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PRO GAA Scene March 22nd 2017 2017-03-21 22:00:00

Kerry and Dublin cannot be separated

Kerry and Dublin once again delivered an absorbing encounter in the Allianz League Round 5 game played under lights before a near capacity 11,858 spectators at Tralee’s Austin Stack Park on Saturday evening last. From start to finish Kerry took the game to the visitors and they could be classed as unlucky not to hold out in a Titanic finish. This was certainly a much improved performance from the home side and while I am sure that the vast majority of those privileged to be in attendance, would have settled for a share of the points before the game, there was a totally different mind-set following the game. Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice put it well when he said that “it was a point dropped but a point gained for the League”. You certainly could not fault any one of the players and the enthusiastic crowd gave them every support all through as Kerry did particularly well to fight their way back into the game following a third quarter in which Dublin had tried to break for home. Both sides will feel they could have won the game and maybe a draw was a fair result but many people will feel that the Kingdom passed up a great chance to end the Metropolitans unbeaten League and Championship run.

Cavan next up for Kerry in Breffni Park

Kerry make the long journey to Breffni Park on Sunday next for the penultimate round of the Allianz League in the knowledge that they need both points to stay in contention for a place in the Allianz League Final on April 9th. With four teams two points ahead of the Kingdom in the table, three of whom Kerry have already met, a victory on the road is a must but just as important maybe for the wearers of the green and gold is to keep up the run of good performances following two very disappointing home encounters with Mayo and Monaghan in particular. The home side will be buoyed by the fact that they lowered Mayo’s colours, and in Castlebar at that, on Sunday last and that is bound to give them confidence on their home patch.

There is no great history between these sides in recent years and last Sunday’s victory by the Breffni men was their first in Division 1 in over thirteen years. Cavan people love their football and there is sure to be a bumper attendance in Cavan for the game so Kerry will have to give another top drawer performance to guarantee them a fighting chance in their final league game against Tyrone in Fitzgerald Stadium on Sunday week. Sunday’s game throws in at 2pm and the referee is Maurice Deegan of Laois.

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 head to Cavan this weekend for the Allianz League Round 6 game against the homeside. This is an overnight stay and on Saturday buses depart Farranfore at 9am, Tralee at 9:30 and Listowel at 10am.

A reminder that the Supporters Club are also carrying a bus to the Munster Under 21 final against Cork in Páirc Uí Rinn on Wednesday week.

Dr Crokes are crowned All Ireland Club Champions

Well they may have had to wait twenty five years for it but many years of frustrating defeats are now confined to the history books as Dr Crokes were crowned All Ireland Club Champions following victory over Slaughtneil of Derry at Croke Park on St Patrick’s day. The first half of this game was a tough and interesting encounter but a moment of madness by a Slaughtneil player on the stroke of half time was to change the course of this game for good. Dr Crokes did not look the gift horse in the mouth and did just enough to get over the line after a second half that will not live long in the memory. That will hardly worry the new champions or their management team who were worthy champions and it was especially great to see that such seasoned campaigners as Colm Cooper, Eoin Brosnan, Ambrose O’Donovan, Brian Looney and Mike Moloney, to mention but a few, finally get their hands on the Addy Merrigan Cup becoming the first Kerry club to win the competition twice. Congratulations to the players, management and all involved in the Dr Crokes club.

Kerry Under 21s take on Cork in Munster Final

Kerry Under 21s secured a place in this year’s Munster Under 21 final following a very facile 1-18 to 0-7 victory over a very disappointing Waterford side at Fraher field on Wednesday of last week. This game was little more than a workout for the visitors and it will have done them little good in their build up to a final meeting with old rivals Cork in Páirc Uí Rinn on Wednesday of next week. Cork got a good test of their ability following a tough encounter with Limerick and that is sure to stand to them. Kerry will be hoping on the return to full fitness of Brian Ó Beagaloich and they will also welcome back the Dr Crokes contingent such as Gavin White and Micheál Burns. With Kerry not having won a Munster Under 21 title since 2008, this game is already being billed as the game of the season so far in a winner takes all encounter that throws in at 7:30pm.

Senior Football League is underway

The Credit Union Senior Football League got underway in earnest last weekend with games in all divisions with the two notable exceptions being the games involving Dr Crokes whose games with Austin Stacks in Division 1 and Scartaglen in Division 4 go back to June.

This weekend there is a full round of Division 2 fixtures with the highlight likely to be the Division 1 meeting of newly crowned All Ireland champions Dr Crokes and the only team to beat them in Championship football last year, Rathmore. That game will take place on Saturday at 5pm in Lewis Rd. Elsewhere in Division 1, John Mitchels entertain Austin Stacks in a local Tralee derby on Sunday.

In Division 2, the Spa and Listry game goes ahead on Saturday at 2pm, and in Division 3, where there were four draws in Round 1, the meetings of Annascaul and Gneeveguilla and Dromid Pearses and Laune Rangers stand out. In Division 4 there is a local derby in Beale where the homeside take on Tarbert and in Division 5 there is another big North Kerry local derby when Asdee host neighbours Ballylongford.

Sunday games throw in at 2pm and Round 3 of the League will be played on the weekend of April 9th.

St Brendans through to another Hogan Cup Final

St Brendans Killarney qualified for a second Hogan Cup All Ireland Colleges final in a row with a hard fought victory over St Colemans Claremorris at Ennis on Saturday last on a score of 3-13 to 1-11. It was a game that seemed to be going away from the Killarney side during the third quarter after they surrendered a four points lead but then Kerry minor David Shaw found the net twice and St Brendans were on their way to another final on April 1st where they will play the winners of the other semi final between St Marys Magherafelt of Derry and St Peters of Wexford, a game that will be played on this Wednesday.

Keanes Supervalu Killorglin Minor Football League

The Keanes Supervalu Killorglin Minor Football League Round 4 goes ahead on this Saturday but games involving players from Pobal Scoil Chorca Dhuibhne and St Brendans College are unlikely to go ahead due to those colleges being involved in All Ireland Colleges final. Between interruptions caused by bad weather and colleges action it will be necessary to play mid week games in this competition once the Hogan Cup final is over.

Castleisland Mart Junior Championship

Two preliminary round games in the Castleisland Mart Junior Championship will be played on the weekend of April 2nd when Kilgarvan play Ballylongford and Ballyduff play Knocknagoshel. The winners go forward to the last sixteen where they will play Duagh and Sneem/Derrynane respectively.

New Referees Foundation Course

The foundation course for new referees which commenced on Tuesday of this week in the pavilion of Austin Stack Park  continues on this Thursday (23rd) and Monday (27th March) with all courses commencing at 7:30pm. These courses are obligatory for new referees.

Scór na bPaistí County Finals this weekend

Sunday next March 26th will be a special day for the children from around the County who have qualified for the County Finals of Scór Na bPaistí, which will be held in the Community Centre, Foilmore with competitions commencing at 2pm sharp.
QUIZ. All Clubs taking part in the Quiz are reminded that this part of the programme is now separate from the remainder of the event; this is due to a change in the format of Scor. The venue with an 11am start will be the Intermediate School Killorglin. All Clubs involved in the finals must be present well in advance of the 11am starting time.

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

Kerry Senior Hurlers take on Offaly

The Kerry senior hurlers will play their remaining Allianz Hurling League fixture against Offaly on this Sunday, 26 March at Austin Stack Park, 3.00p.m. It is a vitally important game for the county, where a victory will guarantee Division 1B hurling again next year. It is hoped that all G.A.A. supporters generally and in particular those from hurling areas will come along to support the team.

Admission on the day costs €15 but it is available at a reduced price of €12 if purchased online on www.gaa.ie , from the Kerry GAA offices in Austin Stack Park, from the Kerry GAA Store in the Outlook Centre in Killarney or at participating Centra or Supervalu stores around the county up to midnight on Saturday. Under 16’s are free.

Tralee Parnell’s Hurling Club has got approval for a fund raising collection outside the venue, to help with the development of hurling and camogie in the Tralee area and their Under 10 team will play an exhibition game at half time.


Sunday (3.0): Kerry v Offaly, Austin Stack Park, Tralee; Limerick v Galway, Gaelic Grounds; Wexford v Laois, Innovate Wexford Park.

Wexford, Galway and Limerick are through to the quarter-finals. Wexford will top the group irrespective of how they fare against Laois and will play the fourth-placed in the Allianz Hurling League 1A in the quarter-finals. Wexford beat Laois by 0-22 to 0-21 in last year’s Allianz Hurling League.

Galway and Limerick are battling it out for the runners-up up spot to Wexford. They last met in the Allianz Hurling League in 2014 when Galway won a quarter-final tie by six points. The winners of Sunday’s game will play third-placed in the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A in the quarter-finals, with the losers facing second-placed in 1A.

Kerry and Laois have two points each, with Offaly still to pick up a point after losing all four games to date. However, they will qualify for the quarter-finals if they beat Kerry and Wexford beat Laois. A Kerry win would see them through if Laois lose to Wexford. Laois will go through if they beat Wexford and Kerry lose or draw.

In effect, Kerry, Laois and Offlay are still in contention for a quarter-final place; alternatively two of them will be in a relegation play-off.

Kerry beat Offaly by 2-18 to 2-17 in last year’s Allianz Hurling League but Offaly gained revenge in the Leinster championship ‘round robin’, winning by 3-19 to 0-20.


Round 1: Kerry 3-14 Laois 0-19; Galway 6-23 Offaly 1-12; Wexford 1-14 Limerick 0-14.
Round 2: Laois 1-26 Offaly 1-20; Wexford 1-21 Galway 3-13; Limerick 6-21 Kerry 3-8.
Round 3: Limerick 1-25 Offaly 3-15; Galway 3-31 Laois 1-11; Wexford 3-18 Kerry 0-12.
Round 4: Limerick 6-33 Laois 1-19; Wexford 1-17 Offaly 0-15; Galway 1-22 Kerry 0-12.
Round 5: Mar 26: Kerry v Offaly; Wexford v Laois; Limerick v Galway.

Minor Hurlers defeated by Wicklow

The Kerry minor hurlers were defeated by Wicklow, 1 – 13 to 0 – 10 in the Leinster minor hurling league, played at Pearse Park, Arklow last Saturday. This ends their interest in that competition. The team and panel of players was: Adam O’Sullivan, capt. (Crotta O’Neill’s), Philip Maunsell (Kilmoyley), Conor O’Keeffe (Lixnaw), Seán Casey (Kilgarvan), Jeaic McKenna (Crotta O’Neill’s), Evan Murphy (Causeway), David Linnane (Ballyduff), Chris Creedon (Kilgarvan), Gearóid Fennessy (Kilgarvan), Gary Carey (Causeway),  Nathan Dineen (Causeway), Gearoid O’Mahony (Causeway), Donal Hunt (Crotta O’Neill’s), Gavin Dooley (Causeway), Padraig O’Mahony (St. Brendan’s). Subs: John Quilter (Crotta O’Neill’s), Shane O’Mahony (St. Brendan’s), Diarmuid O’Connor (St. Brendan’s), Darren Barrett (Causeway), Richard Flaherty (Kilmoyley), Gerard Leen (Causeway), Dominic Nolan (Crotta O’Neill’s). Their next outing will be in the annual Todd Nolan Tournament which takes place on Saturday, 1 April.

The Kerry Under 17 team will go in to action on Tuesday, 11th April in the Munster championship, playing Clare at Cusack Park, Ennis. This is a once off competition to facilitate players who will not have minor grade competition next year due to the lowering of the age qualification. The Celtic Challenge Under 17 competition will be played on Wednesdays during May, commencing on the 3rd.

Congratulations to Darragh O’Connell

Former Abbeydorney player Darragh O’Connell did Kerry hurling proud on St Patrick’s Day in Croke Park when giving a man of the match display as his adopted club, Cuala, defeated Ballyea of Clare to win a first ever All Ireland senior club title. Commiserationsto Ballyduff’s Pat Joe Connolly who was on the losing side.

Co. League

The Tralee Credit Union Co. Senior hurling league Division 1 (Nicholas Scollard Cup) gets underway on the weekend of 9th April. Round 1 fixtures are: Lixnaw v Abbeydorney; Causeway v Ballyduff; Crotta v Kilmoyley. The game between Ballyheigue and St. Brendan’s was doubled up with a North Kerry League game last weekend, with Brendan’s coming out on top by 1 – 10 to 0 – 5.


Saturday: Dublin v Roscommon, Croke Park 7.0.

Sunday: Tyrone v Mayo, Omagh; Donegal v Monaghan, Ballyshannon 3.0; Cavan v Kerry, Kingspan Breffni Park 2.0

There’s nothing settled yet in terms of the final or relegation places but Roscommon (0 pts) are in a perilous position at the bottom of the table, needing to beat Dublin (7pts) and Cavan (3pts) to give themselves any chance of extending their stay in the top flight for a third season.

Even if Roscommon won both of their remaining games, Mayo (4pts) would need to lose against Tyrone and Donegal to give Kevin McStay’s men a chance of staying up. Roscommon have lost their last eight Allianz League games as they head for Croke Park to take on Dublin (seeking to extend their unbeaten run to 35 games). Dublin beat Roscommon by a point in last year’s Allianz League.

Dublin, Donegal, Tyrone and Monaghan are all on seven points, which makes it highly probable that the finalists will come from that quartet, although Kerry (5pts) have an outside chance.

Tyrone, who lost their first game in this Allianz Football League when going down to Donegal last Saturday, host Mayo on Sunday. Mayo beat Tyrone by a point in last year’s All-Ireland quarter-final while Tyrone won the last Allianz League clash between the counties in February 2015.

Donegal and Monaghan met twice in last year’s Ulster semi-final, drawing 1-11 to 0-14 before Rory Gallagher’s men won the replay by 0-17 to 2-10. Monaghan beat Donegal by 1-10 to 1-9 in last year’s Allianz League.

Cavan’s win over Mayo last Sunday – their first in the current campaign – has boosted their prospects of survival in Allianz League Division 1 but they are still in the relegation zone so they may have to win their last two games (Kerry, Roscommon) to have a chance of achieving it.


Round 1: Dublin 0-18 Cavan 0-11; Kerry 2-17 Donegal 1-17; Tyrone 0-18 Roscommon 1-9; Monaghan 1-11 Mayo 0-12.
Round 2: Mayo 0-15 Kerry 1-10; Dublin 0-10 Tyrone 1-7; Donegal 0-16 Roscommon 2-9; Monaghan 0-7 Cavan 0-7.
Round 3: Mayo 1-19 Roscommon 0-14; Donegal 2-5 Dublin 1-8; Monaghan 2-8 Kerry 1-10; Tyrone 0-19 Cavan 1-9.
Round 4: Dublin 1-16 Mayo 0-7; Donegal 1-16 Cavan 0-11; Tyrone 0-14 Monaghan 0-10; Kerry 1-19 Roscommon 1-13.
Round 5: Donegal 0-12 Tyrone 0-6; Kerry 0-13 Dublin 0-13; Cavan 1-14 Mayo 0-15; Monaghan 2-17 Roscommon 1-13.
Round 6: Mar 25: Dublin v Roscommon; Mar 26: Cavan v Kerry; Tyrone v Mayo; Donegal v Monaghan.
Round 7: Apr 2: Monaghan v Dublin; Mayo v Donegal; Kerry v Tyrone; Roscommon v Cavan.
Final: Apr 9: 1 v 2