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PRO GAA Scene September 16th 2015 2015-09-16 18:38:00

Croke Park the place to be this weekend

Croke Park will be the Mecca for all Kerry GAA followers this coming weekend when Kerry go in search of a rare two in a row of All Ireland titles at both Minor and Senior level. This is the third such occasion that the Kingdom have been involved in such a scenario the others being 1931/1932, and 1979/1980. The only blot on that achievement has been the defeat of the Minors in 1979.

Kerry and Dublin renew rivalry
The scene is all set for the culmination of the 2015 All Ireland Championship with a Kerry V Dublin showdown in Croke Park on Sunday next.
It is fair to say that once the draw had predetermined that the big two would be kept apart in the earlier rounds, Kerry and Dublin were everyone’s favourites to reach Sunday’s final. The game has captured the imagination of the general public like no other and games between these two sides rarely fail to live up to expectations. The rivalry between the men from the Kingdom and the Metropolitans is indeed legendary and really took off when Kerry, captained by the redoubtable John Dowling, overcame the Dublin “machine” in 1955 causing one of the greatest upsets that the fledgling Association had seen till then. Indeed, years ending in “5” have been particularly good to Kerry and invariably Dublin have been at the wrong end of the result in those years. One need only reflect back to 1975 when a youthful Kerry fifteen shocked the Dubs and they repeated that dose ten years later when captained by the late Paidí Ó Sé.
So what does 2015 hold in store? Both teams will feel that they have not played to their full potential thus far this season and both had a hiccup or two along the way. Kerry, despite a fine first half showing, left the door ajar for Cork in the drawn Munster Final between the sides but the Kingdom needed no second request to finish off the job in the replay with a much more focused display having taken lessons learnt in the drawn encounter on board. Dublin on the other hand almost managed to lose a semi final from a very commanding position of seven points to the good, however, like Cork, Mayo were unable to close the deal. The big difference was of course that had Dublin fallen through the trap door then they were out of the Championship while Kerry were in the comfort zone of being able to fall back on the Qualifiers if needed.
There is no doubt that the replay matches were of enormous benefit to both teams – particularly Dublin who, if they had driven on in the drawn game when seven points to the good, would have papered over many cracks that Kerry would have been only too glad to reveal. It’s a different ball game now and there is little doubt but Kerry will have to produce a season best display if they are to get the better of this latest Dublin “machine”. No doubt, if Kerry can invoke the spirit and passion of the trailblazers of 1955 on Sunday next there is no reason why they cannot put back to back titles in place. They carry the best wishes of all Kerry followers both within the county and beyond.

David Coldrick is the Referee
David Coldrick from the Blackhall Gaels Club in Meath is the Referee for the Kerry V Dublin Senior Final. Coldrick is an experienced Referee having refereed the All Ireland Finals of 2007 and 2010 as well as 6 Provincial Finals. He has officiated at games involving both Kerry and Dublin in this Championship being the man in the middle in the Leinster semi final between Dublin and Kildare and also refereed the Quarter Final between Kerry and Kildare. It will be recalled that he also refereed the Kerry V Mayo drawn All Ireland Semi final last year. Joe McQuillan of Cavan is the stand-by Referee.

Kerry and Tipperary Minors meet again

Having gathered their first All Ireland Minor title in twenty years just twelve months ago, there was little expectation that this year’s Kerry minor team would be challenging for honours this September. It is after all essentially a new team with the likes of team captain Mark O’Connor, and Andrew Barry the only survivors from the starting fifteen that saw off Donegal last year. However, the likes of Jason Foley, Jack Morgan, Stephen O’Sullivan, Gavin White, Conor Geaney and Brian Ó Seanachain were part of the substitutes bench or the extended panel and that experience is sure to have stood to them. The team showed great character in surviving the onslaught of a fancied Cork side in the Munster semi final, a game which Kerry controlled for long periods but which hung in the balance in an extra time classic. Against Tipperary in the Munster final, Kerry got the boost of two first half goals and that was enough of a cushion to see them get another provincial title. They easily accounted for Sligo in the quarter final and in the semi final they had it much their own way against a Derry side that flattered only to deceive. So Jack O’Connor, who barring a draw, will be managing the Kerry minors for the last time, is on the verge of achieving a unique double and hopefully the Kerry minors will give him the perfect send-off on Sunday.
Another Meath man, David Gough, will referee the game which throws in at 1:30.

Post Match Reception

The usual post-match reception for the Kerry senior and minor teams will take place in the Ballsbridge Hotel (formerly Jurys) on Sunday night. Admission is by ticket only and tickets may be purchased from the Kerry GAA Store in the Outlet Centre Killarney and from Austin Stack Park on Wednesday and Thursday from 3 to 5pm. Note that the office is closed on Friday.

Church Gate Collection

Kerry GAA extends a special “thank you” to everyone who contributed to the Annual Church Gate collection in respect of the Kerry Teams Training Fund which was taken up last weekend.

Kerry GAA Golf Classics

Two major Golf Classics are planned for the O’Mahony’s Point course in Killarney and the Lucan Golf Club in Dublin on this coming Friday September 18th with all proceeds going towards the Kerry teams training fund. Due to the huge response the Killarney outing will be spread out over two days, Thursday and Friday.

Kerry GAA Supporters Club Draw

The Kerry GAA Supporters Club are running a fundraising draw with 20 ALL Ireland Stand Tickets up for grabs.
The following are the prizes
1st Prize: Two All Ireland tickets, two nights hotel accommodation and two return rail vouchers
2nd Prize: Two All Ireland tickets and one year membership of Kerry GAA Lotto
3rd Prize: Two All Ireland tickets and free transport for two on Kerry Supporters coach to All Ireland final
4th-10th Prize: Two All Ireland Tickets
The draw will be held on Wednesday 16th September and the results will be live on Radio Kerry after the 10 o’clock news on that night. Entry is €5 per line and lines are available throughout the county or from members of the Kerry Supporters Club.

Kerry GAA Supporters Club Buses

Kerry GAA Supporters Club are travelling to Dublin for the final as usual on Sunday next and the following are the times of departure: Farranfore 6am; Tralee 6.30am and Listowel 7am.
Welcome Home
The Kerry Minor and Senior teams will be welcomed home to Tralee and Killarney on Monday evening next. The team will arrive in Tralee by train at approximately 6pm and will make their way to the Ashe Memorial Hall in Denny St, before travelling on to Killarney where they are expected in the Glebe Car Park at 9pm approximately.

Kerry Team Announcements
Both the Kerry Senior Team and Kerry Minor Team for Sunday’s All Ireland Finals will be announced on Thursday evening and posted on the Kerry GAA Website at 9pm.
Austin Stack Park Office Opening Hours
The office in Austin Stack Park is open on Wednesday and Thursday from 3 to 5pm and will be closed on Friday 18th.

Kerry GAA Store
All official Kerry GAA merchandise is now available in store and online including the official team wear for the finals which features green polo shirts and tops with grey trimmings. A ladies line will also be available. The GAA Store is located in the Outlet Centre in Killarney and customers are advised to get their orders in early to avoid disappointment. The store will be closed on Sunday 2th.

Cumann na mBunscol Colours Day

Cumann na mBunscol want to wish both Kerry teams every success on Sunday and as part of their send-off they want to encourage all school children to wear their county colours on this coming Friday and show their support for these two great teams.

Credit Union Senior Football Leagues
There were a few important games in the Credit Union Senior Football League last weekend and the picture in all divisions as we head into the final two rounds is far clearer.
In Division 1, Dr Crokes clinched a place in the Division 1 final and home venue with that when defeating Desmonds in a top of the table Round 10 clash at Lewis Road on Sunday last (2-18 to 0-11). Dr Crokes are on 17 points while Desmonds are on 13 both with just one game remaining. Also in Division 1, Waterville remain in the relegation zone following a 3-14 to 0-5 loss to Kerins O’Rahillys. All games in Division 1 are up to date as are those in Division 2, It’s a similar situation in Division 3 following the playing of the final back game in which Beale did their survival hopes a power of good with a 5-8 to 1-9 win over Ardfert. All Games in Division 4 are also up to date.
Round 10 will be played on the weekend of September 27th.

Keanes Supervalu Killorglin Minor Football Championship Semi Finals
The Draw for the Keanes Supervalu Killorglin Minor Football Championship Semi Finals made last week resulted in Mid Kerry taking on Dr Crokes and Shannon Rangers playing Dingle. All four clubs have been pretty impressive in their games to date and we look forward to two interesting games. Games to be played at neutral venues and will be fixed by the CCC.
Junior Cups Competitions still ongoing
The Junior Cups, which have been ongoing over the last few weeks, are down to the semi final stages in most of the competitions but the bad weather last weekend caused a number of postponements.

Molyneaux Cup
The Molyneaux Cup has, for whatever reason, been a major disappointment this year with Dr Crokes reaching the final without having played a game following a walk over in the semi final last week by Laune Rangers. Rathmore and Legion have yet to play the other semi final.
McElligott Cup
Gneeveguilla will play St Pats in the semi final with the winners playing Na Gael in the final.
Barrett Cup
St Marys got the better of Beaufort in the first semi final last weekend while Ballydonoghue defeated Tarbert in the quarter final replay and now play the winners of the remaining quarter final between Desmonds and Fossa.
Cahill Cup
Annascaul will play Lispole on this Friday evening in the first semi final while on the other side of the draw, St Michaels/Foilmore play Waterville in a quarter final replay with the winners playing Glenbeigh/Glencar in the other semi final.
Novice Shield
The way is clear for the semi finals of the Novice Shield following Fossa’s victory over Valentia and Sneem/Derrynane’s victory over Cromane last weekend. They now join Moyvane and Beal in the semi -finals

Under 21 Club Football Championship
All four semi finalists in the Under 21 Club Championship should be known on this Wednesday evening when Legion entertain John Mitchels in the remaining quarter final. Last week saw Lispole/Castle/Annascaul defeat Kerins O’Rahillys, and after two fine games of football, Spa defeated An Ghaeltacht and Dr Crokes got the better of Dingle.
The Under 21 Club Shield has also reached the semi final stage with the Austin Stacks V Ballydonoghue game falling foul of the weather last weekend while Templenoe defeated Glenflesk to qualify for the final.

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

Abbeydorney is venue for the SHC Final
After much speculation, Abbeydorney has been fixed as the venue for the final of the Garvey’s SuperValu 2015 Kerry senior hurling championship between St. Brendan’s and Kilmoyley on Sunday, 27th September. The game will have a 3.00p.m. throw in time.
The match programme for the game will be compiled once again by the North Kerry Hurling Board under the editorship of Ger Doyle.
The last county hurling final played outside of Austin Stack Park was in 1990 when St. Brendan’s had a 3 - 8 to 0 – 14 win over Ballyduff. The game was played at Causeway. As that was 25 years ago, the team being honoured at this year’s final will be that St. Brendan’s team (which was captained by Philly Stack).

Minor Championship
The draw for the semi-finals of the Keanes Supervalu Killorglin county minor championship has resulted in the following pairings: St. Brendan’s v South Kerry and Ballyduff/Causeway v Lixnaw (holders). Dates, times and venues to be decided for these games as some players are involved with a range of teams, including the co. senior final, the All-Ireland minor football final and the co. minor football championship.

County Leagues
The final of Division 3 of the county hurling league between Ballyheigue and Austin Stack’s was deferred last weekend at the request of the latter club. It has been re-fixed for Saturday week, 26th September.
In Division 1, Lixnaw got a walkover from Ballyheigue while the Lixnaw versus Lady’s Walk Division 2 game did not go ahead last Friday due to weather conditions.