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PRO Weekly GAA Scene January 9th 2014 2014-01-09 15:15:00

McGrath Cup Qtr Final

Kerry eased their way into the semi finals of the McGrath Cup with a 0-17 to 0-8 victory over local rivals IT Tralee at the splendid John Mitchels complex in Tralee on Sunday afternoon. The match was played in horrendous weather conditions on a pitch that afterwards hardly showed any evidence of a game. 

While the final scoreline may suggest that Kerry had it all their own way, this was far from the case as IT Tralee were competitive to the end with their inability to turn possession into scores being their downfall. 

With captain for the duration of the competition, Donnchadh Walsh, in fine form, Kerry led by 9 poiints to 4 at the break and despite going 9 minutes of the new half without a score, they then scored 7 points in as many minutes to effectively seal victory. Kerry will now face CIT (who defeated Mary I by 5-17 to 2-6) in the semi-final on Sunday next at the same venue. Cork play UL in the other semi-final with the final pencilled in for the 19th January.

Our thanks to the John Mitchels Club for all their work when the venue had to be switched from Austin Stack Park late on Friday due to the condition of the pitch.

Presentation of Munster Minor Football Medals

The Kerry Minor footballers were presented with their Munster Minor Football medals by Munster Council chairman, Robert Frost at a function in the Kerins O’Rahillys Clubhouse on Friday evening last.

Ger Galvin, Vice Chairman of Kerry County Committee, thanked Robert Frost for attending the medal presentation and he thanked all the players and the management team of Mickey Ned O'Sullivan, John O'Keeffe and Peter Keane fo
r their commitment, hard work and for representing Kerry with pride in 2013. 
Manager, Mickey Ned O'Sullivan, addressed the players and invited guests. He thanked the players and parents for their commitment and hard work over the year. He wished all the players well in the future both in their sporting lifes and careers. 

Kevin Shanahan, the Kerry Minor Captain for 2013, thanked Mickey Ned, John O'Keeffe and Peter Keane on behalf of the players.

The Kerry side had 5 games in Munster last year playing very well in Cork in the first round, a game that went to extra time and a game which they could have won or lost on the night. The replay in Tralee was a big disappointment when they could not handle the Cork full forward Michael Cahalane and conceded three goals. 

They recovered well, defeating Clare and Waterford and then Tipperary in the final. Tipperary were of course going for 3 in a row and it was a first final win for Kerry since 2009.
In the quarter final against Tyrone Kerry were a little unlucky in normal time when a lack of concentration in the final few seconds cost them. Tyrone were the better side in the extra time but there was very little between victory and defeat on the day. I think we will hear more of some of those lads in the future.

Club Forum

As highlighted last week, the county committee has decided to hold a Club Forum with a view to ascertaining issues that are of major concern to clubs throughout the county right now.
The following topics will be covered in the forum, each being discussed individually in a workshop system for 40 minutes. A summary of the main suggestions on each topic will be delivered on the day with a more comprehensive report to follow by the end of February.

•Club Sustainability
•Coiste na nÓg
•Club Adminstration and Communication
•Championship structure
•County Committee/District Boards

As can be seen, there is quite a broad range of topics many of which are the focus of debate at the moment. The forum will be held at a Tralee venue on January 25th with a national keynote speaker yet to be announced. 

Intercounty Fixtures Calendar 2014

Now that the new year has been heralded in, and people making plans for 2014, thoughts turn to the inter-county fixtures. The following is a brief guide to the fixtures in the coming months.

McGrath Cup: Semi final on January 12th, final on January 19th.

Allianz League: February 1st, Dublin v Kerry; February 9th, Kerry v Derry; March 2nd, Mayo v Kerry; March 9th, Kerry v Tyrone; March 16th, Kildare v Kerry; March 30th, Westmeath v Kerry; April 6th, Kerry v Cork; April 13, Semi finals; April 27th, Final.

Under 21 Football:
 Wednesday March 12th, Cork v Kerry; March 19th, Semi final; April 9th, Final.
Minor Football: Wednesday April 16th, Clare v Kerry .

All Ireland Club Championships:
 January 26th, Junior semi final; February 9th, Junior final. February 15th, Senior Club semi final; March 17th, senior final.

Munster Colleges:
 January 22nd, Quarter finals; February 8th, Semi finals, March 2nd, Final. 

Waterford Crystal: January 19th, Quarter Final; January 26th, Semi Final; February 2nd, Final.

Allianz League: February 16th, derry v Kerry; February 23rd, Kerry v Kildare; March 9th, Westmeath v Kerry; March 16th, Kerry v Carlow; March 23, London v Kerry.

Christy Ring Cup: May 3rd, Round1; May 10th, Round 2; May 17th Quarter Final; May 24th, Semi Final; June 7th, Final.

Minor Hurling: May 9th, Cork v Kerry.

Kerry Supporters Club Social

The Kerry GAA Supporters Club Annual Social takes place on Saturday night, 18th of January, in the Ballygarry House Hotel. Guest of honour will be Ambrose O’Donovan the one and only 1984 Centenary Year Captain. Other guests include eight time All-Star winner Colm Cooper and first time All-Star winner James O’Donoghue, Kerry under 21B All Ireland Hurling captain Brendan O'Leary, All Ireland Minor B captain Jason Wallace, Christopher Moriarty Handball administrator and many other guests on the night. Music is by Neily O’Connor. Tickets at €35 are available from Club officers and committee. 

The Supporters Club are already planning ahead for the Kerry / Dublin Allianz League game on the 1st of February in Croke Park which is an overnight trip. The following are the booking arrangements: All supporters travelling to this game must book with full payment on Monday night 13th January at 8.30pm in Listowel Arms Hotel or Ballygarry House Hotel and this is the final night for bookings. Enquiries to John King, Donal O'Leary and Martin Leane . The next overnight trip is to Mayo on Saturday 1st of March when Kerry take on Mayo in Castlebar.

Scór na nÓg

After the short break Scór competitions will be resuming on this Sunday January 12th at 2:30pm at the Millstreet Community Centre where the second Munster Semi Finals of Scór Na nÓg 2013/14 will be getting underway with counties Kerry, Limerick and the host county Cork in opposition. Judging by the county finals, where the competition was of a very high standard, it is expected that with two qualifying from each category all our participants are in with a great chance of going forward to the Munster Finals. The East Kerry Board, who dominated at the county finals, will have Spa involved in both Figure and Set Dancing along with Allison Fitzmartin in the Recitation. Fossa will take part in the Instrumental Music section, from Castleisland District Board Ballymacelligott will be the represented by Orla Keane, in Solo Singing, Tralee/St. Brendans will add their wit in Leiriu while the Mid Kerry Board will have Keel displaying their talents in the Ballad Group section. All the winners on the day will then qualify for the Munster Finals to be staged in the Youth Centre, Mallow on Sunday January 26th. The All Ireland Finals will take place at the Royal Theatre, Castlebar, County Mayo on Saturday March 1st. 

Coiste Scór – Tráth na gCeist

This year the format for this category was changed and the final is now on a separate date to both Scór na nÓg and Scór Sinsear. It will be staged on the evening prior to the All Ireland Finals where all 32 Counties will be involved. Our county final was a marvellous occasion and certainly was a close contest all through with only a point separating the top 3 teams at the final round of questions. However the team that will represent the County in the All Ireland Finals of Scór Na nÓg in Castlebar on Friday February 28th, the eve of the Scór Na nÓg Finals, will be Spa; from the East Kerry Board, namely, Niámh Clifford, Thomas Fleming, James Lynch and Michael Aherne.