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Hayes the hero as Celtic steal famous win



FAI Junior Cup Quarter Final
Killarney Celtic 2-1 Janesboro (AET)

There was high drama at Celtic Park on Saturday night as a late extra-time winner from substitute Stephen Hayes sealed Killarney Celtic’s passage to the last four of the FAI Junior Cup.

Opponents Janesboro were one of the pre-tournament favourites but Celtic more than held their own over the course of a gruelling encounter, and when Hayes pounced in the dying embers of extra time you certainly couldn’t say the Killarney side were undeserving of their victory.

To be honest, the great game of football we were hoping for never really materialised. It was a very competitive, very tense match with flashes of brilliance and some moments of high drama but it definitely wasn’t one for the purist.

As underdogs you would have expected Celtic to dig in and make it difficult for the visitors and that’s exactly what they did. The centre back pairing of Jamie Spillane and John McDonagh in particular were outstanding on the night and from one to eleven the home side’s application was spot on.

They fell behind midway through the first half when striker John Tierney controlled and fired a powerful half volley into the top corner from 25 yards out. Janesboro improved thereafter but it remained 1-0 at the break.

To the delight of the boisterous home crowd, Celtic equalised on the hour mark when Jamie Spillane attacked Matt Keane’s corner and powered his header beyond the keeper.

The game opened up briefly after that but both sides squandered chances before the nerves really seemed to kick in.

With five minutes to go, veteran Peter McCarthy received his marching orders for shoving an opponent. It was unnecessary but, in fairness to the Celtic man, it was never a red card.

With ten men you felt as though Celtic would have settled for extra time and penalties at that stage but they almost won it in stoppage time, substitute Conor Randall volleying wide with the goal at his mercy.

Experienced winger Stephen Hayes, who was surprisingly dropped having started all of Celtic’s previous games this season, was finally called upon at the beginning of overtime and he was determined to make his mark.

“I was disappointed [not to start] but I didn’t let it get to me,” Hayes said. “I felt that if I did get a chance to come on, I could hopefully do something that would help the team.”

He got his big opportunity midway through the second period when a defensive mix-up had Janesboro scrambling. Cathal O’Shea retrieved possession and when his through ball deflected kindly into the path of Hayes right in front of goal, he couldn’t miss.

Joyous celebrations followed, and Celtic held on for another historic win.

Next up is a semi-final clash against Dublin giants Sheriff YC on April 8/9, and it will undoubtedly be their biggest test yet. The team from the north side are stacked with talent and are gunning for back-to-back national titles for the second time in six seasons.

Tournament rules stipulate that in the semis that the team drawn at home, in this case Celtic, can play the fixture on any pitch in their home county apart from their own.

Mounthawk Park (Tralee), Listowel and even Killarney Athletic’s pitch have been mentioned as possible venues but it was still undecided at the time of going to print.

Although Sheriff are without question the biggest team left in the tournament, Hayes feels Celtic should be happy with the draw.

“Isn’t now the time to get them? They have to come down here to Kerry. If we avoided them and we were fortunate enough to get to the final, we’d have to play them up in their own patch,” he said.

“But they have to come down to us, and they’ll be in for a battle.”

Celtic: Roy Kelliher; Chris O’Leary, Jamie Spillane, John McDonagh (c), Brendan Falvey; Pa McGrath, Podge O’Connor; Wayne Sparling, Matt Keane, Peter McCarthy; Cathal O’Shea. Subs: Conor Randall, Stephen Hayes and Anthony O’Leary.

Above: Killarney Celtic's Stephen Hayes celebrates after his side defeated Janesboro in the FAI Junior Cup quarter final at Celtic Park on Saturday night. PICTURE: Eamonn Keogh.



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 […]





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



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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