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PRO GAA Scene August 16th 2017 2017-08-16 00:01:00

Kerry and Mayo renew rivalry in All Ireland semi final

Kerry and Mayo renew All Ireland Championship rivalry when they go head to head in the semi final at Croke Park on Sunday next (3:30pm). Mention of this game immediately brings back memories of the epic tussles between the side at the same stage three years ago. On that occasion, an outstanding individual effort from Kieran O’Leary saved Kerry’s bacon just when Mayo seemed to have got over the line after controlling the second half (1-16 each). There was controversy galore when the replay was fixed for the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick but that was not a patch on what was to follow once the ball was thrown in! The game ebbed and flowed, one way and then the other and eventually, after extra time, and after a game that had just about everything, Kerry prevailed in front of 36,256 enthralled spectators by three points (3-16 to 3-13).  The fact that Kerry went on to lift Sam Maguire only served to rub salt into gaping Mayo wounds following that Titanic struggle. The Connaught side endured a Winter of discontent with James Horan being replaced but in fairness to them, they came back strongly, have held Dublin to Championship replays twice and came very close to getting the eventual honours last year against the same opposition.

Mayo are playing with more or less the same panel of players over the past few years and that is something that cannot be said of Kerry. The Kingdom have lost the services of the likes of Marc Ó Sé, Aidan O’Mahony, Colm Cooper, Declan O’Sullivan and the man who saved them in 2014, Kieran O’Leary but those apart, Kerry have very few rookies in or around the starting fifteen with the obvious exceptions of Kevin McCarthy, Jack Barry, and maybe Tadhg Morley.

The respective paths to Sunday’s showdown have been quite different. Kerry were far from impressive when disposing of Clare following a long lay off subsequent to their League Final victory over Dublin. They had an easier than expected victory over Cork on home territory and then, while never in danger of losing the game, they did not exactly shoot the lights out against Galway in the quarter final. Mayo have had a topsy-turvy ride to the semi finals; for the second year running they fell to Galway in Connaught and subsequently were taken to extra time by both Derry and Cork before getting the fright of their lives when held to a draw by Roscommon in the quarter final. However, in the replay they certainly made a statement of intent when mincing the Roscommon challenge right from the off that game would be seen as a right confidence booster for them - and coming exactly at the right time of the season as well. Incidentally, Roscommon apart (in the case of Mayo), neither side have come up against a Division 1 side en route to the semi finals.

So, it’s all down once again to what will happen on the day. Mayo’s big players seem to be back in business and that does not augur well for Kerry as guys like Lee Keegan, Aidan O’Shea, Keith Higgins and Cillian O’Connor are real leaders. Kerry will hardly stray too far from the fifteen that did duty in the quarter final but they need to bring their “a” game to the plate from the off and display the kind of ruthlessness that is necessary at this level and more especially at this, the penultimate stage of the competition.

The experienced Laois official Maurice Deegan will be the man in charge and the Kerry team will be announced on Friday evening at 8pm and posted on the Kerry GAA Website.

Kerry Minors take on Cavan in Semi Final

Kerry Minors will put the county’s long running winning run on the line when they take on Cavan in the Electric Ireland Minor championship semi final in Croke Park on Sunday (1:30pm). One has to go all the way back to August 2013 for Kerry’s last defeat at this level, that at the hands of Tyrone in the semi final, but of course the personnel are constantly changing in this grade and stats like that one will hardly matter much on Sunday next.

Kerry have had four games en route to Sunday’s game easily accounting for Clare twice and in between they really demolished Cork by 2-17 to 1-10 with the tour-de-force from captain David Clifford who scored 2-8 in the process. In their final game, against Louth in Portlaoise they mixed the good with the bad but were never in danger of losing running out 10 points winners in the end.

A number of the players such as Deividas Uosis, Eddie Horan, Donal O’Sullivan and Dylan Casey were in action for the Under 17s in their defeat by Roscommon last weekend and it remains to be seen how they will recover from that setback but it should be remembered that there is only one championship and that is at Minor level and once they focus on that they should be right mentally for the fray.

The Breffni boys certainly surprised many observers in the quarter finals with their 1-11 to 0-11 victory over last year’s beaten finalists Galway. Cavan had defeated Monaghan and Down on their way to the Ulster final but they were well beaten by Derry by 1-22 to 1-12 in the Ulster decider. They are sure to bring a big following to Croke Park – their last semi final appearance was over twenty years ago so they will not be lacking in motivation. I am sure that Kerry manager Peter Keane and his backroom team will have their team well primed in advance of this potential banana skin – after all semi finals are strictly for winning - regardless of how it is achieved.

Referee for Sunday is Liam Devenney of Mayo and the Kerry team will be announced on Friday evening at 8pm and posted on the Kerry GAA Website.

Kerry GAA Supporters Club

The Kerry GAA Supporters Club will take buses to the All-Ireland Semi-Finals on Sunday next departing from Farranfore at 6am, Tralee at 6:30 and Listowel at 7am. All seats must be booked by Thursday the 17th of August. For bookings please contact; Martin Leane, John King or Donie O’Leary. All persons travelling must have a valid membership card.

Ticket Arrangements for All Ireland Semi Finals

A semi final double bill in Croke Park on Sunday will see the Minor game between Kerry and Cavan throw-in at 1:30pm with the Senior getting underway at 3:30pm

Ticket Prices as follows:

Hogan Stand (No Concession) - €45

Cusack Stand - €45

Terrace - €30

Family Tickets:  

Family Tickets are available in the Cusack and Davin Stands only.

Adults - €45 Juveniles - €5

Students & Senior Citizens (Cusack & Davin Stand Only):

Purchase full price tickets and get rebate of  €10 with valid I.D. at Block D, Stiles 1 to 5 in the Cusack Stand (Rebate can only be claimed on entry into the stadium via Block  D)

Tickets are now on Sale

Tickets are now available to purchase from participating Centra and SuperValu stores, including all Garveys Supervalu Stores around the County and online at tickets.ie

Tickets are also available from the Kerry GAA Store in the Killarney Outlet Centre.

Ticket will go on general sale in the County Board Office Tralee from Tuesday 15th, Wednesday 16th, Thursday 17th August from 2.00pm - 5.30pm and on Friday 18th August 2.00 – 4.00pm.

All Ireland Under 17 Semi Final 

Kerry’s chances of a possible Minor and Under 17 double evaporated at Cusack Park Ennis on Saturday last where a physically stronger Roscommon side were deserving winners over the Munster standard bearers on a 2-15 to 1-13 scoreline. Kerry, who had first use of the strong wind, and who were obviously disadvantaged by their three months lay-off, never led and were playing catch-up throughout against a side who, in the strapping Paul Carey at centre forward had the outstanding player on view. Still this competition, while not a championship, has been very worthwhile for these players and has given them the feel and experience of inter-county competition which they would not have otherwise got due to the lowering of the Minor age group to Under 17 in 2018.  Well done to Colm Whelan and John Dillon who did a lot of the preparation of the team throughout the year.

Club Officers visit the Kerry GAA Centre of Excellence in Currans

On Saturday last, club officers and County Board delegates, along with members of the Press were invited to a viewing of the Kerry GAA Centre of Excellence in Currans to view at first hand the facilities that will be at the disposal of players of all age groups in the county in the not too distant future. Right now, final fittings are being added to the internal area which includes 8 dressing rooms, an auditorium, video room and dining facilities while externally, tenders for the floodlighting of four of the six pitches are about to be examined. The pitches will be ready for the commencement of winter training in November.

Credit Union Senior Football League

The Credit Union Senior Football League, following the penultimate Round 10 last weekend, is now down to the final Round for most Clubs but some important back games still remain to be played in some divisions.

Dr Crokes are in the Division 1 Final and the second final place is between An Ghaeltacht and Rathmore. Dr Crokes are away to Milltown-Castlemaine on this Friday evening, a game that will have particular importance at the foot of the table. Castleisland Desmonds and Austin Stacks, following their loss to An Ghaeltacht, are relegated to Division 2 next Season

In Division 2, Killarney Legion are promoted to Division 1 next season but the two remaining places rest between Spa, Beaufort, Glenflesk, Kenmare and Currow all still in with a mathematical chance. Listry, Waterville, Kilcummin and St Pats are all in relegation trouble but a number of back games this weekend between teams at the top and bottom of the Division are sure to be vitally important from a promotion and relegation aspect. On Friday evening, Kilcummin play Glenflesk and Beaufort play St Pats while on Saturday evening, Ardfert play Kenmare.

In Division 3, Ballymacelligott and Na Gaeil are promoted to Division 2 with the final place resting between Dromid Pearses (on 16 points with one game to play) and Laune Rangers (on 10 points who have three games to play). St Michaels-Foilmore are relegated and both Fossa, Gneeveguilla, St Senans and Ballydonoghue are all in relegation trouble with a number of important back games to be played over the next 10 days or so.

On Saturday next, St Senans will play Laune Rangers; on Tuesday 22nd Gneeveguilla play Fossa and on Wednesday 23rd Laune Rangers will play Ballydonoghue.

In Division 4, the top three promotion places rest between Keel, Lispole, Skellig Rangers and Dr Crokes with a playoff very likely to decide placings. There are no back games in this division.

In Division 5, Cordal and Ballylongford are promoted with Rathmore or Churchill likely to join them in Division 4 next season.

All of the above Promotion and Relegation comments are provisional – the CCC has final say in all Fixtures matters. Round 11 of the Senior Football League will be played either on the weekend of September 24th (should Kerry reach the All Ireland final) or the weekend of August 27th (should Kerry not be contesting the All Ireland final).

Junior Cup Competitions

The Junior Cups get underway on this Friday evening with the playing of the first round in the Barrett and Cahill Cups while on the following Friday the Molyneaux and McElligott Cups get underway. Fixtures are as follows:

Molyneaux Cup - Semi Finals   Friday 25th August                                                                                                                                                

Kerins O’Rahillys    v       Dr. Crokes                  

Rathmore               v       Austin Stacks

McElligott Cup - Quarter Finals  Friday 25th August

1.            Gneeveguilla         v    Beaufort

2.            Ballydonoghue     v     Milltown C’maine          

3.            Spa                         v     Moyvane  

4.            Glenbeigh G’car   v     Jn. Mitchels

Semi finals: 1  v  2 & 3  v  4,  on Friday 1st Sept.

Barrett Cup; (13 aside if required) - Round 1 Friday 18th August,   

1.              St. Pat’s                            v     An Ghaeltacht

2.              Clounmacon                  v     bye                                        

3.              St. Mls. Foilmore          v     Laune Rangers

4.              Castlegregory               v      Na Gaeil

5.              C’island Desmonds      v      bye                             

6.              Kenmare                        v     Waterville

7.              Ardfert                            v     Annascaul

8.              Listry                               v      bye         


Qtr.  Quarter Finals;  1  v  2,  3  v  4,   5  v  6,   7  v  8, on Friday  25th August                                                               

Semi finals;    1 /2 / 3 /4     v     5/ 6 / 7 /8  on Friday  1st Sept.

Cahill Cup; (13 aside if required) -   Round 1 Friday 18th August             

    (A)     Currow                    v      Dromid                                                                          

    (B)     Tarbert                    v      bye    

    (C)     Charlie Kerins         v      Fossa      

    (D)     Skellig Rgs               v      bye       

    (E)     Renard                     v      Cromane  

    (F)     Churchill                  v      St. Senan’s                                                                                                                                  

    (G)     Ballymacelligott     v      Lispole

    (H)     Beale                        v      Brosna

Quarter Finals;  A  v  B,    C  v  D,   E  v  F,   G  v H, on  Friday  25th Aug.                                                                       

Semi Finals:   A /B / C /D     v     E/ F / G /H  on Friday 1st Sept.

Criteria for player eligibility in Junior Cup Competitions has been forwarded to all Club Secretaries.

Junior Leagues

The Junior Leagues are coming to a conclusion with three finals and a semi final down for decision on this Thursday and Friday evenings as follows:

Group 2  -  John Mitchels play Moyvane in the final at Finuge on this Friday evening.

Group 4  -  Beaufort play Glenbeigh – Glencar in the final on a date to be fixed.   

Group 5  -  Dr. Crokes play Skellig Rangers in the semi final on this Friday evening with the winners playing Waterville in the final.                                                                                            

Group 6  -  Castleisland Desmonds play Clounmacon in the final in Duagh on this Friday evening.

Group 7  -  Fossa play Listry in the final on this Thursday evening in Derreen.

Group 8  -  Tarbert play Ardfert in the final on a date to be confirmed.       


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

Garvey's SuperValu Senior Hurling Championship Update

The 2017 Garvey’s SuperValu Kerry senior hurling championship Round 3 replay between St. Brendan’s and Abbeydorney has been fixed for Saturday, 26 August at 4.00p.m. in Austin Stack Park, with extra time if necessary. It will be followed at 6.00p.m. by the Co. senior hurling league Div. 1 final between Lixnaw and Ballyduff.

The draw for the championship semi-finals resulted as follows: Kilmoyley v Ballyduff and    Lixnaw v winners of St. Brendan’s/Abbeydorney replay. These games will be played on the weekend of 10th of September (provisional).

Mixed Luck for Kerry inter county Hurlers

There was mixed luck for Kerry hurlers at Dr. Hyde Park, Roscommon on Saturday last. The minor team failed in their quest for 6 All-Ireland minor ‘B’ titles in a row when they were defeated by Kildare on a 1 - 14 to 1 - 12 scoreline.

The Under 21 team advanced to the semi-finals of their All-Ireland ‘B’ competition (Ritchie McElligott Cup) with a facile 0 - 26 to 1 - 9 win over Donegal to set up a semi-final meeting with Meath on this Saturday in Semple Stadium at 2pm. 

Co. Intermediate & Junior Championships

St. Brendan’s and Kilgarvan have qualified for the 2017 Co. Intermediate Hurling Championship Final. Kilgarvan had a 2 - 11 to 0 - 11 win over Kilmoyley at Austin Stack Park in the first semi-final while at Abbeydorney on Sunday morning last St. Brendan’s had a 3 - 16 to 2 - 10 win over Lixnaw.

In Round 2 of the Co. Junior Hurling Championship, Lady’s Walk had a 4 - 14 to 1 - 3 win over St. Pat’s (East Kerry). Round 3 was due to be played on Tuesday of this week Duagh hosted Lady’s Walk.

Poc Fada

St Pat’s (East Kerry) Hurling Club is hosting a Poc Fada competition on Saturday, 19th August at Killarney Racecourse.  Teams of 3. Entry is €30 for a senior team and €15 for a juvenile team. All are welcome.

Wheelchair Hurling

The M. Donnelly Interprovincial Wheelchair Hurling competition will take place at the John Mitchel’s G.A.A. Complex on Saturday, 26 August from 11.00a.m. to 3.00p.m. Proceedings will commence with a parade of teams from each of the four provinces into the main hall, each carrying their provincial flags. All support welcome.

The Interprovincial Wheelchair Hurling League and Championships were formed in 2013 and provide a competitive sporting environment for wheelchair users. The competition has gone from strength to strength with the Provincial Councils providing the platform for the players to compete.