fame award winners will be announced. Presentations will also be made to the Kerry successful minor and senior hurling panellists. Guest speaker for the function will be former Clare All- Ireland winning captain, Anthony Daly.