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Fitzmaurice could start three newcomers in Munster semi

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Words: Eamonn Fitzgerald

Kerry begin the defence of their Munster SFC title on Sunday next in the Fitzgerald Stadium when they meet Clare with a throw-in time of 3.30pm. In the curtain-raiser at 1.30pm the Kerry ladies play Waterford.

The winners of the Kerry v Clare game will meet Cork in the Munster final. The Rebels scored a great victory over Tipperary last weekend and if Kerry win on Sunday, the Munster final will be played in the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh. It is a source of great satisfaction to Cork that they will be staging the Munster final in their magnificent new complex.

How good are Kerry? The team has not been announced as we go to press so Kerry fans will be hopeful of a home victory. I expect that Eamonn Fitzmaurice will start at least three newcomers to championship football. The defence has been causing some concern. Seasoned defenders Marc ó Sé and Aidan O’Mahony have retired and injury may rule out Shane Enright. The midfield, led by David Moran, is strong and there are plenty of options in the forward lines, even without Colm Cooper and Johnny Buckley who have retired from the inter-county scene. The pair will continue to play club football with Dr Crokes. Paul Geaney is the big hope here for scores and much will be expected of James O’Donoghue although he has played very little football for Kerry and for the Legion in the past 12 months.

Clare had a very inexperienced team out against Limerick but they still did the business, easily beating Limerick 1-23 to 0-14. Half of their team against Limerick were playing championship football for the first time and they acquitted themselves very well. These included a new goalkeeper in Eamonn Tubridy, full back Cillian Brennan, corner back Eoghan Collins, centre back Aaron Fitzgerald, as well as forwards Kieran Malone (who scored 1-3) and Eimhin Courtney.

Team manager Colm Collins was happy with their big win over Limerick but he was quick to temper that euphoria as they travel to meet Kerry in Killarney. “We have work to do and nobody is under any illusions about the size of the effort it will take to beat Kerry in Killarney,” he said.

Kerry will start as strong favourites and I expect them to win on home soil but Clare will not bend the knee that easily. In last year’s game, Kerry had to work very hard to fashion a 1-18 to 1-12 win. Kerry have won the last five Munster crowns in a row and after Sunday they should be on course for number six with, Cork waiting in the wings for a traditional Munster final clash.

Sport on TV

What a wonderful weekend we had to savour on TV. I expected Tipperary to push Cork in the Munster SHC and they did just that in a thriller, coming from nine points down to level the game in injury time 2-20 to 1-23. Luke Connolly played a blinder for the Cork footballers as did Colm O’Neill and Mark Collins.They scored 1-13 between them out of Cork’s total tally of 1-17.

Carlow were magnificent in their victory over a disappointing Kildare side and of course the Dubs were merciless, hammering Wicklow by 23 points.

Leinster continued on their winning ways defeating Scarlets 40-32 in the Guinness Pro14 final. Sexton was the big man in this win. I was disappointed in Liverpool, who made too many mistakes in the Champions League final and lost 3-1 to Real Madrid. Their case was not helped when Salah had to go off with a shoulder injury. He should recover to play with Egypt in this summer’s World Cup.

Rory Mcllroy lost his lead in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. His playing partner Molinari won by two shots with a last round of 68. There was real drama in the Rás Tailteann which was won by Luuc Bugter with literally one second to spare. You don’t get any closer than that.

 

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Fossa’s marathon man competes in Vienna

By Sean Moriarty They are a familiar sight on training sessions out the Fossa way, but last weekend two Killarney marathon runners made themselves known in Vienna, Austria. Tony Harty (Fossa) and Seamus Murphy (Milltown and Glencar) train together and travel together to international marathons all over the world. On Sunday they contested the Vienna Marathon […]

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By Sean Moriarty

They are a familiar sight on training sessions out the Fossa way, but last weekend two Killarney marathon runners made themselves known in Vienna, Austria.

Tony Harty (Fossa) and Seamus Murphy (Milltown and Glencar) train together and travel together to international marathons all over the world.

On Sunday they contested the Vienna Marathon with Tony recording a personal-best time of 2hrs and 45mins. He finished second in the Over 45 category and 27th overall, while Tony completed the course in 3hrs and 3mins.

“You won’t see one of us without the other,” said Tony.

Niall Thompson of Killorglin was also competing in the event.

Tony is a member of the well-known Harty family of Waterford. His two brothers Phillip and William and sister Rebecca all raced for Ireland.

Tony took up running later than his siblings and contested his first marathon in 2015 when was 39-years-old.

Now 45 he cannot stop running and takes in at least two overseas marathons every year as well as Irish and local events.

“It is all part of the experience,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. Both he and Seamus have previously contested marathons in Barcelona, Valencia and Rotterdam and he intends to return to Spain in early December for another crack at the Valencia event.

He prepared for Sunday’s race by winning overall at the Churchtown 5-mile race in Cork last month and the Antrim Half-Marathon a few weeks ago.

“Vienna was very hot, up to 26 degrees, and lots of people were suffering,” he added. “Vienna was supposed to run in April but it got deferred. We prefer running in cooler conditions. Valencia will be around 10 degrees in December which is ideal.”

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Jordan’s new role with St Paul’s

By Sean Moriarty Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club. Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level. The High Jumper then switched […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club.

Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level.

The High Jumper then switched to track and field and qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics where he made history by becoming the first Kerry athlete to act as a flag bearer for an opening ceremony and lead an Irish team into an Olympic Stadium.

Now back home and preparing for the next Olympics in Paris, he has returned to his first love and will join the backroom staff at the local Division One basketball club ahead of their National League campaign which begins next month.

His father Jarlath Lee is head coach with St Paul’s.

“Jordan is joining us as our strength and conditioning coach,” Jarlath told the Killarney Advertiser.

INTERNATIONALS

Meanwhile, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club National League team will have a distinctive feel to it this year after securing the services of three overseas players it for the season ahead.

The club’s biggest signing is Canadian professional Ben Miller. It was originally hoped that the former two-time Manitoba Player of the Year would play for the local side last season but the pandemic got in the way and the National League was never played. However, he did play two training games this time last year before returning to Canada until travel restrictions lifted.

“He is a good guy, very approachable and very good with the young members,” Jarlath said.

The club has also signed Bulgarian International Emilian Grudov.

The 20-year-old has already represented his home country at U16, 18 and 20 level.

“He is young, athletic and very good offensively,” added Lee.

The returning Lithuanian Dianius Varanaukus completes the club international line up for the 2020/21 season.

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