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PRO GAA Scene March 15th 2017 2017-03-14 21:58:00

Hoping for a Kerry V Dublin Classic in Austin Stack Park

Saturday night’s unique clash of Kerry and Dublin in Round 5 of the Allianz League is likely to be an occasion talked about, one way or the other, for many a day to come – Kerry and Dublin matches usually are! The Dubs certainly have had the upper hand on their Kingdom opponents in the last six years or so and particularly under the stewardship of Jim Gavin and they come to Austin Stack Park hoping to add to their very impressive record of going unbeaten in 33 League and Championship games – a statistic that includes back to back All Ireland titles.

Kerry for their part are in a transition period right now with the likes of Aidan O’Mahony and Marc Ó Sé likely be joined on the sidelines in the next year or so by two or three more veterans who have given the Kingdom tremendous service. Of course Kerry have had an unequalled run of success at Minor level in recent years but it take time to mould a team of youngsters together,  a lesson that even the likes of Mick O’Dwyer had to learn after initially claiming the Sam Maguire at the first attempt with a team of unknowns in 1975.

Kerry have been blowing hot and cold in the League so far gaining four points on the road against Donegal and Roscommon while playing impressively in both, but on the other hand, they disappointed themselves and their home following when going down on home soil to both Mayo and Monaghan. In the latter game in particular, Kerry never got going against a side who set themselves up defensively and when they did get the bit between their teeth towards the end, they ran out of time.

Dublin will hardly be as defensively minded as the Farney men were – quite the opposite in fact – and one would presume that the Kerry defence will be under pressure to control the rampaging running from deep from all quarters by the Metropolitans. Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice is likely to keep faith with the bulk of the team that did duty in Roscommon and that means that the likes of the thee newer players on the team will get another chance to stake a claim for a permanent place come championship time.

A game under lights before a capacity 12,000 crowd against the All Ireland champions is sure to be explosive and here’s hoping that after another classic encounter between the age old rivals, Kerry will have prevailed.

The game throws in at 7pm and referee is Sean Hurson of Tyrone. Match Programmes cost €3 and proceeds go to the Austin Stack Park Committee.

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

Kerry finish up their League campaign with an away trip to Cavan on March 26th and they then have League leaders Tyrone as visitors for the final Round of the League on April 2nd.


Match Arrangements for Saturday’s game in Austin Stack Park

Patrons are reminded that the throw-in time for Saturday’s game under lights in Austin Stack Park is 7pm. This is a capacity all ticket sell-out game and no tickets will be available outside the ground. Stiles will open at 5pm and along with the main entrance, stiles will also be located at both the Mitchel’s end and the Horan’s Centre end.  There will be designated stiles on all sides for the 5,500 season ticket holders and patrons are reminded that only Kerry and Dublin season tickets will be valid for this sell-out match.

Patrons are also reminded that accommodation in the stand in Austin Stack Park will be on a first come first served basis and reserving of seats for latecomers will be strictly outlawed. Once the stand is deemed full then no further admittance to that area will be allowed.

Special Parking will be available in the large open area adjacent to The Rose Hotel in Ballymullen, in the Kingdom Greyhound Stadium and in the Kerry College of Further Education in Clash Rd and we ask patrons to please park responsibly as tow away will be in operation.

Patrons coming from East and Mid Kerry are reminded that a special train will run from Rathmore to Tralee departing at 4:40pm serving Killarney and Farranfore and returning all the way to Cork at 9:45pm. Book on line www.irishrail.ie


New Kerry GAA Lotto Draw to be announced

During the half time break in the Kerry V Dublin Allianz League game on Saturday night details of a brand new Kerry GAA Lotto Draw will be announced with entry to the Lotto also including entry to the Kerry GAA Car Draw, draws for All Ireland Tickets and concert tickets such as Coldplay etc. The Lotto jackpot already stands at €20,000 so there are now added incentives to join. Yearly membership is €100.


Dr Crokes going for All Ireland Club glory

County champions Dr Crokes head to Croke Park on St Patricks hoping to bring further All Ireland glory to both club and county when taking on the Ulster standard bearers Slaughtneil of Derry in the All Ireland Club final. It’s all of twenty five years since the Killarney side won their one and only All Ireland title defeating a fancied Thomas Davis side in the final and only Laune Rangers in 1996 have managed to emulate that feat since then. Of course Dr Crokes hardly need reminding that they have come out the wrong side of semi -final results on three occasions in recent years and no doubt they will be striving tooth and nail to make up for those galling defeats at the hands of Crossmaglen Rangers, Ballymun Kickhams and Castlebar Mitchels.

This Dr Crokes side deserves, and are every bit good enough, to win an All Ireland title. Many of the veterans on the team have 6 county championship medals and five Munster championships but they would dearly love to add the coveted All Ireland Club medal to that collection. Is there anyone who would begrudge the likes of Eoin Brosnan and Colm Cooper such an accolade?

The Killarney side face strong opposition from a team who themselves tasted All Ireland final defeat just a couple of years ago. Their victory over a very fancied St Vincents side in the semi final was unexpected to say the least and Ulster clubs have the habit of bringing the whole province out in support.

It will take a monumental effort on the part of Dr Crokes to get their hands on the Andy Merrigan Cup but it is a task that is well within the reach of Johnny Buckley and his men. They carry our best wishes on Friday. The game throws in at 5pm and the experienced Maurice Deegan of Laois will be the referee.


Kerry Under 21’s looking for a final place

Kerry Under 21 footballers will be attempting to secure a Munster final place when they travel to Fraher field in Dungarvan on this Wednesday evening to take on Waterford in the Munster semi final. A fancied Kerry side that contained nine players who had featured in last year’s campaign, did not have it all their own way against a plucky Clare side in the quarter final at Austin Stack Park on Wednesday last before winning comfortably in the end by 1-17 to 2-8. That game is sure to stand to the Kerrymen however, while Waterford make their first appearance of the campaign. Kerry manager Jack O’Connor has kept faith with the side that started in Tralee and no doubt he will be looking for a tightening up in defence following the concession of two goals last time out. The game throws in at 7:30 and the winners will play Limerick or Cork on March 29th in the final.


Senior Football League gets underway

Following the playing of the additional Round 13 games in Division 5 last weekend, the very popular Credit Union Senior football Leagues get underway in earnest this coming weekend with an almost full round of games in all Divisions. Obvious exceptions are Austin Stacks vs Dr Crokes in Division 1 and the meeting of Dr Crokes and Scartaglen in Division 4 both of which will go back to June 25th due to the Killarney side’s All Ireland involvement.

The vast majority of games are scheduled for Sunday at 2pm but by agreement the Division 4 games between Duagh and Sneem-Derrynane (1:30) and Keel and Beale (2pm) and the Division 5 game between Austin Stacks and Moyvane (2pm) are all brought forward to St Patricks day, while the Division 1 game featuring Dingle Vs Kerins O’Rahillys is on Saturday at 2pm.

The county Leagues  have stood the test of time down through the years and are a firm favourite with players and supporters alike. 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.  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. For the fifteenth year in a row they will be sponsored by Chapter 23 of the Irish League of Credit Unions.


Division 1 

Newcomers: Rathmore, An Ghaeltacht and St Marys – All promoted from Division 2

As already stated the big game in Division 1 between Austin Stacks and Dr Crokes has been postponed but there are plenty glamorous games with the meeting of Dingle and Kerins O’Rahillys on Saturday, the clash of All Ireland Junior Champions Glenbeigh-Glencar with John Mitchels in Glenbeigh and the meeting of two of the promoted sides Rathmore and An Ghaeltacht catching the eye.


Division 2

Newcomers: Legion, Kenmare and Kilcummin from Division 1 and Ardfert, Currow and St Pats from Division 3

There is a big local derby in Derreen where Legion take on Spa, while Kilcummin entertain Kenmare in Kilcummin. Newly promoted Listry have home venue against Glenflesk while Waterville face the long trip to Listowel to take on Emmets.


Division 3

Newcomers: Finuge, Laune Rangers and At Michaels-Foilmore from Division 2 and Fossa, Na Gaeil and Ballymac from Division 4

In Division 3, all eyes will be on Laune Rangers who are certainly in unfamiliar territory in this Division – they face fellow relegated side Finuge, while Na Gaeil and Fossa, who got to know each other pretty well last season, meet in Tralee while Gneeveguilla have Ballydonoghue as visitors.


Division 4

Newcomers: Tarbert, Beale and Keel from Division 3 and Castlegregory, Duagh and Sneem-Derrynane from Division 5.

Two promoted sides meet in Duagh where Sneem-Derrynane are the visitors while two sides who were relegated from Division 3 last season, Keel and Beale meet in Keel.  Newly promoted Castlegregory travel to Renard.


Division 5

Newcomers: Moyvane, Valentia and Churchill from Division 4 and Kilgarvan who did not take part last year.

Division 5 is already underway with six games in Round 13 decided last weekend which saw wins for Kilgarvan, Knocknagoshel, Rathmore, Ballylongford, Cromane  and Cordal. There are two additional rounds in this division due to the addition of Kilgarvan who have re-joined the league. For logistical reasons, it was decided to play Round 13 last weekend and Round 12 on the weekend of June 25th with all the other rounds coinciding with fixtures in the other divisions of the league.

Two sides who have been going through tough time lately meet in Ballylongford where Kilgarvan are the visitors while Cordal, who had a big win last weekend entertain Tuosist. Churchill facethe long trip to Valentia and Ballyduff host a local derby with Asdee as visitors.


Keanes Supervalu Killorglin Minor Football League

The Keanes Supervalu Killorglin Minor Football League fixtures have certainly take a bit of a bashing so far this year due to the semi final replays of the Corn Uí Mhuirí, the atrocious weather for Round 2 and the All Ireland Colleges U16 ½ semi final last weekend. In all over twenty games have fallen by the wayside and it is hoped to play eight of those this coming weekend with games fixed for St Patrick’s Day and Saturday.


St Brendans College in Hogan Cup semi final

Best wishes go to St Brendans College Killarney who play St Colemans Claremorris in the Hogan Cup semi final on this Saturday. The game is fixed for Ennis at 2pm.


Foundation Course for New Referees

A foundation course for new referees commences on Tuesday evening next in the pavilion of Austin Stack Park and continues on Thursday 23rd and Monday 27th March with all courses commencing at 7:30pm. These courses are obligatory for new referees.


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

Kerry Hurlers give best to Galway in Allianz League

The Kerry senior hurlers put up a very good performance against Galway in Round 4 of the Allianz Hurling League, played at Tralee last Sunday. Although defeated in the end by 1 - 22 to 0 - 12, Kerry matched their opponents for long stages, in particular in the first half. The sides were level at 0 – 7 each after 30 minutes and a Galway goal just before half time left Kerry with an uphill battle facing the strong wind in the second half. However, Galway never fully dominated as Kerry played some very good hurling and it was the overall accuracy of Joe Canning from frees and play that kept them well in front and worthy 13 point victors at the finish.

The remaining league fixture will be against Offaly on Sunday, 26 March at Austin Stack Park, 3.00p.m.


Minor Hurlers in Leinster League action

The Kerry minor hurlers were defeated by Carlow, 1 – 15 to 2 – 9 in round 1 of the 2017 Leinster minor hurling league played at Dr. Cullen Park, Carlow last Saturday. . The team & panel of players was: Adam O’Sullivan, capt. (Crotta O’Neill’s), Philip Maunsell (Kilmoyley), Evan Murphy (Causeway), Gerard Leen (Causeway), Conor O’Keeffe (Lixnaw), Gearoid O’Mahony (Causeway), Shane McElligott (Lixnaw), Adrian Nolan (St. Brendan’s), Jeaic McKenna (Crotta O’Neill’s), Bryan McAuliffe (Lixnaw), Gearóid Fennessy, (Kilgarvan), Donal Hunt (Crotta O’Neill’s), Padraig O’Mahony (St. Brendan’s), Gavin Dooley (Causeway), Jack O’Sullivan (Ballyduff). Subs: John Quilter (Crotta O’Neill’s), Chris Creedon (Kilgarvan), Shane O’Mahony (St. Brendan’s), Nathan Dineen (Causeway), Gary Carey (Causeway), Darren Barrett (Causeway), Richard Flaherty (Kilmoyley), Diarmuid O’Connor (St. Brendan’s), Johnny Downey (Tralee Parnell’s).

Round 2 will be away to Wicklow on this Saturday, 18 March.


Hurling Cúl Camps 2016

The 2017 Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps for Hurling in Kerry are: Causeway & Rathmore (3 – 7 July), Lixnaw & Ballyduff (10 - 14 July), Ballyheigue & Kenmare (17 - 21 July), Abbeydorney, Ardfert & Fitzgerald Stadium (31 July – 4 Aug.), Crotta O’Neill’s – Dromakee (7 – 11 August) and Kilmoyley & Tralee Parnell’s - Caherslee (14 – 18 August).

Cost is €60 per child with reductions for additional members of families. Open to primary school children, boys and girls 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


Kerry Hurlers in Club Final action

In a historic first, 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.

For the record, former Kerry hurler, John O’Grady (Ballyduff) won an All-Ireland club in 1979 when playing at centre field for Cork’s Blackrock, They defeated Ballyhale Shamrocks in the final, played at Semple Stadium, by 5 – 9 to 5 – 5.