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Game on: Crokes collapse blows championship wide open 

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This time last week they were odds-on favourites to win a third consecutive county title but Dr Crokes’ 2018 championship aspirations were dealt a crushing blow on Sunday when they fell to a shock defeat to Kerins O’Rahilly’s in the Park.

It was the Crokes’ first loss in the competition since October 2015 and not many people saw this one coming, especially not at half time when the Killarney side led by 10.

Rahilly’s still trailed by eight heading into the final quarter but they showed tremendous heart to stage one of the most unlikely comebacks you’re ever likely to see. In fact, many of the crowd in attendance missed the thrilling finale because they had long since left the stadium. To be honest, I was nearly gone myself.

Guys like David Moran, Barry John Keane and Tommy Walsh really came to the fore as Strand Road outscored the reigning champions 3-7 to 0-3 in the final 15 minutes plus additional time. Mike Quirke’s men were rampant down the stretch and if they can replicate this kind of intensity moving forward, they could go a long way.

Crokes, meanwhile, will be left to wonder what went wrong. There were murmurs around town that they weren’t exactly firing on all cylinders but it was still a huge upset by anyone’s standards. I can’t recall ever seeing a Crokes team capitulating in such emphatic fashion and it’s bound to dent the players’ confidence. They wouldn’t be human if it didn’t.

Their performance in the opening round against St Kieran’s was below par (they actually trailed with five minutes to play) but that was dismissed as an anomaly. In light of last weekend’s disastrous result, there are now serious doubts about their form. And form isn’t something that can be turned on or off with the flick of a switch.

Having said that, no one in Kerry will be writing Crokes’ obituary just yet. They’re not out of the competition and you would expect them to defeat An Ghaeltacht tomorrow in Round 3 to advance to the quarters. This team have been utterly dominant in recent years and, despite what happened last Sunday, it’s still hard to envisage them not being a factor in the latter stages of this year’s championship.

East Kerry are now the bookies’ favourites to lift the Bishop Moynihan Cup following another comprehensive victory in Killarney, this time against Dingle. The East were actually down two at the interval but they eventually racked up 6-15 en route to a handy 17-point win. David Clifford, who bagged a brace, showed his class once again and in Evan Cronin, Kevin McCarthy, Dara Moynihan, Paudie Clifford and Jack Sherwood they have a forward line that can torment any defence in the county.

The Killarney Legion are also safely through to the quarters after a fine win against Mid Kerry in Killorglin. Conditions were tough and the hosts raced into an early lead thanks to two quick-fire goals, but the lads responded well and I thought we were good value for the win in the end. Damien O’Sullivan was excellent at full back and I was also really impressed with Aidan Slattery who put in a serious shift at half forward.

It has been a good start and it’s nice to take the direct route to the last eight but there’s a long way to go yet.

Austin Stacks defeated South Kerry by a point in the other winners’ round game so they will join Rahilly’s, East Kerry and Legion in the hat for the quarter-final draw, which will take place after the last Round 3 game on Sunday.

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Muckross Rowing Club members on Irish teams for two major regattas

  Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events. Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse […]

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Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events.

Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta.

Daniel Fleming and Ian Coffey have both been selected for the Under 19 Irish squad to race at the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta for European junior rowers. The Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta, involving 16 European countries, will be held over from over three days, August 9-11 in Racice, Czechia.

Four Under 23 university rowers from the Muckross club have also been selected as part of the Senior Irish squad for the Home International Regatta this month.

Niamh Coffey (University of Limerick), Patrick Buckley (University of Limerick), Finn O’Sullivan (University of Limerick) and Ethan O’Neill (University College Cork Rowing Club) will take on the ‘Triple Crown’ event of rowing, competing for Ireland against crews from England, Scotland and Wales.

The Home International Regatta will be held on Saturday, July 27 in Strathclyde, Scotland.

All six Muckross rowers have earned their green jerseys following a lengthy and testing trial series on land and water which began in Autumn 2023 and culminated in final water trials at the end of June.

“Muckross Rowing Club sends its best wishes to the very talented Muckross oarsmen and women and all their crewmates as they fly the flag for Ireland this summer. The talented group build on a successful record in the sport,” said club PRO Tim O’Shea.

Niamh Coffey is a multiple Irish and University Championship winner and has previously represented Ireland in the Under 23 European Championships.

In 2022, O’Neill rowed at Junior level at the Home International event and won a gold medal as part of the Irish quadruple scull crew in the 500m sprint event.

Both Buckley and O’Sullivan continue to compete at the highest level nationally with the University of Limerick Rowing Club,  and join the Irish squad for the first time this year.

The international selections come at an exciting time before the Olympic Regatta in Paris, where Zoe Hyde (Tralee Rowing Club) will be among the largest Irish rowing contingent of 16 rowers to contest an Olympic Games.

Killorglin native Zoe has previously rowed for both Killorglin and Muckross rowing clubs and will race the Women’s Double event for Ireland with Alison Bergin (Fermoy Rowing Club) in Paris.

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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