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PRO GAA Scene April 12th 2017 2017-04-12 00:01:00

Kerry claim 20th Football League Title

After an enthralling game of football before 53,840 spectators at Croke Park on Sunday last Kerry senior footballers were crowned Allianz League champions for the 20th time when defeating the 5-in-a-row chasing Dublin fifteen by the slenderest of margins. Just a few short weeks ago, Kerry players and supporters left Austin Stack Park disappointed that they had not brought a fantastic run of League and Championship victories by the Metropolitans to an end but on this occasion there was to be no reprieve for the Dubs as lady luck smiled on Kerry at the death when Dean Rock’s late-late free came back off the post. 

It was a victory that this Kerry team certainly deserved as they had bossed proceedings for long periods taking the game to their opponents with some fine attacking play that was a joy to behold. Kerry management obviously decided that on this occasion, the best method of defence was attack and the Kerry half back and midfield lines poured forward at every opportunity. The winners were under pressure mid way through the first half but they fought back well to be just a point in arrears at the break.

The game was really won and lost in the third quarter as Kerry kicked some well worked scores that had the larger than expected Kerry support in full voice. However, a Dublin goal made for a tighter than expected finish but a couple of tremendous scores from David Moran and Bryan Sheehan would ensure that it was going to be Kerry’s title once again.

This was a very satisfying victory for all concerned, none more so than for the players and management who had come in for a lot of criticism from both inside and outside of the county during the course of a League campaign that that had more than it’s share of ups and downs. The younger players in particular were not one bit fazed taking on the All Ireland champions in their own back yard and the experience gained is bound to stand to them come championship time.

Mention of the championship, Kerry will not be in action until the weekend of June  11th when they play the winners of the Clare V Limerick quarter final tie a game that will be played in Cusack Park (if Clare) or Fitzgerald Stadium (if Limerick).

In the meantime the Kerry players return to their clubs for the club championships as Allianz League champions for the first time since 2009.


Kerry face Galway in Under 21 Semi final

Kerry Under 21s travel to Ennis on Saturday next to take on Galway (4:30pm) with a place in the All Ireland Under 21 final on April 29th the prize for the winners. It is well documented now that Kerry have gone eight barren years without getting to this stage of the competition and no doubt the Kerry management under Jack O’Connor will be very anxious indeed to ensure that they do not slip up now that they have finally gotten over Cork for the first time since 2008 a year in which of course they went on to take the Under 21 title.

In that game against Cork two weeks ago this promising team played with a huge intensity all through and it was an intensity that last year’s All Ireland runners up just could not match. Kerry were impressive no doubt but they will have to do it all over again if they are to get the better of a side that comfortably defeated last year’s All Ireland champions, Mayo, by six points in their opening game of the Connaught championship. Sligo did subsequently take the Tribesmen to extra time in the final but Galway, who have a number of players with senior experience in their ranks,  won comfortably by nine points.

Kerry captain Brian Sugrue looks like missing the game due to a knee injury sustained in the defeat of Cork but Kerry do have a very strong panel of experienced players to pick from. Should the Renard man miss the game then Matthew O’Sullivan, the towering full forward from St Michaels-Foilmore will captain the side. The game will be refereed by Brendan Cawley of Kildare and will be televised live on TG4.

The Kerry team will be announced on Thursday night at 8pm and posted on the Kerry GAA Website.

Dublin and Donegal meet in the other semi final.


Kerry Minor Footballers begin the defence of their Munster and All Ireland Titles

Kerry Minor Footballers begin the defence of their Munster and All Ireland titles when they take on Clare in the Electric Ireland Munster Minor football championship quarter final at Tralee’s Austin Stack Park on Wednesday evening at 7:o0pm. This of course is the final year of the Under 18 competition with Congress having voted to lower the minor age limit to 17 years from 2018 onwards and no doubt, given that they have won the competition for the last three years running, Kerry will want to see the competition out in style and become the first county to win the competition four times in a row.

The team picked to do duty on Wednesday evening contains just four of the side who played in the All Ireland Minor Final last year – Michael Potts, Diarmuid O’Connor, Brian Friel and David Clifford while the injured pair of Cian O’Callaghan and Cian Gammell along with Niall Donohue, Fiachra Clifford, Chris O’Donoghue and Ryan O’Neill were all part of the extended training panel last year.

It has been customary over the last few years to see success at colleges level being replicated at county level in this age group and this year is no different with the likes of Michael Potts, Chris O’Donoghue, Sean O’Leary, Donnchadh O’Sullivan, Cian Gammell and Niall Donohue , being  members of the St Brendans College Hogan Cup winning side this year.

The current squad have enjoyed a lot of success at Under 16 level in the province but there is a big step up to Minor level and hopefully, Wednesday’s game with Clare will be the stepping stone to another successful year in the grade.

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.


Garvey's SuperValu Senior Football Championship Draw

The draw for the Garvey's SuperValu Senior Football Championship was made in Austin Stack Park on Monday night where the Championship was launched in the presence of Tomás and Jim Garvey of the Garvey group who have been sponsoring the competition since 2011. Also there was the Chairman of the county committee Tim Murphy as well as representatives of the various clubs and District Boards. The draw threw up the usual interesting encounters with All Ireland Club Champions Dr Crokes drawing Mid Kerry and Intermediate champions Kenmare  taking on Legion. There is a big local derby with East Kerry drawing Rathmore while Kerins O’Rahillys take on South Kerry.

Games will be played on the weekend of May 13th/14th with the CCC deciding on venues. Cognisance will be taken of teams first out in the draw when fixtures are being made but it is likely that a number of double headers will take place.


The full draw is as follows:

East Kerry                   v          Rathmore       

Austin Stacks              v          St Kierans       

West Kerry                  v          Feale Rgs

Killarney Legion         v          Kenmare Shamrocks              

Qualifier Winner         v          Kilcummin                 

Kerins O’Rahillys       v          South Kerry

Kenmare District.       v          Dingle            

Dr Crokes                    v          Mid Kerry      


There is one Qualifier game to be played in advance of the 1st Round proper;  St Brendans will play Shannon Rangers on Saturday May 6th in Austin Stack Park for the right to play Kilcummin in the first round proper.


Club Championships swing into action this coming weekend

The road to a possible All Ireland club title in Croke Park starts in earnest this weekend when the various club championships swing into action. The fixtures have been disrupted to an extent by the playing of the All Ireland Under 21 semi final on Saturday and games involving players in the Under 21 squad will not go ahead until the Bank Holiday Monday.


Senior Club Championship

Should Kerry Under 21s win their semi final on Saturday then the Senior Club Championship fixtures will go ahead on Bank Holiday Monday May 1st. Otherwise they will revert to the original date of April 23rd. The Sunday fixtures throw in at 2:30 with the Bank Holiday fixtures at 3pm. Extra Time applies to all Club Championship fixtures.


Intermediate Club Championship

Fixtures for the coming weekend are split between Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday with four games on each day. There are some intriguing games to whet the appetite with Ardfert taking on Tralee rivals John Mitchels, Milltown-Castlemaine and Laune Rangers meeting in a big local derby and All Ireland Junior champions Glenbeigh-Glencar taking on former All Ireland Intermediate champions St Michaels-Foilmore.

Sunday April 16th 

Spa                              v                      Castleisland Desmonds          

Currow                        v                      St Mary's                                

Ardfert                        v                      John Mitchels                         

Milltown/C’maine      v                      Laune Rangers                       

Monday April 17th

Glenflesk                     v                      Brosna                                    

Glenbeigh/Glencar      v                      St Michael's Foilmore            

An Ghaeltacht             v                      Gneeveguilla                          

Waterville                   v                      Templenoe                  


Junior Premier Club Championship

Fixtures in the Junior Premier Club Championship are spread over three days with the Saturday meeting of Emmets and Annascaul standing out from a host of interesting fixtures including Ballymac and Fossa and Skellig Rangers and St Pats..

Saturday April 15th @ 6pm 

Listowel Emmets        v                      Annascaul                              

Sunday April 16th

Dromid                        v                      Renard                                   

Ballymacelligott         v                      Fossa                                      

St Senan's                    v                      Firies                                      

Skellig Rangers           v                      St Pat's Blennerville               

Finuge                         v                      Keel                                        

Monday April 17th 

Churchill                     v                      Ballydonoghue                       

Na Gaeil                      v                      Beaufort          (3pm)


Junior Club Championship

The full Junior Championship fixtures programme goes ahead as planned on Sunday next and there are a lot of Clubs in this competition who wil fancy their chances of emulating Fossa’s success last year chief among them being the likes of Listry, Lispole, Castlegregory and Cordal to name but a few.

Sunday April 16th

Duagh                         v                      Kilgarvan                                           

Asdee                          v                      Listry                                      

Cordal                         v                      Beale                                      

Castlegregory              v                      Scartaglin                               

Lispole                        v                      Cromane                                             

Valentia                       v                      Tuosist                                   

Ballyduff                    v                      Sneem/Derrynane       

Tarbert                         v                      Moyvane                                


Credit Union Senior Football League

A full round of fixtures took place in the Credit Union Senior football League last weekend in glorious sunshine.

In Division 1, Milltown-Castlemaine lead the way on 5 points with Crokes on 4 points with a game in hand against Austin Stacks. Desmonds have yet to register a point. Killarney Legio are the only team in Division 2 with full points from their three games with five clubs behind them on 5 points. Listry are pointless at the foot of the table.

In Division 3, Brosna are the early pacesetters on full points with four clubs just behind them on 5 points. St Senans and Gneeveguilla are pointless at the foot of the table. In Diviion 4, Lispole have full points with Castlegregory a point behind and in Division 5, Cordal, Ballylongford and Cromane are the early pacesetters with 6 points each.

The Leagues now take a back seat until the June weekend as the Club Championships take centre stage.


Keane's SuperValu Killorglin Minor Football League

Following  the disruption caused by a combination of bad weather, colleges games and intercounty Minor fixtures, the Keanes Supervalu Killorglin Minor Football League reaches a pivotal stage this coming week or so as administrators try to unravel the fixtures backlog. There are over two dozen fixtures to be picked up with this coming Friday 14th, Tuesday 18th and Friday 21st being pencilled in for games in all divisions.


SCÓR SINSEAR NA MUMHAN 2017

On Saturday last April 8th a packed Community Centre in Cappamore County Limerick hosted the 2017 Munster Finals of  Scór Sinsear where we had five hours of non stop  entertainment.  However at the end of proceedings Kerry participants, who in fairness performed  excellently,  failed to get the adjudicators' nod . Aine Ni Shiochain from the St. Michaels Foilmore Club in South Kerry was Bean an Tí for the evening.

Already through  to the All Ireland Finals are the Rathmore Quiz team of Donie O'Leary, John S O'Sullivan, Dan  V  O'Connor and Tony Moynihan, former All Ireland holders.


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

Leinster Championship Round Robin games on the horizon for Kerry Hurlers

The next outing for the Kerry senior hurlers will be on Sunday week, 23 April, away to Meath, in Round 1 of the Leinster Senior Championship round robin series. Venue will be

Páirc Tailteann in Navan where there will be a 3.00p.m. throw in.

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 Senior Hurling League

Only 2 games went ahead in Round 1 of the Credit Union Co. Senior hurling league Division 1 last weekend. At Abbeydorney on Friday evening, Lixnaw had a 1 – 24 to 0 – 11 win over Abbeydorney. This game also doubled up as a North Kerry League game.

On the same evening at Kilmoyley, the home side defeated Crotta by 3 – 12 to 0 – 12. The Causeway v Ballyduff game did not go ahead.


Celtic Challenge

The Under 17 Celtic Challenge County & Divisional hurling competition commences on Wednesday, 3 May. It is aimed at players aged 16 and 17 years old who are not participating in State Examinations during May and June. 47 teams country wide will participate in the competition. Further information on www.gaa.ie Kerry will participate in Group B where they will play Clare South/East, North Cork, West Limerick, Limerick City and West Cork before moving on to a seeded knockout phase. There is a very innovative structure in place with for example 8 points for a win, 4 points for a draw, bonus points for scoring more than 2 goals in a match and for losing by less than 5 points, etc. The competition will culminate with all finals being played at the same venue on Saturday, 24 June.


Clubs

On this Thursday, 13 April, Causeway Juvenile Hurling section will hold a fund raising table quiz at the Stretford Inn commencing at 9.00p.m.

Causeway Comprehensive School won the All-Ireland Colleges Senior Hurling ‘B’ Championship in 1977, a very historic achievement for a Kerry school. There will be a re-union of all those involved on Saturday, 6 May in Causeway. 

Tralee Parnell’s Hurling Club has commenced their weekly coaching sessions at Caherslee G.A.A. grounds each Friday evening from7.00 – 8.00p.m. Anyone from the greater Tralee area is welcome to come along and give hurling a try. A hurley and helmet will be loaned to any young player requiring same each session. Further details on the club Facebook page.