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PRO GAA Scene April 13th 2016 2016-04-13 23:09:00

Kerry cruise into Allianz League Final

Kerry cruised into their first Allianz League final since 2009, and a meeting with Dublin, following a comprehensive ten points victory over Roscommon at a windy Croke Park on Sunday afternoon last (3-15 to 0-14). Three first half goals by Colm Cooper, Donnchadh Walsh and Darran O’Sullivan for the Kingdom killed off the Connaught side’s challenge and there was never a remote chance that Roscommon would repeat their Round 2 victory over the wearers of the green and gold.

Aidan O’Mahony, captaining his county for only the second time at senior level, won the toss and pointed in the direction of the Davin goal to play with the elements and Kerry wasted little time in letting the ball do the work when wind assisted. At the break they led by 3-8 to 0-5 and the game was as good as in the bag at that stage. Kerry went through the motions in the second half and Roscommon, deprived of the oxygen that a goal can give, gave of their best but on the day it was just not good enough to deprive Kerry of a first meeting with the metropolitans since 1987. The teams will meet in Croke Park on Sunday 24th April at 3:30 a game that will be preceded at 1:30 by the Division 2 final between Tyrone and Cavan.

There is also a major entertainment event planned for Croke Park on that day to celebrate the centenary of 1916. Tickets, costing €35 are already on sale.


The Garveys SuperValu Senior County Football Championship Draw

The Draw for the Garveys SuperValu Senior County Football Championship Round 1 was made on Saturday last live on Radio Kerry. Kevin McCarthy representing Garveys SuperValu and Peter Twiss, Secretary Kerry County Committee did the honours. Also present were Leona Twiss Cultural Officer and John O'Leary County PRO.

As usual, the draw threw up some intriguing ties with champions South Kerry travelling to Tralee to take on Kerins O’Rahillys. Dr Crokes, already many people’s favourites to lift the Cup, have a home game against West Kerry while there is a big all club meeting in Rathmore where the locals take on Dingle. First Round games will be played on the weekend on the 14th and 15th May.

The Draw resulted in the following pairings:

Dr. Crokes V West Kerry

Milltown/Castlemaine V Killarney Legion,

Kerins O'Rahilly's V South Kerry,

Mid Kerry V Kilcummin,

East Kerry V Austin Stacks,

St Kierans V Feale Rangers

Rathmore V Dingle,

St Brendan's V Kenmare District.


Kerry lose out to Cork in Munster Under 21 Final

The concession of three goals, two in the first half when wind assisted, and the other at the three quarter stage at a time when Kerry had forged ahead, ultimately cost Kerry dearly after a tremendous hour’s football in the Eirgrid Munster Under 21 Football Final at Tralee’s Austin Stack Park on Wednesday night last, (3-9 to 1-14).

It was a game that at times displayed Gaelic Football at its best and we witnessed four top class goals and a number of excellent points from both sides. Kerry had the use of the strong wind in the first half but it was Cork, thanks to two goals, who led at the break, 2-4 to 0-7. Kerry enjoyed a good third quarter thanks to a tremendous goal by Mark O’Connor but Cork replied with a similar score and though Kerry rallied to tie the scores as the game entered added on time, it was Cork who broke away for the winner.

Kerry followers can take comfort from the fact that twelve of the starting fifteen and three of the subs used on the night are eligible for next year’s competition which of course will be the last at that grade as the age limit is under 20 from 2018.

Kerry Minors open defence of their Munster and All Ireland titles

Kerry Minor footballers open the defence of their Munster and All Ireland titles when they travel to Dungarvan on this Wednesday evening for their first outing in the Electric Ireland Munster Minor Football championship ( 7pm). There are seven survivors from last year’s All Ireland match day panel including Billy Courtney, Bryan Sweeney, Cormac Linnane, Mike Breen, Graham O’Sullivan, Sean O’Shea, and Daniel O’Brien while the likes of Darren Casey, David Shaw, Niall Collins, Michael Reidy and Ferdia O’Brien were among those on the extended training panel last year which should stand to them in the coming campaign.

Kerry have named a strong side with four of the match day squad for last year’s All Ireland starting while Hogan Cup champions, St Brendans College Killarney, have four players on the team. Wednesday’s team will be captained by Sean Ó Lúing of An Ghaeltacht as county champions Dingle do not have a player on the starting fifteen.

The winner of Wednesday’s game will play Clare or Limerick in the semi final on May 11th while the loser will go forward to the Round Robin series of matches.

The team is managed by Peter Keane of St Marys and selectors are Tommy Griffin of Dingle and James Foley of Kilcummin while Chris Flannery and Padraig Murphy are the physical trainers.


Club Championships get underway

The road to a possible Croke Park appearance on Club Finals day gets underway in earnest this coming weekend with Round 1 of the various Castleisland Mart Club Championships down for decision. There are 28 games in all with 8 teams participating in the Senior Club Championship; the usual 16 teams at Intermediate level and then there 32 teams participating in the Premier Junior Qualifier. Games featuring Kerry senior players have been fixed for Saturday due to their involvement in the League Final a week later.


Senior Club Championship

This competition of course has taken on a whole new significance given that a team will be relegated from the Senior Football Championship based on their performance in the Club Championship.

The winners of this weekend’s quarter finals will go forward to the semi finals but the losers of the quarter finals will take part in a relegation playoff that will decide who is demoted to Intermediate status next season from the senior County championship. Rathmore and Dingle will have a dress rehearsal for their County Championship meeting later in the year while Legion and Kerins O’Rahillys renew rivalry having met at the same stage last year. Dr Crokes, who have been posting big scores in the County League, will be fancied to overcome neighbours Kilcummin while Austin Stacks will need no reminding that opponents Milltown –Castlemaine plunged the Tralee side into relegation trouble when the sides last met in the County Championship relegation playoff last November.


Intermediate Club Championship

This competition, given the fact that only eight club teams participate in the senior championship, remains one of the most competitive championships in the country, not to mind county level. This year it contains three teams relegated from senior status last year in St Michaels-Foilmore, Laune Rangers and Ardfert and all three face tough assignments with the All Ireland Intermediate winners of 2015, Ardfert, facing their counterparts from 2016, St Marys; Laune Rangers have An Ghaeltacht as visitors and St Michaels-Foilmore have a big local derby against Skellig Rangers. High flying Templenoe, unbeaten in their three games in Division 1 of the League, visit Glenflesk and it will be interesting to see how the Kenmare District side will fare this year. The winners of this year’s Intermediate championship will be promoted to senior status in 2017.


Premier Junior Championship Qualifier

The review of the County Championships recommended that the Junior and Novice Championships should be revamped with a Premier Junior Championship and a Junior Championship. This year’s competition therefore had to take cognisance of that so the Junior Championship teams of 2015 were drawn against the Novice Championship teams from last year in a Premier Junior Championship Qualifier with the sixteen winners progressing to the Premier Junior and the winners of that competition representing Kerry in the Munster Club Championship. The sixteen losers will go forward to the Junior Championship and the losers of that Junior Championship first round will take part in the Novice Championship which in effect, replaces the Novice “B” competition. It will be interesting to see this weekend if some of the 2015 Novice teams upset the form book; Lispole entertain Listowel Emmets, John Evans’ Fossa travel to Dromid, Cordal travel to Ballymac, Castlegregory have home venue against St Senans and Beale have home venue against Churchill. These are just some of the key games to keep an eye on.


Club Championships Round 2 Draw

The next round of the respective club championships and Round 1 of the Senior Club Relegation play-off will be played over the weekends of April 23rd and the May Bank Holiday weekend. In light of Kerry's involvement in the Allianz Football League Final - Fixtures for weekend April 23rd/24th will be played on Saturday April 23rd. Games that can be played on Sat April 23rd (ie not involving Kerry Senior Footballers) - will go ahead on this date and no postponement to the following weekend will be granted.

The draws for the Castleisland Mart Senior Club Semi Finals, Castleisland Mart Senior Club Relegation Play-offs Round 1, Castleisland Mart Intermediate Championship Qtr. Finals, Castleisland Mart Junior Premier Championship Round 1 and Castleisland Mart Junior Championship Round 1 will take place next Sunday evening (April 17th) just after the 5pm news on Kerry Radio.


Credit Union Senior Football Leagues

Luck was certainly on the side of the CCC last weekend when Round 3 of the senior football leagues were down for decision. Due to Kerry’s involvement in Croke Park on Sunday, all but a small number of games were played in fine spring sunshine on Saturday, however, the atrocious weather on Sunday resulted in a couple of game not going ahead. With the commencement of the Club Championships, the Leagues take a back seat and Round 4 will not be playeduntil the June Bank Holiday weekend .

In Division 1, Dr Crokes, Dingle and Templenoe are unbeaten and continue to set the pace; St Marys, followed by An Ghaeltacht and Spa lead the way in Division 2; Currow and Keel share the top spot in Division 3 where no team has full points; Na Gaeil and Fossa are unbeaten in Division 4 and Rathmore B sit on top of Division 5 with full points.


Keanes Supervalu Killorglin Minor Football Leagues

The Keanes Supervalu Killorglin Minor Football Leagues have reached the playoff stages. Divisions with six teams have 2 semi finals and a final while in Divisions with five teams the top team goes into the final while second and third play a semi final. In all cases the team placed higher in the League table has home venue for semi finals. Finals will be played at neutral venues.

The following teams have qualified for the semi finals which will be played on this Friday evening at 6:45 with extra time in all cases if required.

Division 1: There is one back game to be played on this Friday between Austin Stacks and Dr Crokes to determine the semi final pairings. Dr Crokes, Gneeveguilla, Austin Stacks and Firies are all through.

Division 2: Na Gaeil V Legion and Dingle V Rathmore.

Division 3A: Cordal/Scart V Ballydonoghue and Annascaul/Lispole VAn Ghaeltacht.

Division 3B: Currow are in the final; Finuge play St Senans in the semi final

Division 4A: Kenmare, Kilgarvan/Tuosist/Templenoe and Waterville are through to the semi finals while the final place rests between Glenflesk who have two games in hand and Renard/St Marys who have one to play with both on 2 points.

Division 4B: Ballymac are in the final; Churchill play John Mitchels in the semi final.

Division 5: Beale are in the final; Keel/Listry play Asdee/Ballylongford in the semi final

Division 6: Castlegregory are in the final; Skellig/Valentia/Sneem-Derrynane play St Michaels-Foilmore in the semi final.


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

Kerry Hurlers begin preparations for Leinster Championship

The rise of Kerry inter county hurling was further acknowledged last week with Crotta’s Shane Nolan becoming the national G.A.A. Player of the Week.

Shane was also named on the G.A.A. Team of the Week at corner forward while his team mate, Darren Dineen (St. Brendan’s) was also selected, in the centre back position. After a short break, Kerry will shortly begin preparations for the first round of the Leinster Senior Championship round robin series which commences on Sunday, 1st May with a home game in Tralee against Carlow.


Ian Brick is Kerry Under 21 Hurling Manager

Ian Brick of Kilmoyley was appointed as the new Kerry Under 21 Hurling manager at last week’s County Committee meeting. He will have a strong backup team with him with the senior management team of Ciaran Carey and Mark Foley coaching, along with selectors D.J. Leahy (Causeway), John Lucid (Ballyheigue) and Aidan O’Mahony (St Brendans).


Credit Union Senior Hurling League

Only 2 games went ahead Round 2 of the Credit Union Co. Senior hurling league Division 1. last weekend. At Abbeydorney on Friday evening, St. Brendan’s had a 1 – 13 to 1 – 10 win over the home side to garner both the co. league and North Kerry league double points that were being played for. On Saturday, Ballyduff had a 0 – 17 to 1 – 8 away win over Ballyheigue.

Due to the very heavy rain on Sunday both the Kilmoyley v Causeway and Lixnaw v Crotta O`Neill's games had to be cancelled.


Todd Nolan Tournament

The Todd Nolan inter county hurling tournament did not go ahead last weekend due to the unavailability of pitches. It is hoped to re-schedule it for later in the season.

Hurley / Helmet scheme:

A hurley / helmet scheme is running in the South Kerry Hurling Division for the month of April. This is an offer where young hurlers can get a hurley, helmet and sliothar for a combined total of just €50. Each can also be purchased individually at the following prices: hurley - €15 (sizes available – 26'' 28'' 30'' 32')'; helmet - €35 (sizes available – small, medium or large); sliothar - €5. Please contact local club officers for details.


Clubs

The Tralee Parnell’s Hurling Club main fundraiser, for the year - a Race Night - takes place on this Saturday, 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

The Crotta Hurling Coiste na nÓg & Senior club awards night will also be held on this Saturday, 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.