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PRO GAA Scene April 5th 2017 2017-04-05 18:27:00

Kerry GAA Weekly News Wednesday April 5th 2017

Colm Cooper calls time on his illustrious inter-county career

Colm Cooper, one of the greatest Kerry players ever to grace the game of Gaelic Football, has decided to call time on his illustrious inter-county career.  The Dr Crokes player, who will turn 34 in June, does so just two weeks after winning the one medal that had eluded him for many years – an All Ireland Club Championship medal.

Cooper first came to the attention of the Kerry GAA public when winning a Senior Co. Championship medal in 2000 at the tender age of 17 in the company of his brothers Danny and Vince when Dr Crokes defeated An Ghaeltacht.

A year and a half later he made his senior debut for Kerry in the Allianz League Division 2 Final against Laois in the Gaelic Grounds and duly helped himself to 1-2 in the No. 15 jersey.

Later that year he made his Championship debut against Limerick and although he and his Kerry team-mates had to give best to Armagh in the All Ireland Final of that year, he was recognised by the All Star selectors in his very first year at senior level. He went on to play in 9 All Ireland Finals, winning 4, and was unlucky to be still recovering from a serious injury when Kerry defeated Donegal in the 2014 final.

In all he played 85 Championship games for Kerry scoring 23-283 in the process and along the way he won every honour available to him including Texaco Footballer of the Year in 2004 and 8 All Stars.

Cooper, an exemplary sportsman, endeared himself not only to the Kerry faithful but also to the wider GAA community where he was the perfect role model for our youth. He exuded class in everything he did on the field of play and we were once again reminded of that on St Patrick’s day when he scored the all important goal as Dr Crokes triumphed in the Club Championship final – 25 years after their first title when a youthful Colm Cooper was the team mascot.

Colm Cooper leaves a treasure throve of memories behind him for us all to savour and on behalf of Kerry supporters everywhere and indeed on behalf of the extended GAA community, today we say “thanks for those memories Colm”.

Kerry Overcome Tyrone

A much improved performance on recent outings saw Kerry overcome a lethargic Tyrone side by seven points (1-21 to 2-11) before a fine attendance of 8,125 sun drenched spectators at Fitzgerald Stadium on Sunday last. Kerry got off to the perfect start with Michael Geaney’s early goal giving them a cushion that they retained for the rest of the game.  By half time Kerry looked to be on their way with a nine points advantage and so it turned out to be though Eamonn Fitzmaurice will have been disappointed with the concession of two second half goals that may have proved costly against better opposition. Still, this was a very satisfying performance in front of the home support and of course subsequently Santa came very early to the Kerry camp when it became clear that mayo’s victory over Donegal meant that Kerry had qualified for the League final against All Ireland and League champions, Dublin thanks to a slightly better scoring difference.

It must be said that this was a particularly off colour Tyrone side who showed little of their usual hard work and strong running usually associated with O’Neill county sides. Still Kerry can only play what’s put in front of them and no doubt this result will be a confidence booster as they head to Croke Park once again on Sunday next.

Kerry and Dublin clash in the League Final

Another instalment in the Kerry Vs Dublin saga is about to unfold on Sunday next when surprise finalists, Kerry, head to Croke Park to take on the all-conquering Dubs in the Allianz League Division 1 final. Just three weeks have passed since the sides played out an enthralling draw in Austin Stack Park before a sell-out 12,000 attendance and the likelihood is that we can add 70,000 to that crowd for Sunday’s game which has a 4pm throw-in time.

While Dublin have been breaking records in their voyage through the League, Kerry on the other hand have been mixing the good and the bad. They had an impressive victory in Donegal in the opening round but then contrived to lose Round 2 to Mayo on home soil having been in control of the game at the break. Their display against Monaghan in Killarney was disappointing to say the least but having taken care of Roscommon, they hit the ground running against Dublin  and were unlucky not to close that game out before allowing Dublin snatch an equaliser. That trend continued against Cavan when Kerry were also in a winning position entering injury time before conceding two equalising scores but they played with a freedom against Tyrone that was as refreshing as it was welcome.

Kerry have certainly been at the wrong end of the scoreline against the Metropolitans in recent years and certainly they have not always had that little rub of the green that you need to win tight games with last year’s semi final being the most recent case in point. Kerry have lost a number of big names in recent times and these were players who collectively put their shoulders to the wheel when needed. In contrast, many of Dublin’s big players are at the peak of their careers and they have a well of backup talent that is the envy of every other county. The fact that they are playing on home soil is also worth a few points to them on the scoreboard before they start.

Kerry are likely to be without the injured duo of Killian Young and Shane Enright who will surely be the backbone of their championship rear-guard and a doubt also hangs over the availability of James O’Donoghue. Sunday’s game is going to be a big test for the Kingdom and particularly so for their newer players. Still Kerry have shown in their recent League encounter between the sides that they can match the Dubs – the problem is bettering them on the scoreboard. No doubt this will be another absorbing encounter between two sides who more often than not, bring out the best in each other. Let’s hope that when the dust settles around 5:30 on Sunday evening that Kerry will be League champions for the 20th time.

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

Kerry GAA Supporters Bus to Croke Park

The Kerry GAA Supporters Club will take coaches to Croke Park for the Allianz League Final on Sunday next. All seats must be booked by Thursday night 6th April. The following are the pick-up times; Farranfore 6:30am, Tralee 7am and Listowel 7:30am. For bookings, contact; Donal O’Leary 064 7756099; John King 066 7124229; or Martin Leane 068 48116.

Powerful Under 21 display sets up All Ireland semi final with Galway

Well, after some agonising defeats at the hands of Cork over the last eight years or so, the current squad of Kerry Under 21 footballers certainly left no doubt as to who the better team was at a wet Páirc Uí Rinn on Wednesday of last week. This was a powerful display by Jack O’Connor’s side who certainly matured since the corresponding game between the sides last year. From start to finish they were in control, being tight and vigilant at the back, in command around the centre and always threatening scores up front. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable and welcome win. We wish team captain Brian Sugrue a speedy return to fitness following injury.

Kerry’s opponents in the semi final on Saturday 15th will be Galway who defeated Sligo after extra time in the Connaught decider. The venue for that game is likely to be Limerick or Ennis.

Meanwhile, Dublin were crowned Leinster champions following victory over Offaly but the semi finals in Ulster have yet to be decided following the cancellation of the two games last week due to waterlogging. Donegal play Cavan and Armagh play Derry on Wednesday of this week.

The All Ireland Under 21 final is pencilled in for 29th April.

Credit Union Senior Football League

Round 3 of the Credit Union Senior Football League goes ahead on this coming weekend with all games listed for Saturday due to Kerry’s involvement in the AllIanz League Final (The usual Sunday default date does not apply). The majority of games are pencilled in for 6pm.

Following Round 3, the leagues take a back seat until the June weekend as the Club Championships take centre stage.

Castleisland Mart Club Championships

The Castleisland Mart Club Championships are just around the corner but fixtures have been disrupted somewhat by the Kerry Under 21s qualifying for the All Ireland semi final on April 15th and the added possibility that the Under 21s may be in an All Ireland Final on Saturday 29th.

The CCC met last Friday night to review the fixtures list and the following is a short resume of their deliberations:

Senior Club: Should Kerry Under 21s win their semi final then the Senior Club Championship fixtures are pencilled in for Bank Holiday Monday May 1st. Otherwise they will revert to the original date of April 23rd.

Intermediate Club: Games involving Kerry Under 21 players – Glenflesk/Brosna, Glenbeigh-Glencar/St Michaels-Foilmore, An Ghaeltacht/Gneeveguilla and Waterville/Templenoe - have been put back to the Easter Bank Holiday Monday. The remaining four games will be played as originally planned on Sunday 16th.

Junior Premier: Emmets and Annascaul goes ahead by agreement on Saturday 15th, games involving Kerry Under 21 players – Churchill/Ballydonoghue and Na Gaeil/Beaufort – go ahead on the Easter Bank Holiday Monday and the remaining four games will be played as originally planned on Sunday 16th.

Junior Championship: All 1st Round games are pencilled in as originally planned for Sunday 16th.On Sunday last Kilgarvan defeated Ballylongford in a Junior Championship preliminary round game on a score of 3-15 to 2-16. Kilgarvan now meet Duagh in the first round proper. On Sunday next, Ballyduff play Knocknagoshel in another Preliminary Round game (2pm) with the winners getting a home draw against Sneem/Derrynane in the first round.

Garveys Supervalu Senior Football Championship Draw

The draw for the Garveys Supervalu Senior Football Championship will be made in the Pavilion Austin Stack Park on Monday 10th April next. All Clubs are invited to attend.

Kerry Minors open their Munster Championship campaign on Wednesday 12th April

Kerry Minor Footballers open the defence of their Munster and All Ireland titles when taking on Clare in the opening round of the Munster championship on Wednesday evening 12th April in Austin Stack Park, a game that has a 7:30 throw-in. David Clifford of Fossa will captain the side and he is joined in this year’s squad by other panellists from last year like  Michael Potts (Dr Crokes), Diarmuid O’Connor (Na Gaeil), Brian Friel (Rathmore), Ryan O’Neill (Na Gaeil), Chris O’Donoghue (Glenflesk) and Niall Donohue (Firies). The winners of Wednesday’s game will be in semi final action on May 10th while the losers will play the losers of the Waterford/Limerick game on April 19th.

Hogan Cup Glory for St Brendans College

Congratulations to St Brendans College Killarney who put back to back Hogan Cup titles together in Croke Park on Saturday last defeating St Peters College of Wexford on a score of 0-18 to 0-10. This was a wonderful achievement for the Killarney school who won their 4th title and showed all the skills of the game in the process which is great credit to their management team . The coveted trophy has come to the Kingdom in the last four years with Pobal Scoil Chorca Dhuibhne, who also put back to back titles together,  preceding “The Sem” as champions.

Keanes Supervalu Killorglin Minor Football League

Fresh from problems related to the poor weather at the start of the Minor League and Colleges fixtures throughout the fixtures programme, the Minor League now comes up against the Munster Minor Cghampionship where Kerry take on Clare on Wednesday of next week. There is a backlog of over twenty games yet to be played and some of those games will be played on this coming Friday with other back games pencilled in for April 14th, 18th and 21st.



On  Saturday next April 8th; the Cappamore Community Centre, County Limerick will host the Munster Finals of Scór Sinsear  where Kerry will  be represented in all seven categories and no doubt, as on each occasion down through the years, will face tough opposition from the remaining counties namely; Cork, Clare, Tipperary, Limerick and Waterford, before the final results will be known.

 Kerry have been very successful at this level on every occasion going back the years and with just one step away from competing in an All Ireland Final it will have been all systems go preparing beforehand and no doubt each competing Club will have left no stone unturned in their quest for glory. The East Kerry Board will once again lead the way; Glenflesk in both Figure Dancing and Ballad Group while Fossa will be the representatives in the Instrumental Music. The remaining Clubs; Heather Gray, Keel, Mid Kerry Board will take part in the Solo Singing, Sonny Egan, Crotto, North Kerry Hurling Board in the Recitation category,  Asdee will do the honours in the Leiriú, (Novelty) and Reenard will make up the days programme when they will perform in the Set Dancing.

All of Saturday’s winners will then go forward to the Waterfront Theatre, Belfast on Saturday May 6th.

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

Kerry Hurlers go down after tremendous tussle with Laois

Although putting up a tremendous performance, the Kerry senior hurlers lost their Division 1B Allianz hurling league status on Saturday evening last when losing the relegation play-off game to Laois by 1 – 30 to 4 – 20, after extra time.

Kerry’s next outing will be in the Leinster Senior Championship round robin series, away to Meath at Páirc Tailteann in Navan on Sunday, 23 April; In Round 2  Kerry play Westmeath at Cusack Park, Mullingar on Sunday, 30 April and in Round 3 they meet Laois at Austin Stack Park on Sunday, 14 May. The top-two teams from the round-robin will progress to the Leinster quarter-finals against Offaly or Wexford on the weekend of 27/28 May. Full details at www.leinstergaa.ie

Credit Union Co. Hurling League

The Credit Union Co. Senior hurling league Division 1 (Nicholas Scollard Cup) gets underway this weekend. Round 1 fixtures are: Lixnaw v Abbeydorney; Causeway v Ballyduff; Crotta v Kilmoyley. Check with clubs for exact details.

Minor Hurling – Todd Nolan Tournament

The Todd Nolan hurling tournament went ahead last Saturday with the Kerry minor team and under 17 Development squads from Limerick, Tipperary and Cork taking part. In the morning Tipperary defeated Limerick by 1 - 14 to 1 - 13 and Cork defeated Kerry by 3 - 14 to 1 - 12 after extra time [1 - 11 each after normal time].

This left Tipperary and Cork to contest the Cup final with Cork winning by 4 - 16 to 0 - 12 at Abbeydorney. Their captain was Seán O'Sullivan and the Player of the Match was Seán Twomey.

The Shield Final went ahead at Kilmoyley where Kerry emerged victorious over Limerick, 3 - 11 to 2 - 12. The joint captains of Kerry were Crotta players Jeaic McKenna and Dominic Nolan (nephew of Todd Nolan) while the Player of the Match was Evan Murphy (Causeway).

The Kerry panel was: Darren Barrett (Causeway), Adam O’Sullivan (Crotta O’Neill’s), Philip Maunsell (Kilmoyley), Brian McAuliffe (Lixnaw), Diarmuid O’Connor (St. Brendan’s), Johnny Downey (Tralee Parnell’s), Evan Murphy (Causeway), Conor O’Keeffe (Lixnaw), Darragh Goulding (Ballyduff), Niall O’Mahony (Abbeydorney), Padraig O’Mahony (St. Brendan’s), Jeaic McKenna (Crotta O’Neill’s), Richard Flaherty (Kilmoyley), John Quilter (Crotta O’Neill’s), Gavin Dooley (Causeway), Dominic Nolan (Crotta O’Neill’s), Adrian Nolan (St. Brendan’s), Shane McElligott (Lixnaw), Gerard Leen (Causeway), Gary Carey (Causeway),  Shane O’Mahony (St. Brendan’s), Nathan Dineen (Causeway), Donal Hunt (Crotta O’Neill’s), Gearoid O’Mahony (Causeway),

The Kerry minor team is managed by John Hennessy (Ballyduff) with selectors John Healy (Ballyheigue), Jerome O’Sullivan (Crotta) and Eamon Fitzgerald (Causeway).

Under 17 Hurling

Kerry Under 17 Hurling team travel to Ennis on Tuesday evening next to take on Clare in the first round of the Munster Championship. The winners play Waterford in the semi final.


On this Friday, 7 April, Tralee Parnell’s Hurling Club will have their 2017 season official launch night at Caherslee G.A.A. grounds, 7.00p.m. The club will hold an Easter Hurling Camp for 7 to 14 year olds from Tuesday, 11 to Thursday, 13 April, 10.00a.m. – 1.00p.m. each day/ Further details on the club Facebook page.