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PRO GAA Scene April 6th 2016 2016-04-06 07:51:00

Kerry take on Roscommon in Allianz League semi finals after victory over Cork

Kerry advanced to the semi finals of the Allianz League and a meeting with Roscommo following a five points victory over neighbours Cork at sun-splashed Austin Stack Park on Sunday last (0-20 to 1-12). . While it would have taken an extraordinary set of events, including a Cork win, to deny the Kingdom a place in those semi finals, nevertheless both managers were eager to lay down a marker ahead of the upcoming championship and as a result we got quite an enjoyable game before the larger than expected attendance of 8,327.

Kerry really got into their stride in the first half leading by 10 points to 2 at one stage before a late penalty saw Cork go in at the break just three points adrift. That score did not reflect Kerry’s dominance in that opening half and the big crowd certainly got behind the homeside as they hit eight unanswered points, seven from play. Cork did improve on the changeover and they fought back to level the game with ten minutes remaining. However, the introduction of some fresh legs to the Kerry attack had the desires affect and Kerry outscored their opponents by six points to one in the remaining time to run out deserving winners putting together a five game winning streak.

Kerry now play Roscommon
Kerry travel to Croke Park on Sunday next to take on Roscommon in the Allianz League semi final and of course this will be a chance to atone for their poor display in the Round 2 game between the sides when Roscommon came to Fitzgerald Stadium with a big following and outscored the locals by 0-14 to 1-10. Kerry followers consoled themselves on that occasion by pointing out that if they had a recognised free taker then the result would have been different but Roscommon were full value for their factory on that occasion and their presence in Division 1 this year was a breath of fresh air to the competition. Along with their defeat of Kerry they also had a big victory over Cork when they scored an amazing 4-25, before heading to Letterkenny and scoring 1-19 against the home side. When those type of victories are taken into account maybe Kerry’s performance against the Primrose and Blue outfit may not have been that bad after all.

Darren O’Sullivan and Aidan O’Mahony, who suffered knocks against Monaghan forcing them to sit out last weekend’s game, will be available and so too will Paul Geaney who picked up a knock in training last week. A decision on the availability of team captain, Bryan Sheehan will be made midweek. A strong League panel has been Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s Achilles heel over the last three years but injury problems seem to be clearing up at just the right time of the year. No doubt the Kerry manager will want to extend the winning streak to six games on Sunday. Throw in for the game is at 2 pm and it is the first of a double bill that also features the other semi final between Dublin and Donegal at 4pm.

Garveys Supervalu Senior Football Championship Draw
The draw for the Garveys Supervalu Senior Football Championship will be made this Saturday and will be live on Radio Kerry at 2:30pm. Eight Divisional and eight club sides will go into the hat and that of course is four less that 2015. The teams are as follows: Mid Kerry, Kenmare District, Dingle, Milltown-Castlemaine, Austin Stacks, St Brendans, Kerins O’Rahillys, Feale Rangers, Killarney Legion, Dr Crokes, West Kerry, South Kerry, St. Kierans, Rathmore, Kilcummin and East Kerry. The championship will be run in a new format this year where the winners of the first Round Draw will play each other and the losers of those first round games will also play each other with the losers of the latter games exiting the championship. First Round games will be played on the weekend of May 15th.

Credit Union Senior Football League
There was a full round of Division 3 fixtures last weekend after which Annascaul, Currow, Keel and St Senans have full points from their two games played, while Brosna, Ardfert and Tarbert have yet to register. There were two games in Division 4 where na Gaeil, Fossa and Skellig Rangers have full points.

This coming weekend sees Round 3 of the League go ahead with all games bar one or two pencilled in for Saturday due to Kerry’s involvement in the Allianz football league semi final. The default date of Sunday does not apply for games this weekend for the same reason.

St Brendans are Hogan Cup Colleges Champions
St Brendans College Killarney are Hogan Cup Champions for the third time following a dramatic 7 points victory over St Pats Maghera in Croke Park on Saturday last (2-13 to 2-6). An early goal for St Pats sustained them for much of the first half though the “Sem” fought back and took their points well and were just a point adrift at the break, 0-7 to 1-5. St Pats were dominant in the 3rd quarter scoring a goal through their talisman McGuigan before the turning point of the game came at the three quarter stage with the dismissal of the influential Derry minor Conor Glass for a strike on David Clifford. With Clifford coming into his own, the “Sem” outscored their opponents by 5 points to 1 in the next 12 minutes before Clifford earned his man of the match status with two fine goals in the closing minutes to seal a third Hogan Cup win in a row for Kerry schools.

Kerry and Cork clash in the Eirgrid Munster Under 21 Final
The Kerry Under 21 footballers will be appearing in their first Munster Under 21 Football Final since 2012 and will be seeking their first title since 2008 when they take on old rivals Cork in the Eirgrid Munster Under 21 football final in Tralee’s Austin Stack Park on this Thursday, a game that has a 7:30 throw-in.

Kerry’s record is poor in this competition since they were last crowned champions and Cork have added five titles to their list and Tipperary two in the intervening years. Rather surprisingly, only one All Ireland title has come to the province in the interim with Cork defeating Down in 2009.

With Jack O’Connor and his management team moving up to the Under 21 grade having led Kerry to two All Ireland Minor titles in the past two years, it is hardly surprising to find that the bulk of the team is made up of graduates from those successful minors, however, injuries have not been kind to Kerry this year with Brian Sugrue, injured in the semi final against Limerick, the latest to join the casualty list. He, along with Liam Carey, Liam Kearney and Shane Ryan will not be available for the Munster final but on the positive side, Cormac Coffey, Mark O’Connor, and Matthew Flaherty who have had long term injuries, are back in light training, as is Brandon Barrett (Injured in the quarter final) – whether the Cork game has come too soon for these players or not is hard to know.

Kerry were made to sweat all the way before disposing of Tipperary and Limerick in their two games to date, but in contrast, Cork had it all their own way as they freewheeled past Clare and Waterford. Kerry will certainly be up against it against a more experienced Cork team

A big crowd expected, there were 5,500 present the last time they met in Austin Stack Park in Tralee in 2012 when Cork won after extra time and the Munster Council are advising supporters to pre-purchase tickets at the usual sources such online at gaa.ie, participating Centra and Supervalu Stores, at the Kerry GAA Store and from Austin Stack Park. Tickets can be pre purchased right up to the 7:30pm throw-in time.

Kerry Minor Footballers in action on April 13th
There is still no confirmation of a Waterford venue when Kerry Minor footballers travel to the Deise county for their first outing in the Electric Ireland Munster Minor Football championship on Wednesday April 13th. The team is managed by Peter Keane of St Marys and selectors are Tommy Griffin of Dingle and James Foley of Kilcummin.

Keanes Supervalu Killorglin Minor Football Leagues
The ordinary rounds of the Keanes Supervalu Minor Football Leagues are coming to a conclusion with the playing of 16 back games in all Divisions this week. The playoff places will be much clearer following these games.

In Division 1, the semi final places seem to be between Dr Crokes, Austin Stacks, Firies and Gneeveguilla.

In Division 2, Na Gaeil are in the semi finals and Rathmore, Dingle and Beaufort are best placed to join them.

In Division 3A, Cordal/Scart, Annascaul/Lispole, and An Ghaeltacht are in line for semi final places and they will be joined by either Ballydonoghue or Spa.

Division 3B sees Currow in the final and Finuge and St Senans seem best placed to take the two semi final places.

Division 4A has six teams Kilgarvan/Tuosist/Templenoe head this division with Kenmare, Waterville/Dromid and Renard/St Marys also in contention for semi final places.

In Division 4B, Ballymacelligott are in the final and the two semi final places rest between Churchill, Desmonds and John Mitchels.

Beale, Asdee/Bally and Keel/Listry are in pole position for the playoff places in Division 5

Division 6 Castlegregory, Skellig/Valentia/Sneem-Derrynane, St Pats and St Michaels Foilmore are battling it out for the three places.

The playoff arrangements are as follows:

• Any group with six teams has two semi finals while groups with five teams have one semi final with the top team going through to the final.

• For groups with six teams the semi-finals pairings are: 1 v 4 and 2 v 3, with teams 1 and 2 having home advantage. However where CCC determines that travel involved is excessive then the CCC will fix the game for a neutral venue.

• For groups with five teams the top team goes straight into final and next two teams play in a semi final. The 2nd placed team is at at home to 3rd placed team, however where the CCC determines that travel involved is excessive then the CCC will fix the game for a neutral venue.

• If there is a tie, the result of the league game between the sides will determine placing.

Castleisland Mart Club Championships
There were two preliminary games down for decision last weekend in the Premier Junior Championship Qualifiers but neither of them took place as neither Ballylongford nor Kilgarvan could field a team against Tuosist or Ballyduff respectively. So both Tuosist and Ballyduff advance to the Premier Junior Championship Round 1 Qualifiers where they will meet Finuge and Keel respectively.

The Premier Junior Championship Qualifiers are basically Junior Championship teams from last year drawn against Novice teams from last year with the winners going forward to the Premier Junior Championship and the winners of that competition will represent Kerry in the Munster Junior Championship. The losers of Premier Junior Qualifiers will play in the new Junior Championship and the losers of the 1st Round Junior Championship will playoff in the Novice Championship along with Kilgarvan and Ballylongford.

The first rounds of the Castleisland Mart Club Championships will be played on April 17th.

Another All Ireland Scór title for Spa
Congratulations to the Spa (Cill Airne) Figure Dancers who won another national title in Figure Dancing at the Scór Sinsir finals in the INEC on Saturday last. Rinceoirí an Spá: Sinéad Ní Chróinín, Pádraigín Ní Mhurchú, Clár Ní Mhuimhneacháin, Céití Ní Chonchúir, Fiona Ní Cheallaigh, Ciara Ní Shé, Áine Máire Ní Niallagáin, Máire Masún, Mairéad Ní Mhongáin. Mairéad has now won 12 All-Ireland medals for dancing – a remarkable achievement! And those 8 girls worked hard for their victory…gym work, running, walking, diet and, ní nach ionadh, dancing! Great commitment! Deserved result!

Churchill Quiz Team finished in 2nd place in the final of the Quiz. The Churchill lads scored 68 out of 80. They were pipped by the Offaly team that lost out to them last year! The dedicated and hardworking Churchill quiz men: Mícheál Mag Fhionnbhair (Gaynor), Pól Ó Cullota, Seán Ó Flaithearta’, Alex Ó Dónaill. So close…but a great achievement. This team has now brought two ‘firsts’ (2014, 2015) and a ‘second’ to Kerry!

Full results: Figure Dancing - Spa (Cill Airne); Solo Singing - Galway; Recitation - Westmeath; Ceol Uirlise - Tír Eoghain; Ballad Group - Down; Sketch - Monahan; Set - Westmeath; Quiz - Offaly.

Scór na bPáistí semi-finals: The County Semi-finals of Scór na bPáistí will be held at 4pm on Saturday next (9th) in Filemore for the South Kerry clubs and at 2pm on Sunday (10th) in the ‘Tinteán’ Theatre, Ballybunion, for the North Kerry participants. The County Finals will take place on 17th April. Every single GAA club in Kerry is entitled to send a 4-person table quiz team to the county final on Sunday 17th April.

Hurling News with Tommy O’Connor of the PR & Marketing Committee
Kerry Senior Hurlers retain their Division 1B status in AHL
The Kerry senior hurlers retained their Division 1B Allianz hurling league status on Saturday evening last with a fantastic 2 – 27 to 1 – 19 win over Laois in their relegation play-off game. This was a marvellous occasion for Kerry hurling with great support and a superb performance. Well done to all the players involved, under the captaincy of Daniel Collins (Kilmoyley) and the management team of Ciarán Carey, Mark Foley, James McCarthy, Michael Conway and Damien Ryall.

Kerry’s next outing will be in the Leinster Senior Championship round robin series which commences on Sunday, 1st May with a home game in Tralee against Carlow. Further games on 7th May at home to Westmeath and on Sunday, 22nd May away to Offaly at O’Connor Park, Tullamore.

Todd Nolan Tournament
The Todd Nolan inter county hurling tournament will take place on this Saturday, 9th April at the John Mitchel’s G.A.A. grounds. Teams taking part are the Kerry minor team and Under 17 Development squads from Clare, Cork and Tipperary. First round games at 12 noon - Kerry v Tipperary and Clare v Cork. Finals at 2.30p.m.

This tournament, which commenced in 2008, commemorates the former Kerry and Crotta O’Neill’s hurler, Todd Nolan – he also played Railway Cup hurling with Munster in 1969 and won a Co. Senior Championship medal in 1968.

Credit Union Co. Senior hurling league
Round 2 of the Credit Union Co. Senior hurling league Division 1 is scheduled for this weekend. First up is Abbeydorney versus St. Brendan’s which is fixed for this Friday, 8th April at Abbeydorney, 7.45p.m. (the game doubles up as a North Kerry senior league game). Check with the various clubs for details of the other games: Ballyheigue v Ballyduff; Kilmoyley v Causeway; Lixnaw v Crotta O`Neill's.

The Tralee Parnell’s Hurling Club main fundraiser, for the year - a Race Night - takes place on Saturday week, 16th April in the Fels Point / Rose of Tralee Hotel at 8.30p.m. Further details on the club website or from secretary.traleeparnells.kerry@gaa.ie Outdoor hurling this Friday in the I.T North campus astro turf from 7.00p.m. to 8.00p.m. for under 6 & 8 boys and girls and under 10 boys. Equipment can be loaned for the session. All other hurling and camogie teams train in Caherslee on Friday’s at 7.00p.m.

The Crotta Hurling Coiste na nÓg & Senior club awards night will also be held on Saturday week, 16 April at 7.30pm in the St. Columba Centre, Kilflynn. Guest of honour will be 8 time All-Ireland winner and 2 time All-Star, Kilkenny’s Richie Power.