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PRO GAA Scene February 3rd 2016 2016-02-03 11:32:00

Kerry give best to Dublin in Allianz Football League opener
Dublin opened their Allianz League campaign with an emphatic victory over Kerry at Croke Park in front of an attendance of 30,000 on Saturday evening last. Dublin were on the front foot from the start and Kerry did well to recover to be on level terms at the break but the homeside had passed up a number of gilt edged goal scoring chances particularly in the first quarter.

It was a different story in the second half however as Dublin converted their dominance into scores and an early goal from Paddy Andrews and another form the penalty spot by Diarmuid Connolly had Dublin in the driving seat. Indeed the winners could afford the luxury of hitting the crossbar twice in that half as Kerry struggled to stay the pace and eventually, the All Ireland champions prevailed by a six point margin, (2-14 to 0-14), a scoreline that certainly flattered the visitors a little.

So the Metropolitan’s recent dominance over the Kingdom continues, for the moment at least, and no doubt, despite the fact that Kerry can point to the absence of a number of regulars as an excuse, Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice and his selectors will hardly have been happy with the display of his charges.

Kerry take on Roscommon in Round 2 of the Allianz League
It may be only the second game in the competition but already Kerry’s Allianz Football League encounter with Roscommon in Killarney’s Fitzgerald Stadium on Sunday is being labelled as a must win game for the home-side. This situation in the League is nothing new to Kerry in recent years however, and invariably, the unavailability of some of their regular players has been the major cause for poor starts to the League campaigns. Sunday is no different. The likelihood is that Aidan O’Mahony, an absentee last weekend due to an eye injury, will be the only addition to the match day squad named for the first two League games. Colm Cooper and Marc Ó Sé have both resumed training while Kieran Donaghy, on basketball duty for the past few weeks, will return next week. Kieran O’Leary, the Geaneys, Anthony Maher, Jack Sherwood and Peter Crowley are not due back until March while James O’Donoghue is expected to return in late April.

It’s all of thirteen years since Kerry and Roscommon have crossed swords in League action and Sunday’s encounter in the Stadium has a unique feeling about it. Like Kerry, Roscommon are also seeking a first win but there was a distinct difference in the manner of their defeats. Roscommon were regarded as unlucky to go down to Monaghan courtesy of a late goal while Kerry’s fate against Dublin had been sealed much earlier in the game. As already stated, it’s a must win game – for both sides - and for that reason alone there is bound to be a bit of bite to it. Expect a far hungrier Kerry side to take the field on Sunday. Throw-in is at 2pm with Fergal Kelly of Longford the referee.

After Sunday’s game there is a three week break before the League resumes on February 28th when Kerry are away to Down.

Ticket Vans in operation for Sunday’s game
Sunday’s game is an all ticket affair. Tickets may be pre-purchased or are available on the day at the ticket vans which will be located at both the Dalton’s Avenue and Lewis Road entrances to the ground. Stiles will open at 12:30pm.

There will be a designated stile at both sides for Season Ticket holders.

€5 discount for pre-purchased tickets for Sunday’s Allianz League game

A pre purchase discounted price of €10 applies for all of 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 (Saturday night at 12 for the Roscommon game). Tickets purchased on match day will be the usual €15. Admission for OAPs and Students is €10 on the production of valid I.D and Under 16s are free. 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.

St Marys and Templenoe are in All Ireland Club Final action this weekend
Saturday is a big day for two Kerry Clubs when St Marys and Templenoe contest the All Ireland Senior and Junior Club Finals respectively at Croke Park. Games at Club level do not come much bigger than this and while St Marys have been through it all before when claiming the Junior Club title in 2011, this voyage is a whole new experience for Templenoe. Both Clubs will be trying to emulate the achievements of Ardfert and Brosna (2015) and St Michaels-Foilmore and Skellig Rangers in 2009 by coming away from Croke Park on Saturday with both titles. By coincidence, both sides face Mayo opposition and no Mayo team has yet managed to win either the Intermediate or Junior titles in this competition.

St Marys go in search of the Intermediate Club Title
The St Marys love affair with the Intermedaite Championship comes to a climax on Saturday when they face Hollymount/Carramore in the final at Croke Park, a game that has a 4:45 throw-in. The Cahersiveen side will hardly lack match practice given that they have been in almost constant action since the final week of September last. The fact that many of their players have had a dual involvement with their commitment to the South Kerry senior championship winning side has been well documented but the emphasis on playing rather than heavy winter training has so far reaped a rich dividend.

St Marys played four games on their way to the Kerry title including an extra time thriller with Desmonds, and a final against Spa where they looked the better side for long periods but failed to put that dominance on the scoreboard. In the Munster campaign, they struggled against Upperchurch-Drombane of Tipperary before demolishing the Clare representatives and winning well in the end against Carrigaline of Cork in the Munster Final. The Leinster standard bearers, Ratoath of Meath, were expected to provide a stern test of the Kerry side’s mettle but they were brushed aside by a powerful Mary’s display.

Sunday’s opposition, Hollymount/Carramore of Mayo will hardly capitulate in such a fashion however. Suffice to say that they in beating Loughinisland in the semi final they accounted for the best that Ulster could throw at them and the northern province is generally regarded as the toughest test at club level. Many, if not all of Sean Cournane’s side have previous experience of Croke Park either at Club or County level and this is sure to stand to them in Sunday’s encounter. They carry the good will of all Kerry gaels in their quest to add the Intermediate title to the Junior title they won in 2011.

Croke Park is a first for Templenoe
While some of their more illustrious club men have graced the hallowed field that is Croke Park on many an occasion, Saturday’s All Ireland Junior final against Ardnaree/Sarsfields of Mayo (throw-in 3pm) will be a whole new experience for the Templenoe Club.

The Kenmare District side are arguably the most impressive Junior Championship winners in Kerry for quite some time but I am sure that deep down they will be quite thankful that they had to fight tooth and nail to get over a defensively minded Curraha side of Meath in a tough semi final. That game was a reminder to them that sometimes you have to leave the flashy play on the sideline and dig out a closely fought victory. To their credit Templenoe did just that and no doubt they will be relishing the sight of the wide open spaces of Croke Park. A youthful side, they play a very attractive brand of football where moving the ball at pace is the core aim. Their march to Division 1 of the County League last season for the first time in the history of the competition is testament to the well-being of the side. They won all four games in Kerry by six points or more and got a good test from Bandon of Cork in Munster before winning by three points. Hopefully on Saturday they will reproduce the form they are capable of and bring the Junior Club title back to Kerry for a 7th time.

Referees In-service Course
A referees in-service course will be held in Kerins O’Rahillys clubrooms on Tuesday 9th February next catering for North Kerry hurling and football Boards, Tralee District, St Brendans Board, West Kerry and any referee who was unable to make the first meeting in Fossa.

Club Officer Development & Training Programme.
This year, as part of a new national initiative the format of delivery of the club officer training will be slightly different. Essentially there will be four modules involved in delivering this programme;

• Induction Module - All Officers IE. Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer & PRO will attend this (Length - 2 Hours)

• Module 1 - Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer & PRO will attend this (Length - 2 Hours)

• Module 2 - Chairperson & Secretary only will attend this (Length - 2 Hours)

• Module 3 - Chairperson & Secretary only will attend this (Length - 2 Hours)

It is envisaged that the Induction Module & Module 1 only will be delivered in February 2016 and Modules 2 & 3 will follow in the Autumn.

It is likely that the programme will be delivered in 2 central locations to facilitate numbers and individual workshops. Expressions of interest forms which have been circulated to club secretaries should be returned this week. As in previous years, Coiste na nÓg Officers are also encouraged to attend.

Kerry GAA Gala Fundraising Dinner in Dublin a tremendous success
The inaugural Kerry GAA Gala Fundraising Black Tie Dinner held at the Hilton Doubletree Hotel, Dublin on the eve of the League game between the two All Ireland finalists last weekend turned out to be a tremendous success.

The big attendance of over 600 people included many of the legendary stars of the great Kerry-Dublin clashes down the years with the Kerry representatives led by trainer supreme, Mick O’Dwyer , Minister for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan , centenary captain Ambrose O’Donovan and a host of former and current stars ranging from Jerome O’Shea and Johnny Culloty to present day stars Colm Cooper and James O’Donoghue while the Brogans, Bernard senior and junior, Tommy Drumm and Alan Larkin, to name but a few, were there representing the Dubs. Johnny Sexton of Rugby fame, who has strong Kerry links, was also there and the hurling fraternity were ably represented by Tipperary’s Liam Sheedy and Kilkenny’s own Eddie Keher. Darragh Moloney of RTE did an excellent job as MC for the night.

Not surprisingly, Kerry county committee chairman, Patrick O’Sullivan, was very pleased with the night; “It was a very successful event and a tremendous occasion as well and it marked our first attempt at organising a major fundraiser in the capital. The Kerry business people in Dublin came out in force and I want to thank everyone who supported the event and especially the organising committee under Luke Moriarty John Gallagher, Richard Willis and Mark Kennedy”.

All proceeds from Friday’s event will be invested in the development of training and coaching facilities at the Kerry Centre of Excellence projects in Currans and Tralee IT and the chairman also revealed plans for further fundraising events in various locations in the coming months; “We are presently planning for fundraising Golf Classics in London, Boston, Chicago and New York and an inaugural Fundraising Dinner and Golf Classic in San Francisco in May. Construction of Dressing Room facilities is due to commence in Currans at the end of the month and hopefully all those facilities will be in place and ready for use in the Autumn” he added.

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

Kerry’s date with Laois on February 14th
The Kerry senior hurlers are continuing their preparation for the Allianz Hurling League Division 1B which commences on Sunday week, 14th February with an away game against Laois. Venue is O’Moore Park, Portlaoise where there will be a 2.00p.m. throw in.

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.)

With Kerry stepping up a Division this year, all hurling clubs should consider entering the Allianz Leagues prediction competitions. Just register on www.allianzleaguespredictions.ie. Entry is free.


The Tralee Parnell’s Hurling Club Hurling and Camogie Academy continues on Tuesday next, 9th February, 6.00p.m. – 6.50p.m. Venue will be Tralee Sports Complex and it is open to children born from 2006 up to 2009. A hurley and helmet will be supplied. Further details and up to date news on the club at www.traleeparnellshurling.blogspot.ie

The St. Brendan’s Hurling Club annual convention will be held on Friday week, 12th January at Ardfert N.S., commencing at 8.00p.m.


Two hurling coaching Workshops for club coaches will be held in Causeway Comprehensive School Wall-ball over the coming weeks. The first one ‘Build the skills’ is aimed at Under 12 – 14 club coaches and it will be conducted in February by Tipperary hurler, John O’Keeffe and Maurice Leahy - exact date and time to be confirmed. The emphasis of this workshop will be on how to build the skills at this crucial age group.

Workshop 2, ‘Need for speed’, for Under 16 to Minor club coaches, will take place at the same venue on Saturday, 5th March, 11.00a.m. – 1.00p.m. and will be conducted by Peter Casey,

Clare Games Development Officer.
A number of coach education sessions will be held in Killarney (venue to be confirmed) on Monday’s 8th, 15th and 29th February, 7.30p.m. – 10.00p.m. each evening. For details contact David O’Dea