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The Christy Ring Cup Final Preview 2015-06-04 22:22:00

The Christy Ring Cup Final Preview

Kerry V Derry

Croke Park Saturday at 5:30pm.

Referee: John Keane     Extra Time if required.

Kerry travel to Croke Park on Saturday for the Christy Ring Final hoping to make it third time lucky having tasted the bitter pill of defeat in the last two finals of the competition, last year to Kildare and the previous year at the hands of “Magic” Johnson’s Down.

Kerry have taken the direct route to the final and have beaten Down and Meath in Round 1 and 2 respectively, and Kildare in the semi Final on the following scorelines:

Rd 1: Kerry 2-17 Down 2-10

Rd 2: Kerry 1-23 Meath 2-18

Semi Final: Kerry 6-27 Kildare 0-9

Likewise, their opponents Derry were unbeaten en route to the final defeating Mayo, London and Down last weekend in the semi final:

Rd 1: Derry 0-13 Mayo 0-11

Derry 1-12 London 2-8

Derry 0-23 Down 2-12

This is Kerry’s fifth final but they have been successful just once, defeating Wicklow in 2011. This is Derry’s first appearance in a final.

Meet the Kerry Management Team

Bainisteoir: Eamonn Kelly, from the Kildangan Club (pronounced Kiladangan)  in Tipperary is in his second year in charge of the Kerry SH Team, represented Tipperary at Minor and Under 21 level in both Football and Hurling and has previous experience with the Tipperary Intermediate and Under 21 Hurling Teams and a number of Club Teams including the likes of Ballybrown in Limerick, Loughrea in Galway and he managed his own club Kildangan to an All Ireland Intermediate Club  title in 2005.

Has led Kerry to Division 2A Honours in the AHL in 2014 and 2015 and qualification for Division  1B in the AHL in 2016.

Coach/Selector: Conor Gleeson (Boherlahan-Dualla, Tipperary, Winner of 1 All Ireland and 2 NHL titles with Tipp)

Physical Trainer: Damien Ryall (Abbeydorney)

Selectors: DJ Leahy (Causeway), Tom O’Connell (Abbeydorney)


Remember Kerry’s One and Only Christy Ring Cup Final win?

The Christy Ring Cup Final 2011 – Kerry cruise to victory against Wicklow

Kerry 2 – 21   Wicklow 2 - 8

Kerry’s first victory in the Christy Ring Cup came in 2011 when they had a comfortable 13 point win over Wicklow in the final. Imríodh an cluiche i bPáirc an Chrócaigh ar an Satharn, 4ú Meitheamh.

Kerry were deserving winners as the younger and sharper Kingdom side were a step ahead of a hard working battling Wicklow side all through. They were ahead from start to finish with Shane Nolan opening their scoring in the 2nd minute. After 7 minutes right corner forward, Andy O’Brien opened Wicklow’s account. However thereafter Kerry took over and by the break had stretched into a 1 – 10 to 6 points lead, with Nolan also getting the goal.

Darragh O’Connell practically sealed the result with the first score of the second half, a 36th minute goal. Midfielder Eamon Kearns tried hard to inspire the Garden County, but apart from a period in the first half, they struggled to make headway. Dual player and star forward, Leighton Glynn, was well marshalled by the Kerry defence throughout. Goals in the 38th and 67th minutes make things look better for Wicklow but in truth Kerry were never troubled and they deservedly brought the Cup to Kerry for the first time

The Kerry captain was Mikey Boyle, manager was John Meyler and the selectors were John Hennessy & Sean O’Shea

Ciarraí: Bernard Rochford (Killeagh, Cork), Pádraig O’Grady (Ballyduff), James Godley (Kilmoyley), Eamon Fitzgerald (Causeway), Colin Harris (Kilmoyley), Jason Casey (Ballyheigue), Andrew Keane (Crotta), Darren Dineen (St. Brendan’s), John Griffin (Lixnaw) 0-1, Darragh O’Connell (Abbeydorney) 1-9, Gary O’Brien (Ballyduff) 0-1, Mikey Boyle (Ballyduff) 0-1, Shane Nolan (Crotta) 0-5, Mike Conway (Lixnaw) 0-2, John Egan (St. Brendan’s) 1-1. Subs.: James Flaherty (Lixnaw) 0-1 for M. Conway, Liam Boyle (Ballyduff) for G. O’Brien (63), John Fitzgerald (Causeway) for E. Fitzgerald, Colm Harty (Causeway) for S. Nolan (68), Adrian Royle (Kilmoyley) for J. Egan.

The Christy Ring Cup Finals

2005       Westmeath        1-23       Down                    2-18

2006       Antrim                  5-13       Carlow                  1-7

2007       Westmeath        2-15       Kildare                 0-13

2008       Carlow                  3-22       Westmeath        4-16

2009       Carlow                  1-15       Down                    0-14

2010       Westmeath        2-16       Kerry                     1-18

2011       Kerry                     2-21       Wicklow              2-8

2012       London                 4-18       Wicklow              1-17

2013       Down                    3-16       Kerry                     2-17

2014       Kildare                 4-18       Kerry                     2-22


Q & A With Kerry Coach/Selector Conor Gleeson by Murt Murphy

·         Outline how you got the job as Kerry senior hurling trainer? 

“I am hoping I am here through my reputation. I have been involved in coaching teams, over the last twelve years, in Tipperary and I also trained a team in Laois and won a County Final with Rathdowney. I have known Eamonn (Kelly) personally for the last 14/15 years, I have known him from his hurling background himself as a player and we would have been crossing paths as coaches. So I am hoping I am here by my reputation, having a bit of success and having some idea of what I am doing”

·         Is the Kerry job  your first inter-county assignment?

“I was actually manager of the Tipperary Intermediate team and I was also coached and managed the Tipp U-16’s as well. But this is my first coaching job at an inter-county level. “

·         Did Eamonn contact you or how did it come about? Were you following Kerry’s progress last year?

“I was still involved with Rathdowney in the Leinster Championship. I was speaking to Eamonn, when he knew that Brian (Horgan) who was involved last year was not coming back. He approached me to see if I was interested. “

·         Having hurled with Tipp all your life, being part of the big three, hurling at the highest level but now you are in a tier 2 county, what is the contrast, Can you see a big contrast in the hurling and in the set up?

“I suppose coming down I had some expectations. I think the lads, with their ability and their enthusiasm have surpassed by expectations to be honest. But I wasn’t sure what to expect even though, I would have known Shane Brick over the years, and few more lads on a personal basis, through my own job, Pat O’Connell from Lixnaw and a few of those guys, I would have an idea about the love of hurling and the passion for hurling that is in areas of Kerry. So it’s fantastic to come down and find that in fact my expectations have been surpassed. I am delighted to find that their skill levels, and the effort that these fellows are putting in, are on a par with the Tipperary’s. Everything that is being done here, is the same as what is being done in Tipperary, and in fairness to the County Board, anything that we have asked for, it’s been done.

Numbers is the main difference between Kerry and Tipp. You must remember hurling is the number one game in Tipperary, and there are a lot more people playing hurling in Tipperary and they have a much bigger pick. But the skill level of some of the guys here is the same and I would feel, if you had more people playing the sport, it will improve all the time. Anyone who comes and watches Kerry play, I think it is evident”

·         The game has changed since you played Conor? The pace and intensity is frightening – very little space to play hurling now?

“Absolutely, there is nearly an argument for changing to what they play in the US, 13 a side, because it’s so intense on the field. It is now harder and harder to get scores, everybody is now playing close to the edge, tackling and ways of tackling and putting pressure on the man, are all making it more difficult for teams today. The likes of Clare in the mid-nineties brought new fitness levels to the game, Cork then brought the short passing and a kind of a fast moving game and its moved on again now, to be more tactical and dropping a man back and so as the game evolves, you have to go with the times and adjust. “

·         Would it help if the season was longer and Kerry could play in July and Aug, when the ground is firm and all the top counties play their hurling?

“There are pros and cons. I am sure that some of the top tier teams would love to have a five month season. Maybe a five month season starting in April, with games being played during the fine weather might be better but sometimes a shorter year enables you to give the commitment, and then go back to your club and play your county championship then. I suppose the way I look at it is, that the rules are what they are, and it’s not ideal, because you would love to be playing your hurling in July/ August/September period, that are when you would like to be playing. But it’s similar to Tipperary with football being the minority sport; it’s taken them a long time to start climbing the ladder and a lot more are now playing football, because they see how well the senior team is doing”.

Kerry Hurling Player Profile: Meet Patrick Kelly

Date of Birth: 12/4/88                  Club: Clarecastle, Clare


Height: 6’ 3”                                      Weight: 88kgs


Occupation:   Secondary School Teacher


When and where did you first play Hurling?  Out the back with my father


Childhood Heroes: Anthony Daly and my father


Inter County Experience: Allianz Hurling League


Sporting Achievements to date: Freshers and Fitzgibbon Cups with WIT, Fitzgibbon Cup with NUIG, Munster and All Ireland Under 21, Intermediate and Senior All Ireland medals with Clare.


Any Superstitions before a match?  5 trips to the toilet before a match!


Favourite Venue: Thurles


Biggest influence on your sporting career to date: My Father and Colm Bonnar


Most memorable sporting moment as a player? Fitzgibbon Cup wins with WIT and NUIG


Biggest Sporting Disappointment: Not winning a county championship - yet


In ten years’ time I hope to be...  Taller!!


If there was a ‘transfer market’ in GAA who would you buy? Bring the Boyle Brothers back to Clare!


The best invention ever:Google


What skill do you think is the most important in Hurling? All are important


Favourite sport other than Hurling? Golf


What do you like most about the GAA? Family friendships


How would you improve the GAA? Look after all players better




Favourite Food?  Curry                   Drink? Water!


Favourite Music:    AC/DC                 Favourite Film: Man on Fire