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PRO GAA Scene March 18th 2015 2015-03-18 22:39:00

Kerry Defeat Donegal in All Ireland Final rematch

Kerry recorded a hard earned, but fully deserved victory over defeated All Ireland finalists Donegal before 6,250 enthusiastic supporters at the Austin Stack Park on Sunday last to move to six points on the League table. Kerry took the game to their opponents from the start and the kicking of Bryan Sheehan, both from play and frees was worth the admission price alone.  The home side were rocked however when Ryan McHugh goaled in the 10th minute but they responded in style with four points without reply, three of those from play. Bryan Sheehan and Donegal’s Michael Murphy showed how their accuracy from long range frees and at the break, Kerry could count themselves a shade unlucky not to be more than a point to the good, 0-9 to 1-5.

Donegal restarted in determined fashion with three points in as many minutes but Kerry’s response thrilled the vocal home support when first Alan Fitzgerald pointed from distance and then Paul Geaney set up Barry John Keane for an important goal. Kerry passed up a chance of another goal soon after as Donegal fought back but the crucial score came in the 64th minute when David Moran powerfully converted a penalty after Paul O’Donoghue was fouled. Kerry did not make it easy on themselves thereafter conceding a penalty which Michael Murphy converted but that proved to be the final score in a match that was certainly far more entertaining that what many people had thought it would be. One disappointing aspect was the rib injury picked up by Bryan Sheehan which necessitated his replacement at half time but his six point contribution to Kerry’s cause in the first half will certainly be remembered for a long time by those present to see it.

So Kerry join Mayo and Monaghan in the semi final places on six points, two behind Cork.

This was the third of four League fixtures in March for the Kingdom; Kerry play Monaghan in Austin Stack Park in two weeks time (29th) before finishing their campaign with a trip to Tyrone on April 5th.

Credit Union Senior Football Leagues Commence

The Credit Union Senior Football Leagues swing into action this coming weekend with action  in all five Divisions. The Leagues commenced way back in 1971 when Austin Stacks, John Mitchels, Kerins O’Rahilys, Waterville, Kenmare, Desmonds, Laune Rangers and Keel played in the inaugural League with Waterville defeating Laune Rangers in the final.

The following year, it was decided to form three leagues, Senior, Towns Cup and Junior and in 1973, the Leagues really took shape in the format we now know them with three divisions. The leagues have stood the test of time since and are the envy of most counties. Promotion and relegation methods have changed over the years, and as was the case last year, a three up and three down policy applies again this year.

Division 1

Glenbeigh-Glencar make a welcome return to Division 1 football after many years of trying. In the early years of the League, the sea-siders were no strangers to the top flight and their return for the first time since 1984, certainly freshens up the competition in this Division. They are joined by Killarney Legion who have bounced back after one year in Division 2. Last year’s Division 1 champions have yet to be decided of course and the Round 4 meeting of Austin Stacks and Dr Crokes will double up as the 2014 final. There are just five  games going ahead this weekend due to the postponement of the Austin Stacks/Waterville game.

Division 2

Rathmore, Listowel Emmets and Currow made the drop to Division 2 and they are joined by newly promoted Glenflesk, St Marys and Templenoe along with county championship side Laune Rangers.

Division 3

St Pats, Skellig Rangers and Listry made the drop from Division 2 last year and Na Gaeil, Beaufort and Beale were the promoted sides to a division that contains two All Ireland Club champions in Ardfert and Brosna who clash in Round 2 on the weekend of March 29th. The Annascaul/Beaufort and Na Gaeil/Listry game have been deferred.

Division 4

Dromid Pearses, Lispole and Scartaglen made the drop from Division 3 football last year and they are joined by newly promoted Dr Crokes “B” and North Kerry sides Ballydonoghue and St Senans.

Division 5

Three North Kerry sides made the drop to Division 5 last year; Ballyduff, Ballylongford and Knocknagoshel and this division is certainly divided into geographical extremes with the likes of Renard, Valentia, Sneem/Derrynane and Tuosist from the southern side of the county.

So, twenty four games this coming weekend to whet the football appetite of the Kerry faithful as the 2015 season gets underway in earnest. The Leagues are sponsored for the 13th year in a row by Chapter 23 of the Irish League of Credit Unions.

 Recommendation to reduce the number of teams in the Senior County Championship

The Senior Football Championship Review Committee, under the chairmanship of Tony O’Keeffe have put forward a recommendation on the methodology to be used to reduce the number of Senior Clubs in the Championship from 11 to 8.

It will be recalled that the decision to reduce the number of Senior Clubs from 11 to 8 has already been taken by the county committee. 

The following is the proposal of the SFC Review Committee:

Relegation in 2015 will be based solely on the Senior Club Championship and not the Senior Football Championship. In the event of club teams that are in relegation playoffs reaching the County Final the proposal may have to be revisited.

The two teams from this year’s senior club final gain exemption.

The remaining nine teams are drawn into 3 groups of 3. They play off on a league basis with the lowest team from each group being relegated. If two or more teams finish level on points in a group rule 6.20(T.O.) covers the criteria used to decide which team is relegated (i.e. The outcome of game between both sides, scoring difference, play off etc).

Clubs should also note the following;

·         The winners of the 2015 Intermediate Championship will not be promoted to senior status.  From 2016 onwards that situation will revert to the Intermediate winners replacing the relegated Senior team.

·         With three teams being relegated from the Senior Championship, and the Junior champions of 2015 being promoted to Intermediate status, four teams are to be relegated from this year’s Intermediate Championship. The first round losers of this year’s Intermediate championship will play each other to achieve this.

·         The top 32 teams from Junior and Novice will compete for the 2016 Premier Junior Championship. The first round losers enter the 2016 Junior Championship (currently Novice Championship

The committee has looked at other possible means of deciding relegation from the Senior Club Championship in 2015 and remain open to other proposals from clubs in this regard. If any club wishes to put forward an alternative proposal on how to reduce the number of Senior Clubs from 11 to 8 then that proposal should be forwarded to the county runaí by this Wednesday. Any counter proposal must focus on the methodology to be used to achieve the objective. Proposals to amend what has already been decided will not be accepted. Any alternative methods proposed will be circulated back out to the Clubs that evening or following day.  A decision on the mechanism to reduce the number of Senior Club teams from 11 to 8 will be taken at next meeting of the County Committee which is fixed for Monday March 30th.

Kerry Under 21s in Munster Championship action

A young Kerry side heads to Páirc Uí Rinn on this Wednesday evening (7:30) to try and halt Cork’s bid for five-in-a-row Munster Final appearances. Kerry have not won a Munster Under 21 title since 2008, a year in which they went on to claim the All Ireland title with a team that included the likes of Killian Young, Shane Enright, David Moran, Kieran O’Leary, Michael O’Donoghue and Tommy Walsh. Indeed Kerry folk will need little reminding that the Kingdom have fallen to their rivals in each of the last four years; twice in the final and twice at the quarter final stage. The Kerry team contains just one of last year’s starting fifteen against the same opposition (Gavin Crowley)as well as six of the successful Kerry Minor side from last year namely, Shane Ryan, Cormac Coffey, Brian Ó Beaglaoich, Barry O’Sullivan, Micheál Burns and Matthew Flaherty.

The management team of Darragh Ó Sé, Ciarán McCabe, Seamus Moynihan and John Shanahan have left no stone unturned in their efforts to return Kerry to the top of the Munster Under 21 pile and their participation in the Longford GAA sponsored Hastings Cup competition  will surely have been a help in that regard. Cork for their part, got quite a scare from Limerick in the quarter final tie played on Wednesday last but on home soil they will once again prove very formidable opposition.  Still, there is a quiet air of optimism that it’s time for the Kingdom to end a series of narrow defeats in this grade against their neighbours.

Keanes Supervalu Killorglin Minor Football League

Round 3 of the Keane’s Supervalu Killorglin Minor football Leagues, was played last weekend and any outstanding games will be picked up this coming weekend.

In Division 1, Dingle, Ballydonoghue and Spa share top spot with Dingle and Kerins O’Rahillys playing this weekend in a back game postponed due to Colleges commitments.

In Division 2, An Ghaeltacht, Milltown and Legion are all on four points with An Ghaeltacht playing Legion this coming weekend in a back game.

In Division 3A, Firies and Emmets top the table on 6 points apiece, and in Division 3B, Glenflesk are on 6 points, 2 ahead of Beaufort.

In Division 4, St Senans are on 4 points, 2 ahead of Finuge and in Division 5, St Pats and Asdee/Ballylongford top the table.

In Division 6A, Skellig/Valentia and Templenoe/Tuosist are on 4 points each while in Division 6B, Fossa are out on their own on 4 points.

Round 4 of the League will be played on April 3rd.

Rounders Blitz

On Saturday morning last,  Kerry GAA held a very successful Rounder Blitz in John Mitchel’s club, Tralee for children with disabilities from throughout Kerry. The President of Rounder’s Ireland, Joe O’Donoghue, launched the blitz and also coached all players, assisted by a  member of the  ladies Rounders team from Wexford and Kevin Smith, of the Inclusion and Integration sub- committee along with a number of coaches from the Sporting Chance Programme, National Learning Network. They gave great help and encouragement to all.  The happy sounds of children enjoying wonderful fun rang out around the hall for the morning. Well done to all.  Thanks to the John Mitchel’s club for the use of their wonderful facilities and to all those who helped.  For further information on this, or other activities organised, please contact Kevin on 086 0404270.

Kerry Supporters Club heading for Tyrone

The Kerry Supporters Club have organised a weekend away for the final round of the Allianz Football League game against Tyrone on Sunday 5th April.  Bookings for this trip can be made in the Listowel Arms Hotel and Ballygarry House Hotel on Monday night 23rd March at 8.30p.m. This is the only night for bookings with full payment of €120 per person sharing. For further details contact Martin Leane, John King and Donie O'Leary.

Club membership:  Its that time of year where membership is now due for the Kerry GAA Supporters Club at a cost €10.  Cards can be obtained from all club officers and committee members.  Your support would be greatly appreciated for Kerry GAA.

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

Kerry Hurlers Defeat Carlow

The Kerry senior hurlers put themselves right back in the frame in Division 2A of the Allianz Hurling League when they had an unlikely but well deserved away win over Carlow last Sunday. Kerry hit 1 – 24 to Carlow’s 3 – 17 to record a 1 point win. Padraig Boyle took the Man of the Match honours with 11 points in total, 10 from frees and 1 from play.

The win sees Kerry in joint 3rd place with Derry in the League table, on 5 points, one behind joint league leaders Carlow and Westmeath, who meet in the last Round of the competition on this Sunday.

Kerry’s final game will be against London at Austin Stack Park, also on this Sunday, where there will be a 2.00p.m. throw in time.

 Minor Hurlers continue winning ways

The Kerry minor hurlers had another convincing away win on Saturday last in Round 2 of the Leinster minor hurling league. Played at the Trim G.A.A. Complex, they totally outclassed Meath, winning by 7 - 15 to 0 - 7. A goal from John Buckley (Lixnaw) after 50 seconds set Kerry on their way and other first half goals from Shane Conway (Lixnaw) and Colin Browne (Crotta) at full forward (2) left Kerry well ahead at half time, 4 - 9 to 0 - 1. Meath scored 6 second half points as they improved somewhat but Kerry, with further goals from Conway, Buckley and Jeremy McKenna (Lixnaw), were always in control and had 29 points to spare at the finish.

Round 3 against Offaly goes ahead on this Saturday, 21st March 21st at St. Brendan’s Park in Birr, commencing at 2.30 and the winners of this game go through to the final on 4th April.

Credit Union Senior Hurling Leagues

The 2015 Co. Senior Hurling league Division 1 will begin on the weekend of 12th April. The Division 2 competition gets underway on Wednesday, 15th April and continues each successive Wednesday evening.

Tournaments

The launch of the 2015 inter county and club tournaments - Gary Scollard (under 16), Todd Nolan (minor)and the West Munster senior league (O’Connell Cup) will take place on this Friday, 20th March at the John Mitchel’s G.A.A. Complex, commencing at 8.30p.m. Representatives from all clubs are invited to attend.  The Scollard and Nolan tournaments will both take place on the same day, on Saturday week, 28th March.