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PRO GAA Scene March 1st 2017 2017-02-28 21:45:00

Kerry come out second best to Monaghan in Fitzgerald Stadium

The weather was not the only disappointing aspect of last Sunday’s proceedings for Round 3 of the Allianz Football League in Fitzgerald Stadium. Like Mayo before them in Round 2, Monaghan went home with both points after a game where Kerry never played with any degree of conviction. From the start, Monaghan’s possession game had Kerry back pedalling for long periods and when the Kingdom did get their noses in front thanks to a great strike by David Moran the concession of a goal from Jack McCarron before half time was a body blow to the homeside. Another Monaghan goal soon after the interval gave Monaghan a cushion for the remainder of the game given that they had the elements to their backs and the fact that Kerry went 24 minutes without scoring before Brendan Kealy pointed a free in the 69th minute is something that was particularly disappointing.  On the plus side, Kerry welcomed back the likes of Anthony Maher, Darran O’Sullivan and Stephen O’Brien and it was good to see them get badly needed game-time. So, after three rounds, Monaghan are unbeaten and have come away from both McHale Park and Fitzgerald Stadium with full points.

Kerry Post Primary Colleges and Handball Committee (match programme) and Kerry Coiste na nÓg (half-time draw) wish to thanks both the Kerry and Monaghan supporters for their generosity at the League game on Sunday.

Roscommon are next up for the Kingdom

Kerry head to Roscommon’s Hyde Park on Sunday next knowing that nothing short of two points will suffice against a side who have yet to register a point on the table having gone down to successive defeats at the hands of Tyrone, Donegal and Mayo thus far in the Allianz League. Two of those games of course were on the road and in their only home game they were pipped at the death by Donegal who sneaked a one point victory in Hyde Park.

Kerry management will be particularly disappointed to have lost both their home games in front of their hard core League support of around 5,000 tried and trusted supporters and even more so when you consider that they must still face the likes of stiff opposition in the form of Dublin and Tyrone - albeit the fact that both games are on home territory - as well as the two away games in Roscommon and Cavan.

Sunday’s game, which has a 2pm throw-in, provides Kerry with a good chance to get back to winning ways and certainly the players could do with a morale boosting victory to give a pep to their step in training. We are likely to see changes to the starting fifteen and certainly management cannot be accused of not trying out new players in the games played thus far. No one in the Kerry camp needs to be reminded that Roscommon came to Fitzgerald Stadium last year and deservedly went home with the spoils but I am sure that increased urgency in the Kerry training camp this week will be reflected on the scoreboard on Sunday next.

The Kerry team will be announced on Friday evening at 8:30 and posted on the Kerry GAA Website.

Kerry GAA Supporters Bus

The Kerry GAA Supporters Club are planning a day trip to Roscommon for the Allianz Football League game on Sunday next in Hyde Park. All seats must be booked no later than Thursday night the 2nd of March.

The Kerry GAA Supporters Club AGM will be held on Monday the 6th of March at 8pm in Ballygarry House Hotel. All are welcome.

The final away game of the Allianz League against Cavan takes place on Sunday 26th of March. This is an overnight stay. Bookings for this trip, along with full payment, will be taken on Monday the 13th of March in the Ballygarry House Hotel or the Listowel Arms Hotel at 8.30pm. Membership is now due for 2017 and all persons travelling in the supporters’ bus must have a valid 2017 membership card for insurance purposes.

Capacity for Kerry V Dublin Allianz League Game is still awaited

The GAA has confirmed that all tickets made available for the Allianz Football League meeting of Kerry and Dublin at Austin Stack Park, Tralee on Saturday March 18 (7.0), have been sold out. Public sale of tickets has resulted in 10,500 tickets, including season tickets, being allocated. A  health and safety inspection audit of the venue has taken place and news on the capacity of Austin Stack Park is still awaited. It is hoped that an increased capacity figure will lead to the availability of an additional 1,000 tickets and these too are expected to sell out quickly given the strong demand to date.

Munster Under 21 Championship

The opening Round of the Munster Under 21 Football championship is just a week away with Kerry hosting Clare in Austin Stack Park on Wednesday of next week at 7:30pm. The winners of that game will play Waterford in Dungarvan on the following Wednesday. The Munster final is fixed for March 29th.

Kerry, who will be captained by  Brian Sugrue of Renard, an  All Ireland minor medallist  in 2014, are sweating on the fitness of star defender Brian Ó Beaglaoich and of course they will be without the Dr Crokes contingent of Gavin White, Micheál Burns and Jordan Kiely who are club tied. Like many other counties, the preparation for the Under 21 championship has been interrupted by players’ participation in the Allianz League and more especially the Sigerson Cup. The panel has been whittled down to 28 players in the past few weeks.

St Brendan’s College are Corn Uí Mhuirí champions

After a closely fought first half after which St Brendans retired two points to the good (8 points to 6), the Killarney outfit pulled out all the stops in the second half with goals from Kerry minors David Shaw and Billy Courtney helping them to a comfortable 2-20 to 0-11 victory over Tralee CBS in the Corn Uí Mhuirí Munster Colleges final before a fine crowd at Austin Stack Park on Saturday last.  It is the first time that the “Sem” have put back to back titles together since their 3-in-a-row between 1972 and 1974 and it is the 5th year in a row that the trophy has come to Kerry with Pobal Scoil Chorca Dhuibhne winning four on the trot between 2012 and 2015. The semi final of the Hogan Cup is fixed for Saturday March 18th and the final is two weeks later on April 1st.

Sean Walsh’s bid for Uachtarán CLG fails

Kerryman Sean Walsh’s bid to become only the second Kerryman to be elected  Uachtarán of the most powerful sporting body in this island failed for a second time  at the annual Congress of the GAA over the weekend. In what can only be described as an overwhelming endorsement of his candidature, the new Uachtarán tofa, John Horan from Dublin, was elected on the first count which was remarkable in a five horse race.  He will take up office at next year’s congress. It was unfortunate for Sean once again but with the Munster vote split between himself and  Robert Frost in Clare and Frank Burke not too far away  in South Galway, it was always going to be extremely difficult for the Kerryman to prevail.

There certainly were some other major decisions made at Congress not least of which was the revamping of the quarter final stages of the All Ireland championship from 2018 which will see two groups of four teams with each team playing three games in their group,  one of which will be at home, another in Croke Park and the third away. Another major change will see the All Ireland Hurling and Football finals being brought forward to the end of August – peak holiday time for supporters and the busiest time of the year in many counties tourism wise.

Credit Union Senior Football League Launch

The launch of the Credit Union Senior Football League will take place in Killarney Credit Union on Monday evening next at 7:30 where the winners of the various hurling and football leagues in 2016 will be presented with their trophies. The Leagues commenced back in 1971when eight teams took part in Division 1 and the following year it was decided to form three leagues, Senior, Towns Cup and Junior and then in 1973, the Leagues really took shape with three divisions. Since then the leagues, sponsored by Chapter 23 of the Irish League of Credit Unions since 2003, have stood the test of time since and are the envy of most counties.

Keanes Supervalu Killorglin Minor Football League 

Round 2 of the Keanes Supervalu Killorglin Minor football League goes ahead this weekend. Seventeen of the games are fixed for Saturday at 4 while the Division 2 game between Kerins O’Rahillys and Kilgarvan/Tuosist/Templenoe and the Division 3B game between Spa and Kenmare are both fixed for Sunday morning at 12 noon.

Second  Club Leadership Training Programme goes ahead this week 

The second of the Club Leadership Training Programmes takes place on this Wednesday 1st March in the Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney (Innisfallen Suite) at 7:15pm.

The following Officers, Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and PRO, are requested to attend  and it is essential that all new officers, or officers who have not previously attended this training module, should attend. It will greatly assist all officers to carry out their specific roles. As in previous years we are encouraging Coiste na nÓg Officers to attend also.

The first training programme held in IT Tralee last week was well attended and it is hoped that this will be equally well attended especially by club officers in the southern half of the county.

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

Kerry Hurlers travel to Wexford

The Kerry senior hurlers will make the long trip to Wexford on this Sunday, 5th March to take on the home side in Round 3 of the Allianz Hurling League. Venue is Wexford Park where there will be a 2.00p.m. throw in. The Kerry team will be announced on Friday evening at 8:30 and posted on the Kerry GAA Website.

The remaining league fixtures are: Sunday, 12th March v Galway (at Austin Stack Park, 2.00p.m.) and Sunday, 26th March v Offaly (at Austin Stack Park, 3.00p.m.)

Under 21

The fixtures have been made for the 2017 All-Ireland Under 21 ‘B’ championship [Richie McElligott Cup]. In the quarter final Kerry have been drawn against the winners of the All-Ireland ‘C’ competition on Saturday, 12th August. The semi-finals are fixed for Saturday, 19th August with the final scheduled for Saturday, 9 September.


The Kerry minor hurlers have been paired with Carlow and Wicklow in the 2017 Leinster minor hurling league. Their opening game will be against Carlow on Saturday, 11th March. Round 2 will be away to Wicklow on Saturday, 18th March.


Tralee Parnell’s Under 8 & 10 hurling coaching continues at Tralee Sports Complex each Tuesday, from 6.00 to 6.50 pm. New players are welcome. These sessions are for boys and girls born 2007 - 2010 and new players are most welcome. This Academy runs until 14th March.

The St. Brendan’s Hurling Club annual award presentations will take place on this Saturday, 4 March at the Ardfert Community Centre, commencing at 7.30p.m. It will be preceded by club registration from 6.30p.m.

There will be 2 Kerry men in opposition in the All-Ireland senior club hurling final at Croke Park on St. Patrick’s Day. Dara O’Connell from Abbeydorney will line out for Cuala (Dublin) while Ballyduff’s Pat Joe Connolly will be on the Ballyhea (Clare) side. Both sides will be seeking their first title at this level.