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Do or die for Glenflesk and Spa

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As we approach the midway point in this month for clubs, it’s judgement day for two of East Kerry’s main Intermediate hopefuls.

 

Intermediate Club Championship (Group 4)
Glenflesk v John Mitchels
Sunday at 2.30pm
Glenflesk

Things are looking up for last year’s beaten finalists Glenflesk after they secured another crucial two points by beating Desmonds 2-15 to 2-7 in Castleisland, but it will all be for nought if they come up short in Sunday’s showdown with fellow table-toppers John Mitchels in Glenflesk.

Mitchels have a far superior points difference thanks to consecutive blow-outs over Beaufort and Desmonds so nothing less than a win will do for new manager Paud O’Donoghue and his charges.

Glenflesk trailed by a point with nine minutes to go in the first half of their clash with Desmonds last weekend but promising youngster Patrick Darcy popped up with a goal to swing the tie in their favour. Some accurate kicking from the ever-reliable Darragh Roche kept the opposition at bay and when Darcy goaled again with five minutes to play, the game was won.

The visitors eventually ran out eight-point winners, 2-15 to 2-7.

Great credit must also go to the Glenflesk rearguard who limited the hosts to just three points (two from play) in the entire second half.

If the opening two weekends of football are anything to go by, John Mitchels are likely to pose a far more serious threat.

The Ballyseedy club built up a commanding 0-11 to 0-2 lead by the halfway stage of their clash with Beaufort as Alan O’Donoghue, Wayne Duggan, James Sheehy, Shane O’Connor, Thomas Kearns and Michael Kelliher all found the target. Mitchels continued to dominate into the wind in the second period and although late Beaufort goal added a touch of respectability from their point of view, the Tralee men romped home with nine points to spare (0-17 to 1-5).

This result coupled with their opening round annihilation of Desmonds certainly indicates that Mitchels are the form team in this year’s Intermediate but Glenflesk have also turned a few heads so Sunday’s Group 4 decider has all the makings of a classic.

The return of Jeff O’Donoghue, who was forced to sit out the Beaufort game, is a major boost for St Agatha’s and with key forwards Darragh Roche and Brian O’Donoghue also moving well, they will fancy their chances of toppling the current group leaders.

Home advantage could be the difference.

Verdict: Glenflesk by two.

 

Intermediate Club Championship (Group 2)
Glenbeigh/Glencar v Spa

Saturday at 6.30pm
Glenbeigh

Spa must be sick of the sight of Templenoe. The small club from the south eliminated them from last year’s Intermediate by defeating them in the final round of the group phase and this year they could be the cause of Spa’s downfall once again.

Templenoe emerged victorious in last weekend’s Group 2 opener between the pair (3-12 to 1-16) and although Spa aren’t quite out of the running just yet, they now find themselves in an unenviable position.

Nothing short of four points from four will do from here on in and while you would expect them to handle Laune Rangers in Round 3, it’s this weekend’s match-up that could be the problem.

Ivor Flynn’s team will travel to Glenbeigh on Saturday evening to take on a decent Glenbeigh/Glencar side who made light work of close rivals Laune Rangers in their first game of this year’s championship. With former Kerry captain Darran O’Sullivan pulling the strings, Glenbeigh/Glencar will fancy their chances – especially at home – but Spa can take heart from their last trip to the seaside.

A year ago, almost to the day, the Killarney club travelled west to take on the same opposition in Division 1 of the County League (also on the back of a defeat to Templenoe) and they managed to come home with the spoils after a fine 2-13 to 1-12 win.

In recent weeks, Spa started well against Templenoe and finished well against Legion. They will need a more complete performance this weekend to keep their championship aspirations alive.

Verdict: Spa by three.

 

Pic: Séamus Healy.

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Relegation battle has town divided

By Sean Moriarty This is bigger than the county final itself – with the main prize on offer being bragging rights in the town. After an unprecedented run of events during this year’s Kerry Senior Football championship Killarney’s two biggest clubs, Dr Crokes and Killarney Legion are set to face off in a relegation battle […]

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By Sean Moriarty

This is bigger than the county final itself – with the main prize on offer being bragging rights in the town.

After an unprecedented run of events during this year’s Kerry Senior Football championship Killarney’s two biggest clubs, Dr Crokes and Killarney Legion are set to face off in a relegation battle that is sure to divide the town.

In sporting terms, the outcome of the big game, set for December 5, is simple enough. The winner stays in the Senior Championship next season and the losers will have to play in the Intermediate Championship.

Fans of the black and amber or the green and white face an anxious week. Winning the county title is one thing – consigning your cross town rivals to second division football in football is altogether a bigger prize.

Senior officials from both clubs are being very guarded on a potential outcome as both sides know the significance of this play off.

“It is a pity that two Killarney clubs, with a long tradition of playing football in the top tier, find themselves in the position of having to play off to avoid relegation,” Matt O’Neill, Cathaoirleach of Dr Crokes, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Both teams will fight tooth and nail to stay in the senior ranks. I am confident that on Sunday week our lads will do themselves and the club proud, as always, and give their all in the quest to keep the black and amber to the fore.”

Crokes are based off the Lewis Road with Legion a short distance away on the other side of the bypass.

“Everyone has an opinion on this,” Legion PRO, Elaine O’Donoghue, told the Killarney Advertiser. “Both sides will be nervous – may the best team win. There are a lot of questions, are the Crokes suffering after defeat to Kerins O’Rahillys [in the semi-final]? Are our lads suffering after losing to St Brendan’s for the third year in a row?”

Every football fan will be keeping a close eye on next weekend’s Intermediate County Final too which takes place on December 4.

The winners of the match between Beaufort and Tralee side Na Gael will be automatically promoted to replace the losers of the Killarney play-off in the Senior Championship next season.

Should Beaufort prevail, a (relatively) local team could replace a town team in the top flight.

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Handball off the wall in Killarney

By Con Dennehy The popularity of handball as one of the fastest growing sports in Kerry is set to continue in the East Kerry region with the continued development of Spa/Killarney Handball Club. On Monday night the progressive club hosts a Beginners and Advanced League at their magnificent indoor facility located at the Spa GAA grounds […]

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By Con Dennehy

The popularity of handball as one of the fastest growing sports in Kerry is set to continue in the East Kerry region with the continued development of Spa/Killarney Handball Club.

On Monday night the progressive club hosts a Beginners and Advanced League at their magnificent indoor facility located at the Spa GAA grounds in Killarney. The club boasts two state-of-the-art indoor handball walls which were designed and built by local player and sportsman Mike Casey. It was opened in May 2018.

“On Monday night the games will tip off at 7pm with 11 players in the Advanced League and seven in the Beginners League. The format of the competition will see quarter finals in the first round progressing to overall winners on the night. It promises to be a great night of exciting handball and we welcome spectators,” said Eoin O’Donoghue, secretary of the club.

Competitors taking part in the Beginners League are Sheila Kelliher, Elena O’Donoghue, Niamh Faulds, Rosin King, Brid Horgan, Neill Horgan and Sinead Moriarty.

Players signed up for the Advanced League include Aoife Walsh, John Daniel Cronin, Eoin O’Donoghue, Kieran O’Brien, Brendan O’Donoghue, Michael Clifford, Evan Enright, Eoghan Daly, Brian McEvoy, Jerry Cronin and Maggie Quirke.

One player set to receive a warm welcome will be Brendan O’Donoghue. At the 2019 All-Ireland Hardball championships in Mayo, Brendan became the first Spa/Killarney man to win an All-Ireland Handball medal. He achieved this unique and much publicised honour in the highly ranked Master’s 55 B final.

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