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PRO GAA Scene January 27th 2016 2016-01-27 18:49:00

Kerry and Dublin renew League rivalry
Kerry and Dublin renew an 86 year rivalry in the Allianz Football League when they come head to head in the opening round of the 2016 league at Croke Park on this Saturday evening (7pm) with Eddie Kinsella of Laois the man in the middle. Kerry supporters need little reminding that Dublin are the reigning All Ireland Champions and at the expense the Kingdom at that and I am sure that Eamonn Fitzmaurice and his men would like nothing better than to start the 2016 season with a morale boosting performance over the old foe.

However, Kerry travel to the capital without some of their more seasoned campaigners who are sidelined with injuries of different rehabbing durations. Colm Cooper is due back in training soon, but the likes of Kieran O’Leary, the Geaneys, Paul and Mikey, Anthony Maher and Peter Crowley are not due back until March while James O’Donoghue is expected to return in late April. Othewr notable absentees include Aidan O’Mahony who is sidelined with an eye injury, Marc Ó Sé is back in training but will not be part of the panel for the first two games, and last year’s captain Kieran Donaghy is not due back in training until after the Roscommon game. Add in captain Bryan Sheehan who is club-tied for the first two games and all of that means that there are panel place up for grabs – for the two first games at the very least – for the likes of Pa Kilkenny, former minors, Tom O’Sullivan and Brian Ó Beaglaioch, and the three O’Sullivans, Brendan, Paul and Jamie to name but a few.

Kerry had a useful workout on Sunday last against Billy Morgan’s UCC as they try to get some badly needed match practice following their team holiday in the USA and it remains to be seen how sharp they will be on Saturday night.

After the home game with Roscommon on Sunday week in Fitzgerald Stadium there is a three week break before three games in successive weekends commencing with Down (A) on February 28th, Donegal (Austin Stack Park) and Mayo (A). Following a two week break Kerry finish up with Monaghan (A) on March 27th and Cork at home in Austin Stack Park on the following weekend.

€5 discount for pre-purchased tickets for The Allianz Leagues
Tickets are now on sale for the Allianz Football and Hurling Leagues at a pre purchase discounted price of €10 for Kerry’s games in Division 1 Football and Division 1B in Hurling. Please note that the cut off time for the pre-purchase discount will be midnight on the night before the fixture (Friday night at 12 for the Dublin game). Tickets purchase on match day will be the usual €15.

Tickets are available from the usual sources including participating Centra and Supervalu stores throughout the county and from the Kerry GAA Store in the Outlook Centre in Killarney. The closing date for purchasing the GAA Season Tickets from Croke Park is this Sunday, 31st January.

Double Club Football joy for Kerry Clubs

There was double club championship joy for Kerry clubs at two different Linmerick venues on Sunday last when reaching All Ireland finals at the expense of neighbouring Meath clubs.

St Marys Qualify for Intermediate Club Final

St Marys experienced little difficulty in disposing of the challenge of Meath standard bearers Ratoath as they qualified for the All Ireland Intermediate Club final in Croke Park on February 6th (4:45pm)with a comprehensive 2-20 to 1-5 victory at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.

St Marys had one leg in the final when leading by 2-10 to 0-4 at the break thanks to goals from Sean Cournane and Niall O’Driscoll and they kept this pressure up in the second half to run out easier winners than what had been generally expected. St Marys now play Hollymount /Carramore of Mayo who defeated Loughinisland by 0-15 to 0-10 in the other semi final.

Templenoe are in the Junior Club Final
Templenoe are in the All Ireland Junior Club final thanks to a hard earned seven points victory over Meath representatives Curraha at Kilmallock (1-9 to 0-5). Templenoe had to dig deep against tough opposition but fully deserved their win which sets them up for a final place on February 6th against Mayo’s Ardnaree/Sarsfields who defeated Rockorry of Monaghan by 0-11 to 0-6 in the other semi final.

Templenoe led by 1-5 to 0-3 at the break , the goal from the penalty spot by Brian Crowley, and the winners gradually added the insurance points in the second period to reach Croke Park for the first time in their history.

Credit Union Senior Football Leagues
The draw for the Credit Union Senior Football Leagues which commence on March 20th has been made and has been posted to the clubs. The Division 1 Round 1 meeting of Dr Crokes and Austin Stacks at Lewis Road will double up with last year’s final while Rathmore will be entering a “B” team in Division 5 for the first time in a long time. Kilgarvan will not be competing in the League.

Games involving dual clubs that are clashing with dates for the senior hurling championship will be allocated alternative dates in advance by the CCC and will be included in the Eolaire.

John Mitchels are promoted to Division 1 of the Senior Football League

John Mitchels clinched promotion to Division 1 of the SFL at the second attempt at Brosna on Sunday last following a narrow one point victory (1-11 to 0-13) over Spa after another exciting game that went right down to the wire once again.

Spa, who had first use of the wind, were 10 points to 5 to the good at the break with Michael O’Donoghue accounting for half of the Spa tally. Cian Sheridan got in for the crucial score of the game, a goal for Mitchels in the 36th minute and it was tit for tat for the rest of the game as the sides swapped scores and then Alan O’Donoghue popped up with the last gasp winner. The Tralee side’s first engagement back in Division 1 is on March 20th when the entertain All Ireland Junior Finalists Templenoe.

Junior Football Management Team
The Kerry Junior Football Management Team for 2016 was ratified at Monday night’s county committee meeting; Manager is Stephen Wallace (Ardfert) and his selectors are Timmy O’Sullivan (Kerins O’Rahillys), P.J. Reidy (Kenmare) and Brian Hickey (Skellig Rangers).

County Committee Meeting
At Monday night’s meeting of the county committee the fixtures calendar for 2016 was ratified. The Co. Committee had already decided that the final Rounds of the County Leagues would be played on the last Weekend of September so, to allow this, some rounds of the League have been brought forward; The Leagues commence on March 20th and there are four rounds of the League between June 4th and July 2nd, two in July and one in August. The Club Championships commence on April 17th and the semi finals will now go ahead on May 7th which is another major change as these were usually played in the Autumn. The CCC proposals for the format of the Senior Football Championship were accepted which means that the Hurling and Football Championships will be run on the same format (“Christy Ring” format.

Kerry GAA Supporters Annual Dinner Dance and Awards night
The Kerry GAA Supporters Club held their 26th annual social on Saturday night last in the Ballygarry House Hotel in Tralee. With national titles in both football and hurling, as well as handball, there was plenty to celebrate. The four football All Stars, Brendan Kealy, Shane Enright, Anthony Maher and Donnchadh Walsh received presentations, as did the managers of the successful Kerry Junior and Minor football teams, Stephen Wallace and Jack O’Connor respectively, along with the captains, Alan O’Donoghue and Mark O’Connor. The hurlers were not forgotten and their four All Stars, Patrick Kelly, Shane Nolan, John Egan and Keith Carmody received presentations, as did senior captain, John Griffin, Minor Hurling captain, John Buckley and Minor manager Ian Brick. Dominick Lynch’s exploits on the Handball scene were recognised with a presentation and chairman Donal O’Leary, paid a special tribute to the resently deceased Leo Griffin who was an ever present at the annual social.

Already, the Supporters Club are planning ahead for overnight stays for the Allianz League games and of course their season gets underway on this Saturday when they have a day-trip to Croke Park for the AFL game with Dublin. Bus times are as follows: Farranfore 10am; Tralee 10.30 and Listowel 11am.

Kerry GAA Gala Fundraising Dinner in Dublin
This Friday night is a big night for Kerry folk in the capital when the inaugural Kerry GAA Gala Fundraising Black Tie Dinner will be held at the Hilton Doubletree Hotel, (Burlington) Dublin on the eve of the League game between the two All Ireland finalists.

Many of the stars of the legendary Kerry-Dublin clashes over the decades have been lined up to attend and all funds raised on the night will be invested in the development of training and coaching facilities at the Kerry Centre of Excellence Project.

Kerry GAA Car Raffle winner- drives away with new Opel Insignia.
On Friday morning last, Charlie Daly from Knockanish, The Spa Tralee drove away from Aherns Garage Castleisland with his fabulous new Opel Insignia which he won in the Kerry GAA 2015 Car raffle draw.

The key of the Opel Insignia, sponsored by Aherns Garage Castleisland, was presented to Charlie by Paudie Dineen, Assistant Treasurer of Kerry County Committee.

Kerry GAA, wishes to thank everyone who supported the draw and wish Charlie years of safe driving in his new Opel Insignia.

Referees In-service Course
A referees in-service course will be held in two locations in the county over the coming weeks. In Fossa on February 2nd, the course will cater for referees in the East Kerry, South Kerry, Mid Kerry and Kenmare District areas while on Febraury 9th, the course in Kerins O’Rahillys clubrooms will cater for North Kerry hurling and football, Tralee District, St Brendans Board, West Kerry and any referee who cannot make the first meeting.

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

Kerry Hurlers go down to Waterford in Munster SHL
The Kerry senior hurlers lost to Waterford by 0 – 17 to 0 – 8 at Fitzgerald Stadium last Saturday in the last round of the Munster senior league. Although Kerry did not win any of their games in the league, it was still a very worthwhile competition and gave the management team the opportunity to give game time to the panel and also to improve match sharpness in advance of the forthcoming Allianz League.

This league campaign will get underway on Sunday, 14th February away to Laois at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, commencing at 2,00p.m. Other league fixtures are: Sunday, 21st February v Limerick (at Austin Stack Park, 2.00p.m.); Sunday, 6th March v Wexford (at Austin Stack Park, 12.45p.m. – a double bill with the Kerry v Donegal football league game); Sunday, 13th March v Clare (at Cusack Park, Ennis, 2.00p.m.) and Sunday, 20th March v Offaly (at St. Brendan’s Park, Birr, 2.00p.m.)

Minor Hurlers
The Kerry minor hurlers will compete again this year in in the Leinster minor hurling league and have been drawn in Group 4 with Laois and Dublin. Fixtures are as follows: Saturday, 12th March away to Laois; Saturday, 19th March away to Dublin. Semi-finals Saturday, 26th March. All games at 2.30p.m.

The Minor and Under 17 Management team was announced at Monday night’s County Committee meeting; Manager is John Hennessy (Ballyduff), Trainer is John Barry of St Senans and the selectors are John Healy (Ballyheigue), Jerome O’Sullivan (Crotta) and Aidan O’Mahony (St Brendans).

The annual Todd Nolan Tournament will take place at Kerry venues on Saturday, 9th April. At local club level, the North Kerry minor league commences on Sunday, 3rd April, with further rounds on Tuesday’s 12th, 19th and 26th April. The co. minor league dates are Monday’s 20th June, 27th June, 4th July with the finals on Monday, 18th July. The co. minor championship quarter finals are fixed for Saturday, 6th August, semi-finals on Saturday, 20th August and the final to precede the co. senior final on 11th Sept.
Club Scene

The Tralee Parnell’s Hurling Club will hold a Hurling and Camogie Academy over 6 weeks, commencing on Tuesday, 2nd February. Venue will be Tralee Sports Complex and it is open to children born from 2006 up to 2009. Cost is €12 and a hurley and helmet will be supplied. Further details and up to date news on the club at traleeparnellshurling.blogspot.ie .

The following were the main officers elected at the Kilmoyley Hurling Club convention on Sunday last: Chairman - Joe Walsh (Lerrig); Secretary - John Nolan; Assistant Secretary - Triona Brassil; Treasurer - Paddy Harrington; Oifigeach Culturtha - Padraig Regan; Coaching officer - Ian Brick; Co. Board delegate - Brendan McElligott; North Kerry Hurling Board delegates - John Godley and Brendan McElligott.

Scór na nÓg All Ireland in Killarney

Best wishes to The Spa (Cill Airne) set dancers who will perform in the Scór na nÓg All-Ireland in the INEC on Saturday (3pm). Na Rinceoirí: Liam Ó Spealáin, Céití Ní Chróinín, Gearóid Ó Súilleabháin, Áine Ní Bhrosnacháin, Cianán Ó Dochartaigh, Áine Ní Chonchúir, Eoin Ó Donnchú, Éabha Ní Shúilleabháin.

Good luck to The Spa (Cill Airne) quiz team that will be in action in the Scór na nÓg Quiz All-Ireland in the INEC on Saturday (10am). An fhoireann: Niamh Ní Chlúmháin, Tomás Pléimeann, Séamus Ó Loinsigh, Mícheál Ó hEathírn.

Senior Scór County Final: The Kerry County Final which will be held at 6pm on 6th February (Satharn) in the Girls (Convent) Primary School, Oileán Ciarraí. Every GAA Club in Kerry is invited to partake in the Kerry Table (4 per team) Quiz at 4pm on 6th February (Satharn) in the Girls (Convent) Primary School, Oileán Ciarraí. Layout of questions on kerrygaa web (under Cultúr). The winning team will go straight to the All-Ireland which will be held in the INEC (Cill Airne) on 2nd April.