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PRO GAA Scene April 20th 2016 2016-04-20 23:16:00

Kerry and Dublin in Allianz League Final Showdown

All roads lead back to Croke Park for Kerry football fans on Sunday next when the Kingdom travel to headquarters to take on the All Ireland champions, Dublin, this time in the Allianz League Division 1 final. It is Kerry’s first League final since 2009 when they defeated Derry having been defeated by the same county in the previous year’s final and of course 2009 will be fondly remembered as a year when Kerry went on to complete the double with victory over Cork in that year’s All Ireland final. It is hard to believe that we have to go all the way back to 1987 for the last meeting between Kerry and the Dubs in a League final and on that occasion a star studded Kerry side were beaten on a 1-11 to 0-11 scoreline. We did not know it at the time maybe, but that defeat was the beginning of the end for the greatest team ever to grace Croke Park.

It will be interesting to see how both managers will approach Sunday’s showdown. Will there be a bit of shadow boxing ahead of the championship or will one or both sides want to lay down a marker ahead of a possible championship meeting in August? Dublin have put together an extraordinary run of victories in the both League and Championship and they now stand one game away from achieving a 4-in-a-row of League titles, a feat last achieved by Kerry from 1971 to 1974. Kerry for their part will not want to concede further ground to their opponents given that Dublin have had the upper hand in Championship meetings between the sides in the last few years and no doubt the Kingdom will want to head into a seven weeks break before the Munster Championship in a positive frame of mind.

While Dublin have been steamrolling all before them en route to the final, Kerry have been quietly impressive themselves putting together a run of six League victories on the trot culminating in a rather facile victory over Roscommon in the semi final and Eamonn Fitmaurice and his management team must have been on tender hooks this last weekend with all their squad involved in the various Club Championships on Saturday last.

James O’Donoghue and Anthony Maher are back doing gym work and they are the only long term injuries but Johnny Buckley remains a doubt having picked up an injury against Roscommon in the semi final, otherwise Eamonn Fitzmaurice and his management team’s biggest task is who to leave out of the 26 man match day squad for Croker.

Sunday’s encounter promises to be another epic battle between these age old rivals and hopefully, when the dust settles, Kerry will have gained their 20th League title.

Ticket Arrangements for Sunday’s Final

Sunday’s final is an all ticket game and already there is a huge interest among GAA followers given that the final is followed by the GAA’s 1916 centenary celebrations.

Throw in for the Kerry/Dublin game is 3:30 and that game will be preceded at 1:30 by the Division 2 final between Tyrone and Cavan which also promises to be a lively encounter.

Tickets, costing €35 are already on sale and concessions for OAPs and Students apply to the Cusack Stand only. Juvenile admission is €5 and applies to the Cusack and Davin Stand only. Terrace tickets cost €20. Tickets, while stocks last, are on sale via the usual channels including GAA.ie, participating Supervalu and Centra Stores throughout the county and beyond, Austin Stack Park and the Kerry GAA Store in the Outlet Centre Killarney.

The Laóchra pageant to celebrate the 1916 centenary gets underway around 5:20 and with over 3,500 participants, including representatives from every club in the country, it promises to be a memorable occasion.

Kerry GAA Supporters Club Buses to Dublin

The Kerry GAA Supporters Club will take buses to the Allianz Football League Final on Sunday next 24th of April. All seats must be booked by the Thursday night. The following are the departure times; Farranfore 6:30; Tralee 7:00 and Listowel 7:30. Contact Martin Leane, John King or Donie O’Leary.

Kerry Cruise into Munster Minor Football semi Final

Kerry cruised to victory in the first defence of their Electric Ireland Munster and All Ireland titles at Dungarvan’s Fraher Field on Wednesday evening last and the result was every bit as comprehensive as the final scoreline of 2-21 to 1-2 would suggest.

From the moment young David Clifford pointed his side in front within 13 seconds of the start there was never the slightest hint of an upset and while debutant manager Peter Keane and his backroom team will be pleased to get an outing under their belt, it is debatable if they will have learned very much from this encounter against a game but limited Waterford side but Keane will no doubt be pleased with the scoring return of 2-17 from play. Kerry will now play Clare in the semi final on May 11th at a Clare venue.

Castleisland Mart Club Championships

There were twenty eight games played in the various Castleisland Mart Club Championships last weekend and amazingly we had a winner in all games. The draws have already been made for the next rounds and the dates for those games are dependent on the availability of the Kerry senior players who are of course involved in the Allianz League final this weekend. Games involving Kerry players will be played on the bank holiday weekend while the remaining games go ahead this coming weekend.

Senior Club Championship

There were no major surprises in the quarter final games and the semi finals have thrown up a big local derby meeting of Dr Crokes and Legion while Dingle and Austin Stacks also renew rivalry in th other semi final. Both of those games will be played on Saturday week.

The two relegation playoff round 1 games involving Kerins O’Rahillys and Milltown-Castlemaine and Rathmore and Kilcummin will be played on Sunday week. One of these four teams will be relegated to Intermediate championship status in 2017. The losers of round 1 will meet in round 2 but Club sides, if any, who reach the county senior championship final will be exempt for relegation so the loser of that round 2 club championship game may not necessarily be the team to be relegated!

Intermediate Club Championship

The big news in the Intermediate championship was the defeat of All Ireland champions St Marys by Ardfert, the All Ireland champions of 2015. The fact that they then drew a team with a Kerry player on it, which prevented the game going ahead this coming weekend, has caused a major headache for the CCC as Ardfert have both John Egan and Darren Dineen involved with the Kerry hurlers who have three outings in May and their game with An Ghaeltacht remains to be fixed. Elsewhere, Templenoe continued their unbeaten start to the new season while St Michael-Foilmore’s narrow victory over neighbours Skellig Rangers will see the Portmagee side demoted to Premier Junior in 2017 being the lowest ranking first round loser based on county league status.

Desmonds and Currow meet in a local derby in Castleisland this weekend in the first of the quarter finals with the Spa/Kenmare and St Michaels-Foilmore games going back to the June weekend.

Junior Premier Club Championship – Qualifiers

The sixteen Junior Premier Club Championship Qualifiers played last weekend basically saw a Junior team drawn against a Novice team based on the 2015 championships. The 16 winners qualify for the new Premier Junior competition while the 16 losers will take part in the Junior Championship. There is no doubt about the big talking point following these games played last weekend and that is Moyvane’s victory over Division 2 side Listry. Listowel Emmets also came perilously close to defeat at Lispole scraping home by a point, while Ballydonoghue and Renard defeated higher ranking sides in Scartaglen and and Tarbert respectively. There are six games down for decision this weekend in the Premier Junior competition and five games in the Junior Championship. First round losers in the Junior championship will take part in the Novice championship.

Keanes Supervalu Killorglin Minor Leagues

The Keanes Supervalu Killorglin Minor Football Leagues have reached the concluding stages in all Divisions with four of the eight finalists known following semi finals last weekend.

The following finals will be played on this Friday evening at 6:45pm except where stated otherwise. Venues to be decided:

Division 2: Na Gaeil V Rathmore.

Division 3A: Cordal/Scart V Annascaul/Lispole (5:45)

Division 4B: Ballymac play Churchill

Division 5: Beale V Asdee/Ballylongford

Division 6: Castlegregory play the winners of Skellig/Valentia/Sneem-Derrynane V St Michaels-Foilmore semi final which was due to take place on Tuesday evening.

The following divisions have outstanding semi finals to be played this coming weekend:

Division 1: Semi final lineup is Dr Crokes V Gneeveguilla and Austin Stacks V Firies (First named have home venue)

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

Division 4A: Kenmare play Renard/St Marys and Kilgarvan/Tuosist/Templenoe play Waterville/Dromid in the semi finals. (First named have home venue)

Kerry GAA “Night of Champions” at the Kingdom Greyhound Stadium

The Annual Kerry GAA night at the dogs fundraiser, “The Night of Champions” will take place on Friday 27th May at The Kingdom Greyhound Stadium in Tralee. Thanks to the continued support and generosity of Sponsors, Clubs and GAA Supporters alike, the “Night of Champions” has become an outstanding success in recent years and a major fundraiser for the cost of training Kerry GAA teams.

All monies from the proceeds from The Night of Champions go to the Kerry teams training fund and hopefully we will have a very successful year following the Green & Gold in both football and hurling in the coming months starting with a trip to Croke Park on Sunday next for the Allianz League football final.

Christy O’Connell of Cahersiveen is the hard working chairman of the dog night committee and he is happy that the funding raised from this event over the last few years is being put to good use; “Progress and success are not inevitable” he says. “It comes as a result of choices we make as a County to train and care for our teams and players to the highest standard. Kerry has made great progress over the past number of years with our Minors winning back to back All Irelands, our Senior team reaching two All Ireland Finals and now in they are in the Allianz League Final for 2016. Our Senior Hurlers are playing in Division 1B of the AHL, have just retained that status for 2017 and in the coming weeks will be participating in the Leinster championship round robin series. The joy we all get from following Kerry teams cannot be underestimated. Not only those of us lucky to go to the games but also others who watch or listen to the games. It is part of who we are and we are proud of our Kerry teams”.

Buster tickets have gone on sale for the event and participation in the “Buster” Race of Champions entitles the buyer to a “Buster Sequence” which this year will feature the first four placed dogs in the Race of Champions. Valuable prizes - including 1st prize €1000 for correct sequence – will be presented. Buster ticket holders will be entitled to 4 entry tickets for the Race night plus Race cards.


The Kerry finals of Scór na bPáistí were held on Sunday last in Killorglin and in Filemore and these are the results:

Rince Foirne – 1st An Tóchar (Kayleigh Elvell, Kacey Ní Dhuinnín, Donna Ní Chadhla, Jade Ní Loinsigh, Niamh Baróid, Seána Ní Choinnealeáin, Amilee Ní Cheallacháin, Brídín Puirséil); 2nd Cill Chuimín (Sorcha Piogóid, Eimear Ní Shúilleabháin, Caoimhe de Hál, Doireann Ní Dhuibhir, Mícheál Ó hÉilí, Alison Piogóid, Síle Áine Ní Fhríl, Méabh Ní Chonchúir, Réitseal Pléimeann)

Amhránaíocht Aonair – 1st An Fhaill Mhór (Sionainn Ní Dhónaill); 2nd Leic Sná’ (Ciara Ní Shúilleabháin).

Aithriseoireacht – 1st An Baile Dubh (Ciarán Ó Cearúill); 2nd Piarsaigh na Dromada (Cillian Ó Sé).

Ceol Uirlise – 1st Cill Chuimín (Liam Randles, Kirill Ní Éilí, Ewan Ó hEimhín, Olwyn Ó hEimhín, Liam Mac Fhiarais); 2nd Naomh Seanán (Aideen Ní Chaoinnealáin, Aoife Ní Mhurchú, Sinéad Ní Bheacháin, Aoibhe Ní Lionnáin).

Rince Sean-nóis – 1ú Gníomh go Leith (Seán Ó Caoimh); 2ú Dairbhre (Síle Cúipéir).

Léirú Stáitse – 1st Na Gaeil (Eimear Ní Shúilleabháin, Josh de Róiste, Seán Ó Dúghaill, Liam Óg Mac Clochaire, Siún Ní Chlúmháin, Gráinne Ní Choirc, Ciara de Ráth, Donncha Ó Muircheartaigh); 2ú Béal Átha Longfoirt (Tara Ní Loinsigh, Sorcha Cameron, Eoghan Cameron, Rhianna Cameron, Kady Accoa-Ní Mhóráin, Kyle Swift, Danielle Ní Fhionmhacáin, Elisha Broughan).

Bailéadghrúpa – 1st Naomh Pádraig (Blennerville) (Dónall Ó Gráinne, Gráinne Ní Bhriain, Judith Waugh, Tomás Ó Súilleabháin, Siobhán Ní Shúilleabháin); 2ú An Baile Dubh (Tara Ní Chiarba, Rebecca Ní Fháilbhe, Heather Ní Laighin, Aoibhe Ní Chatháin-Frizelle, Éabha Ní Chonchúir).

Rince Seit – 1ú Corra (Brian de Róiste, Adam Ó hÉilí, Seán Mac Curtáin, Dara Ó Ceallaigh, Aoife de Róiste, Máire Lile Ní Chatháin, Cara Pléamann, Fiona Ní Bhrosnacháin; Ionadaithe: Ailbhe Pléamann, Liam Ó Súilleabháin); 2ú Cill Chuimín (Séamus Mac Uilliam, Caoimhe Ní Liatháin, Ewan Ó hEimhín, Ailbhe Ní Bhrosnacháin, Cian Ó Loinsigh, Danielle Ní Ghliasáin, Kirill Ní Éilí, Clara Nic Cárthaigh, Amy Ní Sheasnáin).

Quiz: 1ú An Ráth Mhór (Aindrias Ó Muimhneacháin, Dara Ó Muircheartaigh, Pádraig Ó Fionnagáin, Liam Ó Cathasaigh); 2nd Baile an Mhuilinn/Caisleán na Mainge (Cathal Ó Dálaigh, Risteard Ó Baoill, Breandán Ó Cathasaigh, Sorcha Ní Fhlaithearta’).

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

Kerry Senior Hurlers look forward to Leinster Championship!

On Sunday week, 1st May, the Kerry senior hurlers will make their debut in the Leinster Senior Championship round robin series with a home game in Tralee against Carlow. This game will have a 1.00p.m. throw in time.

Further games on Saturday, 7th May at home to Westmeath, 3.00p.m. and on Sunday, 22nd May away to Offaly at O’Connor Park, Tullamore.

Credit Union Co. Senior hurling league

Round 3 of the Credit Union Co. Senior hurling league Division 1 is scheduled for this weekend. The pairings are: Causeway v Abbeydorney; Ballyheigue v Kilmoyley; Ballyduff v Crotta O`Neill's and St. Brendan’s v Lixnaw. Please check with the various clubs for exact fixture details.

Division 2 is due to commence on 2nd May. Fixtures will be issued shortly.

Celtic Challenge

The Celtic Challenge is a competition for players, aged 16 and 17 years old, who are not participating in State Examinations during May and June. 38 teams country wide will participate in the competition. It will run on Wednesdays for 5 consecutive weeks, from 4th May – more information on http://www.gaa.ie/my-gaa/getting-involved/the-celtic-challenge. The ethos of the competition is a developmental one, where a programme of meaningful games is supplemented by a 1 to 1 ratio of games to training. Each team will play a minimum of 5 games through a programme that is structured on the basis of Group Stages, Qualifiers and Play Offs.

After the Group Stages, teams will be graded on foot of their performance and will be assigned to 1 of 5 Divisions, prior to participating in the Qualifiers and Play-offs where they will play against opposition of a comparative level. 5 Finals will be played on Saturday, 18th June. Kerry will participate in Group D where they will play Cork City, West Limerick, Limerick City and North Cork.


St. Rynagh’s (Offaly) won the 5th annual Patrick O’Mahony Memorial Tournament which was hosted by the Ballyheigue Club last weekend. In the semi-finals, St. Rynagh’s had a 0 – 15 to 1 – 10 win over Kilmoyley while Dromin Athlacca (Limerick) defeated Ballyheigue by 1 – 9 to 0 – 8. The Offaly side won the final by 2 – 9 to 1 – 6.

Hurling Cúl Camps 2016

The 2016 Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps for Hurling in Kerry have been arranged as follows: Causeway (4 – 8 July), Lixnaw & Ballyduff (11 -15 July), Ballyheigue & Kenmare (18 - 22 July), Ardfert & Fitzgerald Stadium (25 – 29 July), Abbeydorney (1 – 5 August), Crotta O’Neill’s – Dromakee (8 – 12 August) and Kilmoyley & Tralee Parnell’s - Caherslee (15 – 19 August).

Cost is €55 per child with reductions for additional members of families. Camps are open to primary school children between 6 and 13 years of age. Monday’s to Friday’s, 10.00a.m. – 2.30p.m. daily. Further details at www.kelloggsculcamps.gaa.ie