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“I expect Kerry to win… But the margin will be tight”

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Provincial finals are special and the intense rivalry between Cork and Kerry over many decades makes the Munster football final extra special. Kerry will face Cork in the senior final tomorrow at 7pm in Páirc Uí Chaoimh while the minors will meet Clare at 4.30pm.

The date and timing of these games is a break with tradition. Normally these finals are played on the first Sunday in July and in the early afternoon. Apparently scheduling the finals on a Saturday evening facilitates TV coverage. It certainly makes it very awkward, especially for those fans who are travelling from such remote areas as Eyeries and Valentia. There is no indication from the Munster Council as to why the minor game is so early. That game should be finished by 5.45pm and the senior game will not be going ahead until 7pm. It certainly will present some supporters with a dilemma and they may not travel in such large numbers.

Kerry are favourites in the senior final after shooting 32 points against Clare in the senior semi-final played here in the Fitzgerald Stadium some weeks ago. I was very impressed by the forwards in particular in that game. However, Cork were also very impressive in their clear-cut win over a fancied Tipperary team. Kerry keeper Shane Murphy had little to do against Clare but this will be a much sterner test. He has proved his worth and his kick-outs are well varied to retain possession. I expect that he will be going short most of the time as Cork are very strong in the middle of the field, particularly Aidan Walsh. I expect Walsh to be the key player here and David Moran needs to up his game to nullify the expected Cork dominance in that area. Jack Barry will be taking up Ian Maguire.

Luke Connolly

If Kerry get enough of the ball into the forward division they will run up a big score. At the other end Cork have a match-winner in Luke Connolly who scored at will against Tipperary. He will prove a handful for Kerry corner backs Shanahan or Foley. They will be severely tested and if he is curbed Cork will be well down in scores. They will be without the talented Colm O’Neill who is most unlucky with injury. He had three cruciate operations and was just returning to top form when he damaged his cartilage in the Tipperary game. It will be interesting to see who Cork play in his absence.

They might give a starting position to Paul Kerrigan who is back after a long lay-off with injury. He is their most experienced player. He might be listed at number 14 but charged with a roving role outfield, hoping to leave plenty of room in front of the Kerry goal. That would give great space to their danger men Mark Collins and Luke Connolly. It would pull Peter Crowley far out from goal, although that would not be a problem for the Kerry full back as he has played most of his football for Kerry in the past in the half back line. Luke Connolly is very accurate so being isolated inside may well be the ploy Cork will use. The Kerry half back line has done well with Gavin White, in particular, catching the eye. He has great courage and tremendous pace. He may be picking up Jack O’Rourke who played a very defensive game against Tipperary, dropping out to midfield for the kick outs and back in his own half back line to crowd out the Tipperary forward division.

Kerry’s impressive forwards

I was very impressed with all of the Kerry forwards in the semi-final. 32 points is a massive score but we also need goals as goals often are the difference between victory and defeat. Paul Geaney is a key man on the edge of the square. While he won the man-to-man duel against Clare, Cork will crowd out the scoring area and scores will be hard to come by. James O’Donoghue showed no ill effects from his long lay-off and is one man who can knife through the opposition. He may well be the man to score goals against Cork’s new keeper Mark White.

I was also impressed by Kerry wing forward Micheál Burns in the semi-final. He has a great engine and has the pace and stamina to drop back to help out in defence. He is also well able to score.

Two former All-Ireland minor winners, Seán O’Shea and David Clifford, have fitted in very well. They will have to deal with a crowded Cork defence, which will be a big challenge for them in their first Munster senior final, but they deserve their starting positions. They are very exciting players and O’Shea is also very good at taking frees.

Mark Collins, Luke Connolly and Colm O’Neill scored 1-13 between them out of a total of 1-17 against Tipperary. That is impressive, but Cork won’t have O Neill tomorrow.

Teams have not been announced as we go to press, but I expect no change on the Kerry team from the Clare game. Cork will have one enforced change at least, with Colm O’Neill out of the reckoning. It will be very tough to beat Cork on their home patch and their new manager Ronan McCarthy has done a good job. He is giving youth its chance just like Kerry so it should be an interesting, tactical game. I expect Kerry to win but the margin will be tight.

Minor game

Peter Keane has done a great job with the minors. They were quite fortunate to edge out Cork by a late point in time added on in Tralee several weeks ago. They should have too much scoring power for Clare so I expect them to win with something to spare. These teams are now playing under 17 in place of the former under 18. Already an All-Ireland minor-winning manager, Keane is steadily building a successful portfolio to be the main contender for the senior job when Eamonn Fitzmaurice finishes his term of office.

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Fans return to Fitzgerald Stadium after eight months

By Sean Moriarty Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game. Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game.

Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the first game at the stadium since the 2020 Kerry Petroleum Intermediate Club Football Championship Quarter-Final when Glenbeigh-Glencar played Beaufort on October 4 last year.

Due to current restrictions only 200 fans were allowed attend Saturday’s big match. That will remain in place for Kerry’s opening Munster Championship tie with Clare on June 26.

“It had been more than eight months since Fitzgerald Stadium welcomed back fans to the venue,” stadium PRO Tatyana McGough told the Killarney Advertiser. “Everything went exceptionally well.”

She is hopeful that more restrictions will be eased on July 5, paving the way for an increase in capacity to 500 fans in time for the July 25 Munster Final.

“It is likely that from July 5 up to 500 spectators may be permitted to attend games. We hope this number will increase for the Munster Final. If it is a Cork versus Kerry Munster Final the game will be fixed for Sunday July 25 at 4pm in the Fitzgerald Stadium. The stadium’s staff are very confident in being able to host any number of fans that may be allowed.”

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Garda appeal to park legally at beaches and public amenities

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An Garda Siochana is appealing to the public to park legally in designated car parks and spaces when visiting beaches, beauty spots and other public amenities. 

The good weather has seen an increase in dangerous illegal parking at these locations across the country in recent weeks. An Garda Siochana wants people to enjoy the summer but do so safely.

Parking illegally can lead to unnecessary risk and dangers such as pedestrians being forced to walk along dangerous roads. It can also prevent emergency services from gaining access to these amenities a seaside locations which could lead to the loss of life. 

“We encourage the public to plan their journeys and think safety first when parking your vehicle,” the Gardai said in a statement. 

“The outcome of parking illegally could be far more serious than a FCPN or vehicle towing and puts others and your own life at risk. 

An Garda Siochana reminds and encourages the public to social distance and follow public health guidelines when attending these locations this Summer.

An Garda Siochana is also supporting National Water Safety Awareness Week (June 14th – 20th). Information on this campaign and general water safety can be found on Water Safety Irelands Website – www.watersafety.ie/national-water-safety-awareness-week/

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IFTA nomination for Jessie Buckley

By Michelle Crean  Killarney’s Jessie Buckley is up for an award as the 2021 Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA) nominations were announced this week. Jessie has been nominated as Best Actress in a Lead Role Film category for her work in Charlie Kaufman’s surreal ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’. Winners will be announced at […]

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By Michelle Crean
 

Killarney’s Jessie Buckley is up for an award as the 2021 Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA) nominations were announced this week.

Jessie has been nominated as Best Actress in a Lead Role Film category for her work in Charlie Kaufman’s surreal ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’. Winners will be announced at a virtual IFTA awards ceremony which will be broadcast on Virgin Media One on Sunday, July 4.

Other well-known Irish actors up for awards include Brendan Gleeson for ‘The Comey Rule’, Paul Mescal for ‘Normal People’, Dervla Kirwan ‘Smother’ and Gabriel Byrne for ‘Death of a Ladies Man’.

Over the past few months during lockdown, the Irish Academy Members have been busy viewing, deliberating, and shortlisting the very best work from across great Irish films, performances, and achievements.

Nominations have been shortlisted by Irish Academy members alongside a specialist jury panel of industry experts from around the world.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no physical IFTA Awards Ceremony until March 2022, in keeping with COVID guidelines and best international practice.

Further details about the show and the international guest participants will be announced shortly.

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