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Hayes the hero as Celtic steal famous win

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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.

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Killarney co-drivers to the fore at this weekend

Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship. The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness. On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin. O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian […]

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Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship.

The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness.
On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin.

O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian Pryce, is the current leader of the series while Galvin, who reads pacenotes for fellow Killarney and District Motor Club member, West Cork’s Keith Cronin, is eighth after missing the opening round.

“The element of darkness certainly brings an additional challenge to all the crews, especially since most of us will not have done any night stages for some time, the most recent I did was in 2017 on the Ulster Rally,” Cronin noted.

The route layout reads like an extract from the itinerary of the World Championship counting RAC Rally of the 1980s, featuring familiar locations such as Dalby, Gale Rigg and Langdale, and it will be the Dalby Forest test that opens the competition shortly after 8pm tonight.

Meanwhile, Irish rallying returned last Sunday after the pandemic-enforced lay-off with the ‘Munster Car Club’s Cork 20’.

London-based Listry co-driver Shane Buckley was the best of the local entrants, guiding Daniel Cronin, Keith’s brother, to fifth overall.

Ger Conway and his driver Stephen Wright were just two places and 8.9 seconds behind in another Ford Fiesta RC2. It was Conway’s first taste of a RC2 car since he and Rob Duggan finished second overall on the 2018 Donegal International Rally.

“There is a taste of more after this,” said Ger after a trouble-free day.
Damien Fleming came close to making it four local co-drivers in the top 10. He and his driver Stephen McCann were 11th, just 16.6 off the leader board. They said it took a while to get used to the bumpy Irish tar after a recent trip to the Tour of Flanders in Belgium.

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Education Minister officially opens The Mon’s new classrooms

A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education. Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room […]

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A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education.

Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room and a general-purpose hall.

The project, which was funded by Department of Education along with money raised by the school as part of their ‘THE MON-ster Fundraiser’, was just one of three officially opened new additions to the school along with a special dedication of the school’s hall in honour of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, a past pupil of the school from 1909-1914.

Also, The Most Rev. Ray Browne, Bishop of Kerry, officially opened a three-classroom extension at the school’s present site which was opened in 1958 having moved from its College Street location which was opened in 1838 by the Presentation Brothers.

Former Supreme Court Judge Hugh O’Flaherty and Mrs Pearl Dineen the nephew and niece of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty officiated over the dedicating of the school’s new hall to past pupil, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, in recognition of his heroic deeds during WWII.

O’Flaherty, who also taught at the school later, became better known for the role he played in World War II while at the Vatican leading over 6,500 prisoners of war, partisans and Jews to freedom to earn him the title of the ‘Vatican Pimpernel’, leading to the 1983 film ‘The Scarlet and the Black’ with Gregory Peck portraying the role of O’Flaherty.

OUTDOOR CLASSROOM

A special outdoor classroom ‘Dotts Garden’, dedicated to the memory of Dorothy (Dott) Hennggler the 2011 Washington DC Rose who died at the family home in Baltimore from a brain tumour, was officially opened by Anne O’Shea (aunt of the late Dorothy), and Àine McMahon (cousin of the late Dorothy and BOM member). The outdoor classroom was beautifully decorated over the summer by artist Katríona Lynch.

Due to COVID restrictions, the main event took place outdoors with staff joined by a small group of pupils selected from each of the classes representing the student body along with members of the school’s Board of Management.

“Your achievements have been remarkable over the last number of months,” Minister of Education, Norma Foley, said today at the official opening.

“It is my wish going forward that the next year in education will be less complicated, less trying and less difficult one. I think school staff are deserving of that. We can put the COVID atmosphere behind us and we are moving positively along. We hope that in a few months we will talk about living in a post-COVID time. The story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty speaks of the calibre of students produced here, but it also speaks of the courage and bravery and vision that Kerry people can have in the most difficult and trying of times.”

School principal Colm Ó Suilleabháin, who is shortly moving on to St Oliver’s NS in Ballycasheen, was delighted to be in attendance to see the building come to fruition.

“It’s a fantastic culmination of hard work by the staff and the Board of Management, and we are delighted to see the school is fully equipped and resourced for the next generation of pupils from Killarney and beyond,” he said.

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