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GAA Scene December 17th 2014 2014-12-17 09:07:00

All Ireland Medals Presentation Gala Banquet will be a unique occasion

The gala banquet for the presentation of medals to the victorious Kerry Minor and Senior football teams in the INEC on this Friday evening certainly promises to be a unique occasion.  Uáchtarán CLG Liam O’Neill, will be the guest of honour. Occasions such as this, despite Kerry’s regular success in Croke Park, do not come around too often and you have to go all the way back to 1980 for the last such occasion when Kerry Minors, captained by Tom Dee and Kerry seniors, captained by Ger Power, brought minor and senior success to Kerry.

Earlier in the year, thoughts of a double were certainly not being harboured by too many people here in the Kingdom, and even on the morning of the finals, the odds were stacked against a double Kerry success story. However, by 5pm that evening all that had changed and Kerry had pulled off a remarkable achievement.

I suppose it is true to say that the minor team were looking like All Ireland material from early in the year. They still had to dispose of the strong challenges of Cork and Mayo in particular on their way to the final and Donegal tested the Kerry boys to the limit in the decider. Jack O’Connor had worked the oracle once again and Kerry eventually bridged what was by now a twenty year gap. The fact that the Hogan Cup also made its way to Kerry merely enhanced the reputation of some of these minor players.

For many reasons, 2014 is likely to live long in the memory of all those present on All Ireland final day when Kerry confounded the critics to win their 37th All Ireland title. Shorn of the services of such stalwarts as Tomás Ó Sé, Eoin Brosnan and Paul Galvin through retirement, and then the captain and talisman Colm Cooper through injury just as the inter-county season was beginning to liven up, the general opinion of the pundits was that Kerry had “punched above their weight” in 2013, and the Kingdom would now be found out. Cork’s ten points demolition of their neighbours in the final League game only added fuel to that train of thought. However, under the shrewd guidance of Eamonn Fitzmaurice and his backroom team, Kerry made their way to Croke Park on final day when opponents Donegal, who had shocked Dublin in the semi final, were the popular favourites to add to their two All Ireland title. We all know what happened and it is interesting to read Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s pre match thoughts which he has penned for the souvenir banquet booklet; “We were quietly confident as we headed for the capital on the third Sunday in September, where every Kerry man wants to be. We had a kick around the night before the game in Dunboyne. Mikey, Diarmuid and myself stood back as Cian put the lads through their paces. They were jumping out of their skin. We were ready. This was reinforced later that evening by an incredible team meeting. I never before experienced the emotion and honesty present in that room. Similar to Fota in July we left the room knowing we were not going to be beaten”.

The victory lifted the county’s spirits and rarely has so much satisfaction been gained from a Kerry All Ireland success.

Tickets, costing €60, are still on sale for the banquet and are available from the office at Austin Stack Park, the Kerry GAA Store in the Killarney Outlet Centre and Mulvihill’s Pharmacy in Killorglin.  Special Room Rates have been arranged for the night in both The Brehon and The Gleneagle Hotels.

Credit Union Senior Football League

The completion of the remaining five games in Division 3 more or less brought the 2014 County League to a conclusion. Templenoe of course had already been promoted to Division 2 next season as champions but St Marys ensured they were promoted along with the new champions when they defeated the Kenmare District side in Con Keating Park. Glenflesk travelled to Annascaul knowing that a win would secure the third promotion place and the youthful East Kerry side duly obliged by overcoming the locals. At the other end of the table, Scartaglen had already been relegated but Ballymacelligott’s victory over Brosna and An Ghaeltacht’s victory over Keel secured those two sides their Division 3 status for another year meaning that Dromid Pearses victory over Lispole was not eneouh to see them avoid the dreaded drop along with the West Kerry side.

Meanwhile the long saga to secure the third place promotion spot from Division 4 was final decided when Beaufort had a narrow one point playoff victory  (0-8 to 0-7) over a battle weary Fossa side who were playing their third playoff match in four weeks with two of those going to extra time.

So all promotion and relegation issues have been decided in all Divisions as follows:

Division 1: Austin Stacks and Dr Crokes meet in the final to be played in Connolly Park in the Spring. Currow, Emmets and Rathmore will play Division 2 football next season.

Division 2: Killarney Legion are promoted as champions along with Desmonds and Glenbeigh/Glencar while St Pats Blennerville, Listry and Skellig Rangers have been relegated.

Division 3: Templenoe go up as champions, while St Marys and Glenflesk are also promoted. At the other end of the table, Scartaglen, Lispole and Dromid Pearses make the drop.

Division 4: Na Gaeil are promoted as champions along with Beale and Beaufort while Knocknagoshel, Ballyduff and Ballylongford will play in Division 5 next season.

Division 5: Dr Crokes, St Senans and Ballydonoghue have been promoted to Division 4 next season.

Munster GAA Grants totalling €154,500 for Kerry Clubs

The Munster GAA Council has announced details of the 2014 Development Grant Scheme, funding club and school capital development projects to the tune of over €1m across the province.

Kerry Clubs benifited  to the tune of €154,500 and these grants were presented to the various recipients at the Cordal GAA Club on Tuesday evening by the Cathoirleach Comhairle na Mumhan, Robert Frost.  In all fifteen clubs and one school received funding as follows;

Austin Stacks €29,700, Firies €12,500, Kilcummin €12,500, Duagh €3,215, Ballymacelligott €6,233, Brosna €6,236, Churchill €6,986, Cordal €13,481, Glenbeigh/Glencar €14,505, Glenflesk €4,140, John Mitchels €17,205, St Pats Blennerville€4,338, Rathmore €7,065, Spa €5,912, Waterville €5,434, and Spa National School €5,000.

Kerry Clubs spent over €1m in the purchase, development and upgrading of their facilities in 2013. Based on the number of Clubs within the County, Kerry is again to the forefront within the province of Munster in the Development of Club Facilities.

Valentia in Munster Junior B Final

Well done to Valentia who have qualified for the Munter Junior B Final following their big victory over Cratloe B on Sunday last. This competition is of course run by the Knockaderry club in south Limerick and Valentia will now play Kildimo/Pallaskenry of Limerick in the final which is provisionally fixed for January 18th next.

Five Kerrymen honoured at Munster GAA Awards

Five  Kerrymen were honoured at the annual Munster Council  GAA awards at the Dromoland Castle in Clare on Saturday evening last.

Manager of the Year: Eamonn Fitzmaurice.

To no one’s surprise, the Kerry manager was named manager of the Year and that was a fitting tribute to the Finuge man’s achievement in guiding Kerry to a resounding twelve points victory over Cork in the provincial decider, and while the awards are in recognition of achievements within the province, no doubt the Judges’ decision may also have been influenced by Fitzmaurice going on to mastermind an unexpected  All Ireland victory over popular favourites, Donegal.

Footballer of the Year: James O’Donoghue

It hardly comes as a surprise to hear that Kerry’s James O’Donoghue was named as the Munster GAA Footballer of the Year for 2014. Few will forget his devastating display in the provincial decider against old foes Cork when he scored a remarkable 10 points, 8 of those from play. O’Donoghue went on to score 4-24 in five Championship games and ended the season with an All Ireland medal, a second All Star and was the unanimous choice as Player of the Year. His Championship form was all the more remarkable given the serious shoulder injury he carried for much of the Summer, an injury that severely curtailed his training schedule.

Junior Player of the Year: Gavan O’Grady.

After posting 1-3 in the opener against Clare, he scored a magnificent 1-6 in the provincial decider against Cork played in Tralee’s Austin Stack Park. He followed that up with 9 points in the All Ireland semi final against Sligo, but despite his 4 point contribution in the final, Cavan thwarted Kerry’s bid for All Ireland glory. A young man with a bright future ahead of him in the footballing fields of the Kingdom and beyond.

Minor Footballer of the Year: Matthew Flaherty

2014 has been a never to be forgotten year for Matthew Flaherty. The Daingean Uí Chúis player was an instrumental figure as Pobal Scoil Chorca Dhuibhne captured their very first Hogan Cup All Ireland Colleges title in April and he carried this exceptional form into the Munster Championship series against Clare, Tipperary and Cork scoring 7 points in the process. When Kerry’s back’s were to the wall in the latter stages of the Munster final, his switch back to his usual hunting ground in the half back line was instrumental to the Kingdom’s success. Thereafter, in the All Ireland Series, he played a vital role as Kerry went on to capture the Tom Markham Cup for the first time since 1994.

Referee Award: Padraig O’Sullivan (Firies)

Padraig received an award in recognition of refereeing the 2014 Under 21 Final and the 2013 Munster Intermediate Club Final

Kerry County and  District Pass 2015

 The Kerry County GAA Pass is always a topical Christmas gift. Costing €125, this pass entitles the bearer to entry to all championship and league games, both  hurling and football, under the

auspices of the Kerry County Committee and Divisional Committees. It is not valid for Provincial or National games. Now Available to purchase from the Kerry County Board Office in Tralee and the  Kerry GAA Store in the Killarney Outlet Centre.

Kerry GAA Store for your Christmas Shopping

The full range of the new Kerry jersey, including a ladies cut, is now on sale in The Kerry GAA Store in the Outlet Centre.

Among other items available is a Kerry GAA Calendar, Sam 2014,  the very popular RTE DVD which shows both the Kerry/Mayo replayed semi final and the All Ireland final between Kerry and Donegal in full.

The Store is open till 7pm daily – except Sundays (6pm) – during the run in to Christmas.

SCÓR: Have an ear cocked towards Kerry Radio on Christmas Eve.....idir 9am agus 11am.....when a few Scór na nÓg items will be aired by Teasa Murphy. You'll hear some of our GAA talent from the Glenbeigh county finals. Cuir cluas le héisteacht ort féin!

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

Causeway are Under 21 Champions

Causeway are the Acorn Life Kerry Under 21 Hurling Champions for 2014 following their 0- 18 to 0 – 9 win over St. Brendan’s in the final, played at Austin Stack Park on Sunday last. Causeway were always well on top, were ahead by 0 – 11 to 0 – 3 at half time and by the final whistle had 9 points to spare.

After the game the cup was presented to the winning captain, Tommy Casey, by Gerard McCarthy, Kerry Hurling Officer while the Man of the Match award was presented by Co. Board Treasurer, Weeshie Lynch to the Causeway left half forward, Paul McGrath.

This is only their second ever Co. Under 21 title and it bridged a 35 year gap way back to 1979 since their last victory.

The Causeway team and scorers was: Stephen Murphy, Jamie McGrath, Muiris Delaney, Billy Lyons, Jason Diggins (0-1), Tommy Barrett, Michael Lynch, Tommy Casey (capt.) (0-2), Darren Leahy, Sean Leahy, Keith Carmody (0-2), Paul McGrath (0-9, 7f), Jamie Barrett, Brandon Barrett (0-1), Joseph Diggins (0-3). Ian Liston (Lixnaw) was the match referee.

Lixnaw calendar

Weeshie Fogarty of Terrace Talk and Radio Kerry fame launched the Lixnaw G.A.A. Club 2015 calendar at the Railway Bar in Lixnaw on Saturday night last. The calendar is a celebration of the year past, during which Lixnaw won the Co. senior and minor hurling championships and it includes nearly 80 photographs documenting this historic achievement.  The Calendars are on sale in Foley’s Gala, Lixnaw and from Lixnaw Club Officers.

Lixnaw will have the Kerry senior hurling captain next year when John Griffin will lead them out. Kerry open their 2015 season on 18th January in the Waterford Crystal Cup competition with a home game against U.C.C.